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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Drafting Commercial Agreements

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The Self, Ethics and Human Rights

ISBN13: 9781138211315
Published: July 2016
Publisher: Routledge
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback (Hardback in 2015)
Price: £39.99
Hardback edition , ISBN13 9780415742108

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This book explores how the notion of human identity informs the ethical goal of justice in human rights. Within the modern discourse of human rights, the issue of identity has been largely neglected. However, within this discourse lies a conceptualisation of identity that was derived from a particular liberal philosophy about the 'true nature' of the isolated, self-determining and rational individual. Rights are thus conceived as something that are owned by each independent self, and that guarantee the exercise of its autonomy.

Critically engaging this subject of rights, this book considers how recent shifts in the concept of identity and, more specifically, the critical humanist notion of 'the other', provides a basis for re-imagining the foundation of contemporary human rights. Drawing on the work of Jacques Lacan and Emmanuel Levinas, an inter-subjectivity between self and other 'always already' marks human identity with an ethical openness. And, this book argues, it is in the shift away from the human self as a 'sovereign individual' that human rights have come to reflect a self-identity that is grounded in the potential of an irreducible concern for the other.

Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Jurisprudence
Part I: Introduction
1. Rights' Claims and Counter-Claims: A Clash of Discourses
2. Tracing the Subject
3. Modern Human Rights and Postmodern Agency

Part II: Lacan and the Subject-of Lack
4. The Subject Divided & the Subject of Loss
5. Human Rights through the Lacanian Specular
6. The Ethical Interrogations of Impossible Desire

Part III: Levinas's Subject for-the-Other
7. The Self, the Face, Alterity and Ethics
8. Alterity, Human Rights and Responsibility for the Other
9.Ethics and Beyond: Human Rights, Law and Justice of the Many

Part IV: Conclusion
10.The Self, the Other and Human Rights