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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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The General Public, Academic Anthropologies, and Human Rights

The General Public, Academic Anthropologies, and Human Rights

(p.49) Chapter 3 The General Public, Academic Anthropologies, and Human Rights
What Is a Human?

John H. Evans

Oxford University Press

This chapter tests the claims of academics concerning the relationship between anthropology and human rights with a nationally representative public opinion poll, and finds that they are substantially well founded. The chapter first shows that only a minority of the public agrees with the biological, philosophical, or socially conferred anthropologies as depicted by the academics. However, those who do agree more with the biological and philosophical anthropologies seem to justify the concerns of the academic critics. They are more likely to believe in depictions of the human being linked to less support for human rights. Moreover, these patterns continue for the connection to human rights. For example, those who agree more with the academic version of the biological or philosophical anthropology are more likely to say it is morally acceptable to not try to stop genocides, buy kidneys from poor people and commit suicide to save money.

Keywords:   public opinion, anthropology, human rights, depictions, theology, biology, philosophy

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