Publication details

Lidská práva, ideologie a veřejné ospravedlnění : co obnáší brát pluralismus vážně

Title in English Human Rights, Ideology, and Public Justification : What Does It Take to Take Pluralism Seriously


Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Právník
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Political sciences
Keywords human rights; moral pluralism; essential contestablity; resonable disagreement; public justifica­tion; intercultural dialogue
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Description The paper joins the emerging Czech debate in legal theory and legal philosophy on the concept of human rights, by elaborating upon certain insights as well as tools developed within contemporary political philosophy. Specifically, against the background of the fact of deep moral pluralism, I address the issue of normative sources of HR thinking and (especially judicial) decision-making. Of the several claims that are defended in the paper, the most general one states that interpretation of human rights necessarily has a political, and therefore ideological, dimension. If, however, we construe human rights as an essentially contested concept (as we should), the possibility of reaching a wide consensus on their nature, meaning, and scope is rendered quite remote – not least because other basic politic concepts are also essentially contes­ted, to the effect that we are faced with competing visions of a good society. I further argue that the idea of a „reasonable disagreement“, which has been recently invoked by some Czech scholars, cannot easily carry the burden of reconciling competing views of human rights, for it assumes that reasonable and unreasonable conceptions of human rights have been already set apart – whereas this is precisely the point of contetion. My suggestion is that theoretical inclusivity is preferable in public justification to a guarantee that one’s favourite conception of HR will be justified. This is why I finally claim that appeals to an „intercultural dialogue“ on human rights are often insincere.
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