Human rights hyperbole?

Are there too many human rights? If so, what is the “optimal level” of such basic rights? Specifically, aside from life, property, and due process of law, what other rights are so essential to human flourishing that they should be included in any list of inalienable or universal natural rights? Professor John Tasioulas, who teaches at King’s College London, identifies two forms of “human rights discourse overreach” in this thoughtful essay: “The first is substantive overreach. This relates to what we take to be human rights. There is a persistent tendency to present more and more political demands as human rights …. The second form of overreach relates not to what counts as a human right, but to who gets to decide what counts. Even if we accept that all humans have a given right, it’s too easy to conclude that this right ought to be enshrined in law and enforced by courts.” (Hat tip: Brian Leiter.)

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About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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