Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Agamben and the Politics of Human RightsStatelessness, Images, Violence$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John Lechte and Saul Newman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748645725

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748645725.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Human Rights in History

Human Rights in History

(p.23) Chapter 2 Human Rights in History
Agamben and the Politics of Human Rights

John Lechte

Saul Newman

Edinburgh University Press

In this chapter, Human rights in the formal modern sense are seen to have really come into being with the 1948 United Nations Declaration. However, there is also a strong eighteenth-century precedent in the form of the discourse of Natural Rights, and this is considered, as is Sophocles's Antigone. The key aspect of the chapter, however, is a return, in light of Arendt's philosophy, to the notion of slavery in Aristotle's philosophy and its Ancient Greek context. Hegel on slavery is also addressed; for the crucial point to note is that the dialectic of necessity and freedom plays a significant and determining role, not only in relation to the slave mired in necessity, but also with respect to the notion of freedom. Much of current political theory says that freedom is the essential part of the European citizen State, a State, it turns out, which those deemed still to be in a subsistence condition (necessity) cannot hope to enter.

Keywords:   1948 Declaration, Arendt, Aristotle, Antigone, Hegel, Natural Rights, necessity and freedom, slavery

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.