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What Is a Human?What the Answers Mean for Human Rights$
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John H. Evans

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190608071

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190608071.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
What Is a Human?

John H. Evans

Oxford University Press

The introduction starts by describing the centuries-old debate about whether our definition of a human—called an anthropology—leads to particular ways of treating each other. The dominant anthropologies found in academic debate are briefly described, and the focus on human rights as a type of treatment is justified. After clarifying that the book focuses on uncontested humans instead of contested humans (like embryos), three contributions to the academic debate are outlined. The first is whether the academic claims are true—that if the public accepts certain anthropologies as described by the academics this will lead to less support for human rights. The second is to observe the anthropologies the public actually uses and to ascertain whether these would be associated with less support for human rights. The third is to assess whether avenues for the propagation of these anthropologies exist.

Keywords:   anthropology, human rights, biology, theology, philosophy

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