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Deriving Human Rights from Human Dignity

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
1:30pm – 2:45pm

Storrs Campus
301 Austin

Suzy Killmister UConn Philosophy & Human Rights 3.9.16 1:30 PM 301 AUSTIN

Suzy Killmister joined the University of Connecticut in the Fall of 2013. She completed her doctorate at the University of Melbourne in 2010, after which she worked at Massey University in New Zealand. She is particularly interested in the relationship between minorities and the liberal state. One strand of this research focuses on philosophical justifications for minority and group rights, and what relationship they might bear to human rights. The other strand focuses on the concept of autonomy and its role in political philosophy, in particular what kinds of obligations states might have to protect and/or promote citizens’ autonomy.

This paper is a contribution to the ongoing debate between human rights foundationalists (those who understand human rights in terms of pre-institutional moral rights) and ‘political’ theories of human rights (those who understand human rights in terms of an international politico-legal practice). I side with the political turn, though in a somewhat idiosyncratic manner: I argue that human rights derive from human dignity, but that human dignity is itself a product of a socio-political practice. The paper sets out and defends this conception of dignity, and shows how it underpins human rights.

Contact Fred Lee for a copy of the paper

The UConn Political Theory Workshop is a UConn Humanities Institute Working Group


Humanities Institute (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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