Human Rights: Pragmatic Utility, Theoretical Approach and Complex Societies

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Globalization is a typical process of the complex societies and it has enabled the wide diffusion of the notion of ‘human rights’ related to different issues (multiculturalism, economic-social differences, gender issues and so on). Nevertheless this notion is very discussed and in this paper I will focus on two aspects: the pragmatic level and the theoretical perspective. Human rights have a pragmatic utility since they put in evidence ‘subjective positions’ and give them a legal protection through different tools (national law, international declarations, constitutions, non-governmental organizations). On a theoretical level the question concerning the foundation of human rights is problematic, with relation to their philosophical origins and historical application. So, on the one side human rights are really a new legal language but, on the other side, they call for the recourse to the legal positivist instruments (especially international Courts). We should shift from the traditional notion of ‘human rights’ to the protection of ‘anthropological (universal) dimensions’ as they emerge into complex societies. Hence the necessity to rethink the modern paradigm of human rights (based on the equivalence ‘individual rights’-‘human rights’) and the contemporary one, which took shape during the last century and extended the ‘list’ of human rights to fields as education, labour and individual dignity. Complex societies require a more sophisticated paradigm and a new ‘list’ of human rights, grounded on new ‘goods’ to be protected concerning economics, the new labour sphere, environmental protection, genetic revolution and communication (i. e. the access to new technologies). This ‘evolution’ has to face the process by which the new pair ‘soft law-hard law’ progressively destroys the traditional vision of law as a ‘complex’ dimension raising, in this direction, the question about its western nature.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteHuman Rights, Rule of Law and the Contemporary Social Challenges in Complex Societies Proceedings of the XXVI World Congress of Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy of the Internationale Vereinigunf für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie
EditorM Galuppo, M Sette Lopes, L Gontijo, K Salgado
Numero di pagine25
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2015


  • Diritti umani Utilità Teoria Complessità
  • Human Rights Utility Theory Complexity


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