This course will give an overview and discuss philosophical aspects of human rights.  Its aim is to familiarize students with theories of the nature and justification of human rights, to discuss their criticisms, and to present some of their applications. In the first part of the course, we look at the emergence of rights as a reaction to political authority, examine different grounds and justifications of human rights, and discuss some of the criticisms leveled against human rights.  In the second part, we consider philosophical problems pertaining to current human rights issues.  We explore the ways in which classical liberalism informs our thinking about freedom of expression. We examine theories of positive rights through the problems of global poverty and socio-economic rights.  Finally, we talk about human rights in the context of humanitarian intervention and human rights issues relevant to questions of migration and asylum.

Teachers: Greg BognarLisa Hecht

Course dates: September 22 –­ November 11

Time and location: Thursdays 10­ – 12 in D734

The schedule is on the page for kandidatkursen and magisterkursen.