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Are Human Rights Wrong? A Human-Language Ethic Approach to Global Poverty

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image of Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
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In this article, I offer an alternative approach to global poverty by challenging the current ethic of human rights. I argue for what I see as a true human-language ethic, influenced by Marx, which appeals to the claim that global poverty not only directly harms the poor, but actually harms everyone. As human beings, we all have needs that we must satisfy in order to survive. Contrary to human rights’ treatment of individuals as atomistic beings, I argue that a sense of community and connection to the global poor is necessary to meet their (as well as our) human needs. In addition, since labor is a necessary vehicle for meeting such needs, the poor must have access to means of employment. They (and we) must dialogue and labor to meet the needs of all human beings.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago, Email:


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