The Self, Ethics & Human Rights: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Self, Ethics & Human Rights

1st Edition

By Joseph Indaimo


288 pages

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Paperback: 9781138211315
pub: 2016-07-11
Hardback: 9780415742108
pub: 2015-01-13
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315814896
pub: 2015-02-11
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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.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Rights Claims & Counter-Claims: A Clash of Discourses, Chapter One: Tracing the Subject, Chapter Two: Modern Human Rights & Postmodern Agency, Part A: Lacan’s Subject-of-Lack, Chapter Three: The Subject Divided & the Subject of Loss, Chapter Four: Human Rights through the Lacanian Specular, Chapter Five: The Ethical Interrogations of Impossible Desire, Part B: Levinas’s Subject for-the-Other, Chapter Six: The Self, the Face, Alterity & Ethics, Chapter Seven: Alterity, Human Rights & Responsibility for the Other, Chapter Eight: Ethics & Beyond: Human Rights, Law & Justice of the Many, Conclusion: The Self, the Other & Human Rights, Bibliography, Index

About the Author

J A Indaimo obtained his PhD from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He has over 10 years’ experience lecturing in law, focussing on areas such as international law, human rights law, law and society, and legal philosophy.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Civil Rights
LAW / Jurisprudence
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
PHILOSOPHY / Political