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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Human Rights and the Limits of Critical Reason

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Rolando GaetePrincipal Lecturer in Law, South Bank University, London

ISBN13: 9781855213326
ISBN: 185521332X
Published: May 1994
Publisher: Routledge
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print

The rationalization of power has been an enduring feature of modernity, assigning to human rights the task of subjecting the excesses of power to the scrutiny of critical reason.;Gaete examines this task in the wake of the crisis of modernity, when the belief that man can draw principles out of his own ground has lost its authority and when the very possibility of an enlightened, disinterested reason is being questioned. The aim of the text is not to offer another critique of rights, but to investigate how both rights and critiques are transformed by the rhetoric of power.;The author traces the discourse of judicial criticism as a series of rhetorical operations, bringing to light the paradoxes, antinomies and ""truth games"" that permeate the field of human rights. He interrogates the discourse of modern humanism and examines how its claims to being the law and the metaphysics of a modern state shape the bond between state and citizen.;Gaete carries his argument across the fields of post-Neitzschean philosophy, Anglo-American jurisprudence, political science, cultural and legal studies opening ground for the analyses of the rhetoric of rights.

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Part 1 Truth games and language games: a discourse of truth; language games; the disorder of discourse.
Part 2 Casuistry: the internal order of human rights; law and time; government and happiness; the public space and the exception; the tension between human rights and reason.
Part 3 The will to right: the genealogy of man; the will; the right.
Part 4 The metaphysics of the state: the self-presentation of the state: the self-presentation of power; the grammar of power; a realized myth.