Document Type : Research Article


Assistant Professor, Department of Political Sciences, Kharazmi University


Universality is considered as one of the most important characteristics of human rights principles. The crucial problem is how the universal principles of human rights could be applied to the particular situations. This article aims to discuss on philosophical and hermeneutic basis of human rights, comparing two versions of universality, which are based on “deontological” and “teleological” conceptions. Although the distinction between these two trends is primarily current in moral philosophy, in the contemporary hermeneutics they have been accepted as two interpretative approaches. Kant’s deontological approach requires the universality of human rights interpreted within a formalistic and content-free framework, which has constituted the basis of mainstream conceptions of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Criticizing the deontological view, this article defends the teleological approach toward the universality of human rights, based on contemporary philosophical hermeneutics specially Paul Ricoeur’s outlook. I argue that this approach can provide the philosophical requirements for interaction between the universality of human rights on one hand and the cultural and local contents of various societies on the other hand and offers a “thick” conception of human rights principles. 


Main Subjects


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