CFP: Human Rights

Posted on November 15, 2007


“Human Rights”
Essays in Philosophy: A Biannual Journal
Volume 9, Number 2 (June 2008)

Human rights have become the dominant framework by which the contemporary world morally evaluates particular laws and nation-states in terms of providing the social, political, and economic conditions required for an individual to be able to lead a good life. However, there are numerous practical, substantive, and theoretical issues related to human rights which are philosophically controversial. Essays in Philosophy invites submissions for an issue dedicated to the philosophy of human rights.

Example topics include:

The Nature and Scope of Human Rights: What should be included within the category of “human rights”? Should it include such things as education, national self-determination, indigenous rights, or the right to a clean environment? How do we proceed in situations where human rights conflict? Are all human rights equal, or can they be ordered in a hierarchy?

Implementation and Enforcement of Human Rights: What means are international organizations or particular countries justified in using to promote adoption of, and adherence to, human rights standards? How do we determine when, if ever, intervention in the operation of a sovereign state is justified to protect human rights?

Justification / Criticism of Human Rights: On what basis are human rights justified: equality, autonomy, human dignity, fundamental human interests…? To what extent do contemporary doctrines of human rights depend on notions of human nature and human interests which are culturally contingent or biased? If different cultures – such as liberal and communitarian cultures, or Western and Eastern cultures – have differing views on what constitutes human nature, identity, or essential human interests, then what implications does this have for the project of negotiating, defining, justifying, and implementing “Universal Human Rights”?

Submission deadline: 1 March 2008

Editor: David Heise, Humboldt State University

All submissions should be sent to the General Editor via


Michael F. Goodman, General Editor
Essays in Philosophy: A Biannual Journal
The Department of Philosophy
Humboldt State University
Arcata, CA