A preliminary consequential evaluation of the roles of cultures in human rights debates

Shing Bun Benedict CHAN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In the debates on the roles of cultures in the ethics of human rights, one of them concerns Confucianism and Ubuntu, two prominent cultures in East Asia and Southern Africa, respectively. Some scholars assert that both cultures have values that are sharply different from the West, and conclude that the West should learn from these cultures. The aim of this paper is to philosophically investigate the roles of cultures in the ethics of human rights. I first introduce the works of Bell, Metz and others on community values such as relationships and harmony in Confucianism and Ubuntu. I then argue that even if their interpretations were correct, their works still would not justify the conclusion they want. I show that it is better to use consequential evaluation rather than cultural evaluation to justify human rights. An example of human rights to health and privacy is discussed. This paper thus offers some preliminary but important philosophical investigations and addresses practical issues of consequential evaluation related to human rights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-181
Number of pages20
JournalFilosofia Theoretica
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Confucianism
  • Consequential evaluation
  • Cultural evaluation
  • Health
  • Human rights
  • Privacy
  • Ubuntu

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