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On Human Rights Paperback – 27 Aug 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (27 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199573107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199573103
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 2.8 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Arguably the most significant philosophical meditation on human rights... [since] the Universal Declaration of Human Rights... Not only the most powerful, fully elaborated contemporary philosophical contribution to the topic, but also one that has put in place many of the foundations on which any future work should build. (John Tasioulas, Ethics)

This book is a masterpiece... it will be studied for a long time to come (Brad Hooker, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies)

an impressive effort, which especially focuses on human rights as a moral concept ... [a] thought-provoking work (Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights)

About the Author

James Griffin is White's Professor of Moral Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Oxford; Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University; and Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Canberra.

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Clarifying Human Rights 16 Oct. 2009
By not me - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The goal of "On Human Rights" is to clarify the nature of human rights and thus promote a more realistic and effective human rights discourse. Human rights, in the author's view, are tools to protect persons in their capacity as normative agents, i.e., as agents able to choose and pursue a conception of the good life. Such agents need autonomy, the basic necessities of life, and liberty from interference by other persons. These core requirements of normative agency mark the boundary of human rights.

So far so good. The book is sensible and clearly written, and the theoretical sections, especially the chapter on the metaphysics of human rights, are throught-provoking. The book stumbles, however, when it goes on to treat "applied" or "empirical" topics such as international law, the right to die, the right to privacy, or democracy. These sections suffer from the author's understandable (and acknowledged) lack of expertise in law, political science, health care and other issues. The discussion is not terribly fine-grained, and tends to meander.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book if looking for a theoretical starter on human rights 19 Jun. 2014
By hitchiker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For a more in-depth review of this book - this link is the best I found so far. As stated in the subject, it's an excellent starter book for theory of Human rights.

0 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Very pleased 23 Dec. 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book a arrived at my residence very promptly, two days after I had ordered it. Also the book was in the very condition it was described as. I couldn't be happier with my experience. Thanks!
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