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Human Rights: Moral or Political?$
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Adam Etinson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198713258

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198713258.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

Dwelling in Possibility

Dwelling in Possibility

Ideals, Aspirations, and Human Rights

(p.313) 9 Dwelling in Possibility
Human Rights: Moral or Political?

Kimberley Brownlee

Oxford University Press

One putative test for human rights is feasibility. This chapter questions the merits of this test. First, it distinguishes two different notions of feasibility. One is that of in principle practicability. The other is that of easy present practicability. Both of these notions are distinct from the broader notion of in principle possibility. Second, the chapter argues that there are reasons to be sceptical about the easy-practicability notion of feasibility. Third, it shows that, to the extent that feasibility (i.e. in principle practicability) is a credible test for human rights, it must take a non-state-centred form that highlights the role that international institutions now play in human rights protection.

Keywords:   the feasibility of human rights, ideals, aspirations, critique of human rights, action-guidingness

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