Book Chapter

In What Sense Should Respect for Human Rights Be Attainable? A Response to Brownlee



Cruft R (2018) In What Sense Should Respect for Human Rights Be Attainable? A Response to Brownlee. In: Etinson A (ed.) Human Rights: Moral or Political?. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 327-336.〈=en&#

First paragraph: In her insightful and illuminating chapter, Kimberley Brownlee outlines four ways in which human rights are 'comprehensive, aspirational and presently unrealizable' ideals, rather than ordinary goals: human rights are 'sustainability ideals', 'significant moment ideals', 'ongoing progress ideals', and 'just out of reach ideals'. Brownlee argues that because 'even the most uncontentious human rights are ideals of one or more of these kinds', it follows that 'feasibility is not a condition for human rights status'. Instead, human rights can exist, and indeed guide action, even if they are not feasible or realizable: 'Even if a right were to fail all of the feasibility-related tests noted above’— namely, Shue's remediability requirement, Geuss's enforcement requirement, Sen's social influenceability requirement, and Nickel's reasonable burdens and implementability tests—'this would not threaten its status as a human right'.

human rights; feasibility; Kimberley Brownlee

Publication date15/03/2018
PublisherOxford University Press
Publisher URL…58?cc=gb〈=en&#
Place of publicationOxford

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Professor Rowan Cruft

Professor Rowan Cruft

Professor, Philosophy