Grounding Human Rights in a Pluralist World
Some theorists are "maximalist" in their insistence that human rights must be grounded religiously, while an opposing camp attempts to justify these rights in "minimalist" fashion without any necessary recourse to religion, metaphysics, or essentialism. In Grounding Human Rights in a Pluralist World, Grace Kao critically examines the strengths and weaknesses of these contending interpretations while also exploring the political liberalism of John Rawls and the Capability Approach as proposed by economist Amartya Sen and philosopher Martha Nussbaum.
By retrieving insights from a variety of approaches, Kao defends an account of human rights that straddles the minimalist–maximalist divide, one that links human rights to a conception of our common humanity and to the notion that ethical realism gives the most satisfying account of our commitment to the equal moral worth of all human beings.
About the Author
"Grounding Human Rights in a Pluralist World makes an important contribution to current discussions of the universality of human rights in the context of cultural and religious pluralism. It embodies broad and deep knowledge of the current theoretical discussions of the foundation and meaning of human rights in both secular and religious contexts. It will be of great interest to human rights scholars in a variety of disciplines, both theoretical and policy-oriented."—David Hollenbach, University Chair in Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College
"Grounding Human Rights in a Pluralist World is a must read. It provides an introduction to the basic issues of human rights and should be read in any introductory courses on human rights. Not only does Kao write clearly about complex issues, but she brilliantly analyses the leading and diverse positions. She thereby provides excellent treatment of the relevant issues implied in the thorny issue of cultural pluralism. "—Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, Stillman Professor of Roman Catholic Theological Studies, Harvard Divinity School
"Clearly written, rigorously argued, and thoroughly researched Grounding Human Rights is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary discussions of human rights. Grace Kao has given us a philosophically sophisticated yet truly accessible book, a rare and valuable contribution."—Ronald F. Thiemann, Bussey Professor of Theology. Harvard University
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