Publication details

Lidská práva a základní potřeby

Title in English Human Rights and Basic Needs

HAPLA Martin

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

Faculty of Law

Web Repozitář MU
Field Law sciences
Keywords human rights; needs; justification; natural law; Hume’s law; political philosophy
Attached files
Description The article deals with the theory of needs as a possible justification of human rights. At first it defines the concept of need which it distinguishes from the concept of want. It states that need is objective by definition. It analyses some conceptions of needs (primarily the conception of David Miller and the con­ception of Massimo Renzo) and considers their advantages and disadvantages towards other theories of justification (for example the personhood approach of James Griffin). According to the author, these con­ceptions have foundations in natural law and cannot deal with the problem of transition from facts to norms. In addition, the requirements that we usually derive from the needs keep too much uncertainty. In spite of these deficiencies, however, the argumentation by the need holds great persuasiveness in the legal and even more in the political area. Its sources are difficult to identify, but it has some importance that the need is the concept which we use in everyday life (though in a shifted meaning). Finally, the author concludes that needs are not able to ground human rights in a satisfactory way, but on the other side – if we resign on the universal rights – it can play a very useful and significant role in their justification in certain local contexts.
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