Human rights, individualism and cultural diversity
Cruft R (2005) Human rights, individualism and cultural diversity. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 8 (3), pp. 265-287. https://doi.org/10.1080/13698230500187151
Two features of human‐rights discourse are often targeted for criticism: its universalism and its individualism. Both features, it is usually claimed, illegitimately overlook the significance of cultural diversity. In this essay I argue that individualism is incompatible with universalism and compatible with cultural diversity. Thus I defend the view that human rights are individualistically justified, and I argue that it follows from this that human rights are in an important sense non‐universal. I go on to show how my non‐universalist conclusion can provide the basis for a retort to those who appeal to facts about cultural diversity in order to criticise human rights discourse.
rights; human rights; individualism; multiculturalism; diversity
Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy: Volume 8, Issue 3
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