, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 139-141,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 20 Apr 2012


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With his ‘meta-ethical’ Principle of Minimal Psychological Realism which holds that moral prescriptions or ideals must be possible, or perceived to be possible, by creatures likes us, Owen Flanagan demanded attention for the feasibility of moral theories. In political philosophy a similar awareness underlies the plea for non-ideal theories of, e.g., human rights. The demand of practical feasibility is, however, sensitive for ideological appropriation. Particularly theorists belonging to the liberal camp begin to question the very idea of social human rights on grounds of practical infeasibility. In the first part of his article, Henning Hahn presents the central positions of the debate on the new minimalism in human rights taken by Amartya Sen, Maurice Cranston and Pablo Gilabert. Initially arguing that a minimalism of human rights on grounds of practical infeasibility alone proves unjustifiable, Hahn opens up, in the second part of his article, two further perspectives, which allow pr ...