The Politics of the Human (The Seeley Lectures)

The Politics of the Human (The Seeley Lectures)

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Anne Phillips
Cambridge University Press, 3/19/2015
EAN 9781107475830, ISBN10: 110747583X

Paperback, 158 pages, 21.6 x 14 x 0.9 cm
Language: English

The human is a central reference point for human rights. But who or what is that human? And given its long history of exclusiveness, when so many of those now recognised as human were denied the name, how much confidence can we attach to the term? This book works towards a sense of the human that does without substantive accounts of 'humanity' while also avoiding their opposite – the contentless versions that deny important differences such as race, gender and sexuality. Drawing inspiration from Hannah Arendt's anti-foundationalism, Phillips rejects the idea of 'humanness' as grounded in essential characteristics we can be shown to share. She stresses instead the human as claim and commitment, as enactment and politics of equality. In doing so, she engages with a range of contemporary debates on human dignity, humanism, and post-humanism, and argues that none of these is necessary to a strong politics of the human.

1. The politics of the human
2. Humans, with content and without
3. On not justifying equality
Rorty and Arendt
4. Dignity and equality
5. Humanism and post-humanism