© 2014

Human Rights and Human Nature

  • Marion Albers
  • Thomas Hoffmann
  • Jörn Reinhardt
  • First volume to provide a comprehensive overview of naturalistic accounts on human rights

  • Addresses the role that human nature plays in the foundation of human rights

  • Provides clear insights as to how transformations of the human affect the idea of human rights

  • Highlights how human rights theory is being informed by current legal, ethical and medical issues


Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 35)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Marion Albers, Thomas Hoffmann, Jörn Reinhardt
    Pages 1-7
  3. The Role of Nature in Human Rights Discourse – Foundations and Limitations

  4. Species Manipulation and the Transformation of Human Nature – Challenges to Human Rights

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 267-274

About this book


This book explores both the possibilities and limits of arguments from human nature in the context of human rights. Can the concept of human nature provide a basis for understanding fundamental rights? Is it plausible to justify the claim to universal validity of human rights by reference to human nature? Or does the idea of human rights in its modern, post-1945 manifestation go, in essence, beyond human nature? The essays in this volume introduce naturalistic positions and their concomitant critiques. They address the role that human nature both actually does and potentially may play in forming a foundation for and acting as an exemplification of fundamental rights. Beyond that, they give attention to the challenges caused by Life Sciences. Human nature itself is subject to transformation and transgression in an unprecedented manner. The essays reflect on issues such as reproduction, species manipulation, corporeal autonomy, and enhancement. Contributors are jurists, philosophers, and political scientists from Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Poland, and Japan.


Alterations of Corporality And Body Images Anthropological Arguments in Human Rights Basis for Human Rights Collection of Human Tissue Samples Commodification of the Human Body Concept of Human Nature Controversies on Enhancement Enhancement, Autonomy and Responsibilty Human Body Corporeal Autonomy Human Nature and Human Rights The Confucian Example Human Nature, Human Dignity, Human Rights Human Rights and Basic Needs Human Rights and Human Nature Human Rights in Human "Nature" Human rights without naturalism Invasions in Human Reproduction Natural Normativity of the Human Life Naturalism and Human Rights Nature in Kant‘s Theory of Rights Protective Function of Human Rights Self-Determination and Corporeal Autonomy Transformations of Nature by Enhancement

Editors and affiliations

  • Marion Albers
    • 1
  • Thomas Hoffmann
    • 2
  • Jörn Reinhardt
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Philosophy DepartmentOtto-von-Guericke University MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  3. 3.Faculty of LawUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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