Publication details

Human Rights in the Context of Cultural Evolution



Year of publication 2024
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Právny obzor
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Keywords naturalism; morality; cultural evolution; human rights; cooperation
Description The main aim of this paper is to present a naturalistic theory of human rights which emphasises that while human rights can be seen as basic moral requirements, they are nonetheless society-dependent, meaning that they are intrinsically connected to individual societies and their evolution. The first part of this paper deals with the starting point of this approach, offering a definition of this form of naturalization. However, I would like to stress here that I am not suggesting that the entire issue can be reduced to the level of physical or chemical properties and laws. As Peregrin has noted, the human capacity for language means that we are also discursive beings who can build and live in fantastic worlds of our own making, and therefore we are not restricted to living in the natural world as such, in the realm of nature where natural laws, such as the rules of physics or chemistry, are dominant. The world in which we live and which we ourselves build is also normative, existing within the realm of freedom; other rules apply here, and our freedom lies in the fact that we can choose to either obey or disobey them. It is this capacity that differentiates us from other organisms and indicates that Darwinian evolution is not the only evolutionary process that has played a crucial role in our evolution, with some philosophers and scientists terming this cognitively driven process of development as cultural evolution. As a result, the following section will be devoted to the relevance of the concept of cultural evolution for academics who work in the field of social science, law and jurisprudence given the fact that this theory examines rules and their role and function in society. In this section we will focus on the evolution of morality because, as we will see, human rights can be seen as basic moral requirements which are essential for global cooperation.
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