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Self-Evident Truths?

Human Rights and the Enlightenment (The Oxford Amnesty Lectures)

by Kate Tunstall

Paperback : 240 pages

Editor: Bloomsbury Academic

Language: Anglais

Date: November 2012

ISBN: 9781441185242

Format: 138 x 216

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About Self-Evident Truths?

The keywords of the Enlightenment-freedom, tolerance, rights, equality-are today heard everywhere, and they are used to endorse a wide range of positions, some of which are in perfect contradiction. While Orwell's 1984 claims that there is one phrase in the English language that resists translation into Newspeak, namely the opening lines of that key Enlightenment text, the Declaration of Independence: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...', we also find the Wall Street Journal saying of the Iraq War that the US was 'fighting for the very notion of the Enlightenment'. It seems we are no longer sure whether these truths are self-evident nor quite what they might mean today. Based on the critically acclaimed Oxford Amnesty Lectures series, this book brings together a number of major international figures to debate the history of freedom, tolerance, equality, and to explore the complex legacy of the Enlightenment for human rights. The lectures are published here with responses from other leading figures in the field.

Table Of Contents

What Are the Oxford Amnesty Lectures?

Acknowledgements Preface

Kate E. Tunstall (University of Oxford)

Part I: Human Rights Today: an Enlightenment Legacy?

Chapter One

Rethinking Human Rights and Enlightenment: A View from the Twenty-First Century - James Tully (University of Victoria)

A Response to James Tully - Christopher Brooke (University of Cambridge)

Chapter Two

"That the General Will is Indestructible": From a Citizen of Geneva to the Citizens of Gaza - Karma Nabulsi (University of Oxford)

Singular and Exemplary: The Theory and Experience of Citizenship in Rousseau. A Response to Karma Nabulsi - Ourida Mostefai (Boston College)

Chapter Three

Cosmopolitanism after Kant: Claiming Rights Across Borders in a New Century - Seyla Benhabib (Princeton University)

The Making of Norms versus the Making of a Rights-bearing Subject: A Response to Seyla Benhabib - Saskia Sassen (Columbia University and London School of Economics)

Part II: Revolutions and Declarations
Chapter Four

Philosophy, Religion, and the Controversy about Basic Human Rights in 1789 - Jonathan Israel (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton)

A Response to Jonathan Israel - Dan Edelstein (Stanford University)

Chapter Five

Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights - Robin Blackburn (Essex and the New School)

Rights, Resistance and Emancipation: A Response to Robin Blackburn - David Geggus (University of Florida)

Part III: Particular Rights: the Pursuit of Happiness and Freedom of Speech

Chapter Six

My Happiness, Right or Wrong? - Adam Phillips (Writer and Child psychologist)

On Being Happy Not to Pursue Happiness: A Response to Adam Phillips - Patrick Mackie (Writer and Independent scholar)

Chapter Seven

Toleration and Calumny - Jeremy Waldron (University of Oxford and New York School of Law)

Rights Persuasion: A Response to Jeremy Waldron - Liora Lazarus (University of Oxford)

Afterword: The Self-Evidence of Human Rights - Samuel Moyn (Columbia University)

List of Contributors