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PHL 306 (3)

Human Rights Article Readings Notes

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PHL 306
Thomas Hart

The Human Rights of the Other y Human rights based as they are on the fragile sense of personal identity and the impossible hope of social integrity link integrally the individual and the communal y Rights exist only in relation to other rights y There can be no freestanding absolute right bc such a right would violate the freedom of everyone except its bearer y There can be no positive right bc rights are always relational and involve their subjects in relations of dependence on others and responsibility to the law y Human rights have the ability to create new worlds by continuously pushing and expanding the boundaries of society identity and law y Human rights retain a critical distance from law and stretch its boundaries and limits y Sartre thought that the other is a subject before me but thought that the separation bw self and others was radical as to preclude any possibility of genuine knowledge of the other y Morality is not synonymous therefore with human rights and does not derive from them y Ethical responsibility precedes rights gives them their force and legitimacy and becomes the judge of them and of state action human rights are the instrument of ethics y The refugee is the representative of total otherness and the symbol of our own exile the sign that ego cannot find peace and security in a secluded and protected existence y Refugees are not treated
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