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2 The Cross-Cultural Legitimacy of Universal Human Rights: Plural Justification across Normative Divides

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Chapter Summary

This chapter defends the view that, a plurality of differing but culturally well-grounded endorsement of universally applicable human rights should be elaborated. It addresses three hurdles: first, one might think that prospects are slight for having adherents of rivalling comprehensive doctrines, religions or ideologies in present-day world agree on one normative system of human rights. Second, if it were a fact, that adherents of rivalling normative traditions do agree on a set of universally applicable public norms should hardy count as normative justification of those norms. Third, a set of arguments in support of human rights, each argument internally well-grounded in a given normative tradition, hardly constitutes reasonable justification once it is admitted it may well be based on mutually incompatible premises. It can be concluded that a wide-ranging consensus on human rights across tradition-based normative divides in the present-day world appears to be feasible.

Keywords: cross-cultural legitimacy; human rights; normative divides; plural justification; public norms; tradition-based



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