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On Human Rights$
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James Griffin

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199238781

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238781.001.0001

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The Relativity and Ethnocentricity of Human Rights

The Relativity and Ethnocentricity of Human Rights

(p.129) 7 The Relativity and Ethnocentricity of Human Rights
On Human Rights

James Griffin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of ethical relativity. It then discusses the relativity of human rights and the problem of ethnocentricity. It considers John Rawls's views on tolerance between peoples, arguing that we should not follow Rawls's lead in commandeering the language of human rights to explain intervention. The language that he can provide is too indeterminate in sense to do so, and, once its sense is made more satisfactorily determinate, it will contain what is needed to justify the ampler list of human rights that, for so long, the tradition has championed.

Keywords:   ethical relativity, human rights, ethnocentricity, tolerance, John Rawls

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