A Warrant for Human Rights : the Relevance of Compassion in Liberal States

University essay from Lunds universitet/Mänskliga rättigheter

Abstract: This paper is a discussion on the relevance of compassion regarding human rights in liberal states. The study focuses a great deal on detangling and distinguishing compassion from other related terms and meanings that are commonly used as equivalent, somewhat differing and sometimes separate from each other. For this, Martha Nussbaum's account on compassion is used as a starting-point. Compassion is then applied to human rights in the context of liberal states. Moreover, the main conclusion drawn is that compassion, in its most commonly used sense, implies an attempt or a response to relieve another from suffering, and consequently, the human rights practice in liberal states is present.

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