•  2
    Dignity in ‘the streets’: a comment on Gilabert
    Journal of Global Ethics 16 (3): 288-293. 2020.
    ABSTRACT These comments focus on Part II of Pablo Gilabert's, Human Dignity and Human Rights. They make three main points. First, they stress the helpfulness of Gilabert's distinction between so-called “status” and “condition” dignity. Second, they raise doubts about Gilabert's understanding of the grounds of human dignity – in particular, whether these must include “valuable” features of human beings. And third, they ask whether Gilabert's account of dignity is not too distant from the everyday…Read more
  •  145
    This is a review article of Charles Beitz's 2009 book on the philosophy of human rights, The Idea of Human Rights. The article provides a charitable overview of the book's main arguments, but also raises some doubts about the depth of the distinction between Beitz's 'practical' approach to humans rights and its 'naturalistic' counterparts.
  •  44
    A Rights-Based Utopia?
    The Utopian 9. 2012.
    In the epilogue to his recent revisionist history of human rights, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History, Samuel Moyn considers the complex pressures exerted on the modern idea of human rights in light of its utopian status. One of these pressures, according to Moyn, consists in the “burden of politics,” i.e. the need for human rights to do more than offer “a set of minimal constraints on responsible politics,” but to present a bona fide political programme of their own. In this essay review,…Read more
  •  2
    Cosmopolitanism: Cultural, Moral, and Political
    In Gabriele de Angelis & Diogo P. Aurelio (eds.), Sovereign Justice: Global Justice in a World of Nations, Walter De Gruyter. pp. 25-46. 2010.
  •  1253
    Human Rights, Claimability and the Uses of Abstraction
    Utilitas 25 (4): 463-486. 2013.
    This article addresses the so-called to human rights. Focusing specifically on the work of Onora O'Neill, the article challenges two important aspects of her version of this objection. First: its narrowness. O'Neill understands the claimability of a right to depend on the identification of its duty-bearers. But there is good reason to think that the claimability of a right depends on more than just that, which makes abstract (and not welfare) rights the most natural target of her objection (sect…Read more
  •  47
    On ‘aristocratic’ dignity
    European Journal of Political Theory 19 (3): 399-407. 2019.
    In his recent book, Andrea Sangiovanni raises various objections against what he calls the “aristocratic” conception of dignity – the idea that dignity represents a kind of high- ranking social status. In this short article, I suggest that Sangiovanni gives the aristocrats less credit than they deserve. Not only do his objections target an uncharitably narrow version of the view, Sangiovanni surreptitiously incorporates aspects of the aristocratic conception of dignity into his own (supposedly n…Read more
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    Some Myths about Ethnocentrism
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (2): 209-224. 2018.
    Ethnocentrism, it is said, involves believing certain things to be true: that one's culture is superior to others, more deserving of respect, or at the ‘centre’ of things. On the alternative view defended in this article, ethnocentrism is a type of bias, not a set of beliefs. If this is correct, it challenges conventional wisdom about the scope, danger, and avoidance of ethnocentrism.
  •  149
    Political and Naturalistic Conceptions of Human Rights: A False Polemic?
    with S. Matthew Liao
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (3): 327-352. 2012.
    What are human rights? According to one longstanding account, the Naturalistic Conception of human rights, human rights are those that we have simply in virtue of being human. In recent years, however, a new and purportedly alternative conception of human rights has become increasingly popular. This is the so-called Political Conception of human rights, the proponents of which include John Rawls, Charles Beitz, and Joseph Raz. In this paper we argue for three claims. First, we demonstrate that N…Read more
  •  204
    Human Rights: Moral or Political?
    Oxford University Press. 2018.
    Human rights have a rich life in the world around us. Political rhetoric pays tribute to them, or scorns them. Citizens and activists strive for them. The law enshrines them. And they live inside us too. For many of us, human rights form part of how we understand the world and what must (or must not) be done within it. The ubiquity of human rights raises questions for the philosopher. If we want to understand these rights, where do we look? As a set of moral norms, it is tempting to think they c…Read more