The proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations on December 10, 1948 gave birth to the contemporary human rights movement. Despite the worldwide influence the idea of human rights has enjoyed, the concept of human rights has been plagued by a number of criticisms. Among the most pervasive and persistent criticisms of human rights are that they represent an individualist viewpoint, and they are a relative product of Western society that are hardly universal. One purpose of this dissertation is to challenge these criticisms. However, in recent decades the idea of human rights has been expanded past its original individual focus to incorporate the idea of collective, or group rights. The juxtaposition of universal, individual rights with particular, collective rights raises anew the issues of individualism and universalism in the human rights debate. In this dissertation, I compare the work of the French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain, the Peruvian theologian Gustavo Gutiérrez, and the American philosopher Martha Nussbaum in order to yield a contextually sensitive natural law approach to human rights that will serve as a common justificatory basis for individual and collective human rights. This common justificatory basis is capable of addressing the questions of individualism and universalism generated by the theoretical tensions generated by the juxtaposition of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which enshrines individual, universal rights, and the more recent United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), which enshrines more particularistic, group rights.
|Advisor:||Twiss, Sumner B., Kalbian, Aline H.|
|Commitee:||Goodman, Robin, Kelsay, John|
|School:||The Florida State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, Ethics, World History, Political science|
|Keywords:||Collective rights, Gutierrez, Gustavo, Human rights, Individual rights, Maritain, Jacques, Natural law, Nussbaum, Martha, Political theory|
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