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Part I Theoretical Foundations, Ch.2 Moral Philosophy

Siegfried Van Duffel

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Human Rights Law

Edited By: Dinah Shelton

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 07 December 2023

Equality before the law — Civil and political rights — Right to education — Right to adequate standard of living — Right to food — Right to health — Genocide

This article examines long-standing debates in moral philosophy that are relevant to international human rights law. It discusses the political conception of human rights and the four challenges to moral philosophy which include the notion that no particular religious tradition or particular comprehensive doctrine (or morality) grounded human rights and the belief that natural rights theories end up misrepresenting and narrowing the scope of human rights. This article also highlights the importance of the work of moral philosophers to the understanding of contemporary human rights and explains that the traditions of natural rights theories still influence contemporary human rights language in profound ways.

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