Book Summary: On Human Rights: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 1993

I recently prepared a series of book summaries for my human rights presentation for Leadership Calgary. I thought it might be good to put them on my website as well. These were intended to be "capsule reviews" and so are quite short.

On Human Rights: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 1993
Stephen Schute and Sesan Hurley, Ed.
1993, Basic Books
ISBN 0-465-05224-X

This book is based on the Oxford University/Amnesty International annual conference. It is a series of essays from a variety of writers on the theory of human rights. Many of these essays are quite thought provoking, though it should be noted that the target audience appreciates material a little on the heavier side.

I particularly liked the essay "Human Rights, Rationality, and Sentimentality" by Richard Rorty. It discusses the way groups of people infantalize or dehumanize others as a prerequisite for violating their human rights. That is, people need to see others as less than human so that, in effect, they are not violating the rights of humans. This essay gave me much to think about, especially with connections to "The Psychology of War".