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PHIL 2102 Week 12 Class 1.docx

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PHIL 2103
Jay Drydyk

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Week 12 Day 1: Asian Values • Ethical justification is essential to human rights o How we still have HR when we cannot enjoy or exercise them o “moral guarantees” • A definition of HR should not exclude o Potential rights o Potentially supportive cultures & values • Instead, focus on: o Wrongness of depriving people of X o Based on sound moral reasoning o That calls for respect, protection, provision, promotion of X • Knowledge of HR in the West has had to overcome two flaws o Inconsistency – exclusion of persons o Incompleteness – omission of things that ought to be respected, etc., such as social, economic, cultural rights • This process is still at work • Overcoming flaws in knowledge of HR requires good judgment • Good judgment constrains how we apply our moral ideas o Universalizability: treat like cases alike, where there are no relevant differences o Non-maleficence: do not apply moral ideas to cause avoidable harm. • Can HR have only Western justifications? • If so: practical problems o HR less relevant in non-W cultures? o Weaker commitment to HR? • If not: philosophical problem o How to credit others’ justifications, if we do not accept their moral premises? o Possibly because their moral outlooks are reliable: often leading to correct conclusions. Problem of Knowledge Applied to Human Rigths • If we disagree about the reasons, how can we know what are our HR? • Charles Taylor's approach: o Unwrap the “Western package” o Distinguish 3 levels of agreement o Find consensus at the middle level Unwrap the Western Package • Rights are “subjective” o properties of subjects or persons o under control of subjects • Natural rights theory o origin: Natural Law (from God, for human good) o result: NL expressed in social contract • Privileges individuals, freedom, and consent o in law o as justification (autonomy, liberty) Distinguish 3 Levels of Possible Agreement in Human Rights • Justifications • Norms of conduct for governments • Legal mechanisms Convergence in the Middle: China • Distinctive Justification: Confucian Harmony • Middle Norm: Conditions for political trust in China • Distinctive Chinese mechanisms protecting political participation Convergence in the Middle - Thailand • Distinctive Justification: Thai monarchy establishes dharma • Middle Norm: Conditions for political trust in Thailand • Distinctive Chinese mechanisms protecting political participation Convergence in the Middle: The West • Distinctive Justification: Natural rights and autonomy • Middle Norm: Conditions for political trust in West • Distinctive Chinese mechanisms protecting political participation Problem of Knowledge • Homer knows nothing (and care less) about harmony or dharma. • Why should Homer think they know anything about human rights? • Why should Homer given any credit to Confucian or Thai justifications? • Possibly because they often given correct results o Personal autonomy is often valuable o Utilitarianism can support much of common morality Resolving the Problem • People with different ethical theories or world-views won't entirely accept each other's reasons. • But suppose each sees: • Others’ reasons + good judgment => people are well treated (in this life). • Good judgment: • Universalizability • Non-maleficence • The others' views are reliable. The Asia Values Objection
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