PHIL 338 A: Philosophy of Human Rights

Meeting Time: 
TTh 10:30am - 12:20pm
SAV 138
William Talbott
William J. Talbott

Additional Details:

This course will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to the philosophy of human rights.  The course begins with an overview of the main issues in the conceptualization and justification of human rights.  The course then considers the following special topics:  (1) Should human rights be understood only negatively, as rights not to be coerced, or they include positive rights—that is, rights to be provided with something (e.g., subsistence, health care, or education)? (2) Are human rights individual rights, or do they also include group rights?  (3) Are human rights culturally relative?  We will consider the position that human rights reflect "Western values" and do not apply to other societies.  (4) We will also consider the potential conflict between women's rights and traditional values.  (5) We will consider feminist criticisms of human rights as androcentric.  (6) Finally, we will also discuss international enforcement and the role of the International Criminal Court.  There will be a Midterm Exam, a Final Exam, several short written assignments, and a final project.  For their final project, students will have the option of doing service learning with a Seattle-based human rights organization and preparing a service learning report or doing a research paper on a human rights issue.  This course qualifies as a core course for the Human Rights Minor and is an approved course for the Law, Societies, & Justice sub-field on rights.  Meets I&S Requirement.  Service learning option. Prerequisites:  None.

TEXT: The Philosophy of Human Rights, Patrick Hayden, and Turning Technologies Clicker.

Catalog Description: 
Theories of human rights and the bearing of these theories on issues of public policy such as legitimacy of war and terrorism, economic justice, and whether future generations have rights.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Other Requirements Met: 
Service Learning
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 9:09pm