Philosophy of Human Rights

Claim to Universality of the principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, will examine the definition, essence, historical base and efficacious significance of human rights. I will emphasize questions about the universality of the philosophy of human rights within the context of cultural pluralism, and probe the correlation between human rights and diverse cultural traditions, particularly Islamic culture. My research will explore the concept of human rights through comparative historical and philosophical studies and will focus on the following questions: Do human rights exist?  Are the principles promoted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights truly universal? Or, as some scholars have suggested, are they originated merely from Western cultural worldviews and hence inapplicable to non-Western philosophical and cultural traditions? Should a government’s claims to particular and local traditions, and not cosmopolitan principles, determine the scope of rights dedicated to its citizens? Is the historically dominant European and American definition of human rights too focused on political rights, and consequently neglectful of social rights such as rights to a decent occupation, health care, and similar human needs? How do we balance responsibility to society with individual rights, social harmony with individual freedom and, in a word, political rights with social rights? Are human rights compatible with Islam, or do the values of the Islamic and other non-Western cultures provide alternative ethics of social arrangement? Are Islamic values a genuine alternative to European-American human rights, or only a cover for totalitarian rule?