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On Human Rights$
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James Griffin

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199238781

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238781.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
On Human Rights
Author(s):

James Griffin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238781.003.0001

This introductory chapter begins by presenting the rationale behind this book, namely the not uncommon belief that we do not yet have a clear enough idea of what human rights are. It contends that this belief needs more focus. It considers the developing notion of human rights running through this history or ‘historical notion’. It argues that human rights should be seen as protections of our normative agency. That is not a derivation of human rights from normative agency; it is a proposal based on a hunch that this way of remedying the indeterminateness of the term will best suit its role in ethics.

Keywords:   human rights, law, ethics, historical notion

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