Human Rights, Human Dignity, and Hypothetical Consent


Talbott, William J. “Human Rights, Human Dignity, and Hypothetical Consent.” In Human Rights, Human Dignity, and Cosmopolitan Ideals, edited by Matthias Lutz-Bachmann and Amos Nascimento, 25-44. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate, 2014.

When we think about such moral transformations as the historical development of a consensus on the right not to be enslaved and of a consensus on rights against discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sex, and gender, we are struck by the fact that they have occurred even though there was a time at which they were opposed by all or almost all of the major religious and other moral authorities. What kind of social force explains these and other moral transformations?

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