Balancing the principles: why the universality of human rights is not the Trojan horse of moral imperialism [Book Review]

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (4):653-661 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The new dilemmas and responsibilities which arise in bioethics both because of the unprecedented pace of scientific development and of growing moral pluralism are more and more difficult to grapple with. At the ‘global’ level, the call for the universal nature at least of some fundamental moral values and principles is often being contended as a testament of arrogance, if not directly as a new kind of subtler imperialism. The human rights framework itself, which provided the basis for the most relevant international declarations and documents, is not exempt from the charge. However, the refusal of a top-down conception of the universal as a sort of product for exportation should not be confused with a relativistic landscape, where all the cows can be indifferently black or white. This contribution aims at outlining an approach, which reconciles universalism as enshrined in founding human rights declarations with respect for cultural diversity. In order to do so, two conceptual frameworks are discussed: the ‘tool-kit’ model and the morals/ethics difference. The example of the right to quality health care confirms the argument that striking a balance between cherishing pluralism and defending some fundamental rights and obligations does not amount to an assertion of moral imperialism

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,923

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Human Rights, Individualism and Cultural Diversity.Rowan Cruft - 2005 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8 (3):265-287.
The Non-Modularity of Moral Knowledge.Theresa Waynand Tobin - 2005 - Social Philosophy Today 21:33-50.
The Political Pluralistic Conception of Human Right.Zhen-Rong Gan - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 11:149-154.
Human Rights and Cultural Diversity.William Sweet - 1998 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 12 (1):117-132.
The international significance of human rights.Thomas Pogge - 2000 - The Journal of Ethics 4 (1-2):45-69.

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-12-01

Downloads
29 (#567,300)

6 months
5 (#707,850)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

The diversity of bioethics.Henk ten Have & Bert Gordijn - 2013 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (4):635-637.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The idea of justice.Amartya Sen - 2009 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The concept of law.Hla Hart - 1961 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Taking rights seriously.Ronald Dworkin (ed.) - 1977 - London: Duckworth.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.

View all 37 references / Add more references