International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Journal | Volume | Article


Menschenwürde und Menschenrechte

Über die Notwendigkeit der Verrechtlichung moralischer Ansprüche

Hans Jörg Sandkühler

pp. 19-33


In the debate on human rights the question is often raised – especially in philosophical and theological contexts – whether these rights require an ethical justification. In this form the question is misleadingly formulated, for it is necessary to distinguish between two dimensions of human rights, that of their genesis and of their validity. With regard to their emergence human rights have their grounds in moral claims. However, because in socio-cultural and political contexts there exist competing and conflicting moral intuitions, and there is no particular morality with a legitimate claim to universal validity in pluralistic societies, a system of positivised rights with a universal commitment is increasingly gaining in importance: the law of international human rights. Moral claims that justify the demands for human rights only attain their validity on account of their universalization by means of legalization. As juridical rights, the justification for the validity of human rights lies in themselves, they do not require any further ethical justification. From the perspective of a moderate form of legal positivism that does not separate rights and morality at the level of the genesis of norms and which is laden with human rights norms, the following topics will be discussed: 1. Moral intuitions and positive law; 2. Experience of injustice as a source of human rights; 3. The principle of neutrality in a democratic state under the rule of law; 4. Pluralism, relativism and law; 5. Human dignity as the foundation of human rights; 6. Justice and 7. Human dignity and social human rights and basic freedoms.

Publication details

Published in:

Biasetti Pierfrancesco, Menga Ferdinando G (2014) Human rights in a plural ethical framework. Metodo 2 (1).

Pages: 19-33

DOI: 10.19079/metodo.2.1.19

Full citation:

Sandkühler Hans Jörg (2014) „Menschenwürde und Menschenrechte: Über die Notwendigkeit der Verrechtlichung moralischer Ansprüche“. Metodo 2 (1), 19–33.