Monday, 27 February 2017

Needs vs fulfillment of needs

With regard to human rights there is always this dilemma: are we asking for too much?  Is the ideal so high, that the real is unable to live up to it?  Like in the case of some African country which I'm told has the best child-protection policy, really superb.  Unfortunately there is no infrastructure to realize this policy. Hence the very policy meant for protection, turns out to trap children and cause harm!  But 'how much' is 'too much'?

So there is the idea of minimalism: human rights for sustenance and not for good or luxury.  They set the least standards to be met, rather than the highest goals to be achieved.  Makes sense. "It is one thing to establish a need, another to show that there are serious grounds for doubting whether that need can be met" (Price 2013, p. 11).

What's surprising is that I'm beginning to see very close links between the human rights discussions and the philosophy of the neo-pragmatists.  It is as if, they are speaking the same thing, from either end of the platform.

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