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Access_open Human Rights, and the Destructive Communications and Actions of Differentiated Society

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2011
Keywords communication, one-sided rationality, human rights, bare body and mind, inclusion, action, exclusion
Authors Wil Martens
AbstractAuthor's information

    This contribution raises two questions with regard to Teubner’s view on human rights. First and foremost, it asks how one might conceive of modern society as a threat to human beings. Attention is brought to bear on Teubner’s attempt to describe society as a matter of communication, and more specifically as a set of one-sided communication systems. In this regard, I scrutinise the attempt to describe the threat of society in terms of inclusion/exclusion and criticise the vacuity of the concept of inclusion. Secondly, it questions Teubner’s description of human beings that demand justice and protection by human rights. Are their demands about the bare existence of body and mind? Moreover, are these concerns identical to worries about the destruction of human presuppositions for the self-reproduction of functional social systems, as Teubner suggests? Against Teubner, I contend that human rights are actually about social human beings that ask for justice as acting beings, which claim does not coincide with presuppositions of societal subsystems.


Wil Martens
Wil Martens is Assistant Professor of Organisational Development and Senior Researcher at the Nijmegen School of Management at the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
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