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ERIC Number: ED161787
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Hierarchy of Human Rights.
Brockett, Charles
To establish an objective conception of human rights, one must first identify basic needs intrinsic to all people and then determine whether these needs are or can be hierarchically ordered. Many scholars have conducted research on the concept of human needs, particularly in the area of human rights. Among these scholars are Abraham H. Maslow ("The Psychology of Science: A Reconnaissance"); J.C. Davies ("Human Nature in Politics"); and Christian Bay ("The Structure of Freedom"). Basic human needs identified by these and other scholars provide a general outline for a hierarchy of human rights. Most basic of these rights are satisfaction of physiological and safety needs. Physiological rights are interpreted to include the right to life and to bsic requirements such as food, water, and air. Safety rights include protection from physical or psychic injury. Next in importance after physiological and safety rights are gratifications such as love, esteem, and self-actualization. The author concludes that this objectiVe and hierarchical conception of human rights avoids drawbacks of traditional definitions of human rights based on (1) historical and cultural traditions, (2) philosophical systems such as Marxism or positivism, or (3) a general perception of equal and universal human worth. Difficulties related to traditional conceptions of human rights include cultural and ideological parochialism, vagueness, difficulty of definition, and confusion of natural desires and natural rights. (DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (New York, New York, August 31-September 3, 1978)