This is a superb book. Boersema gives readers judicious, balanced selections from leading theoristshistorical and contemporaryon many controversial aspects of human rights. Boersema provides introductions that are clear, thorough, and eminently readable. This book sets a new standard for the teaching of human rights, both within political theory, and in connection with controversial policies.”
Robert Paul Churchill, George Washington University
David Boersema’s Philosophy of Human Rights combines the unity and accessibility of a single-authored text with the diverse and competing views of an anthology. It contains selections from such notable scholars as Alan Dershowitz, Ronald Dworkin, Richard Epstein, Joel Feinberg, Carol Gould, H.L.A. Hart, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Joseph Raz, joined together with introductory and explanatory text by the author. It is hard to imagine a more student-friendly approach.”
James P. Sterba, University of Notre Dame
David Boersema’s Philosophy of Human Rights is, above all, thorough and readable. It offers discussions of all the major questions about rights, from high theory to very specific practice. No one will have any difficulty reading and understanding these discussions, even when they get into matters that have been the subject of intricate and subtle inquiry in philosophical periodicals and books.
The book is unusual in combining the usually distinct functions of an anthology and a monograph. We get a wide array of discussions from the horse’s mouth, but we also get sensible linking material so that we know, pretty much, where we are at and why.
He has to be congratulated on this. I should think this book will have a very wide acceptance among teachers dealing with this important subject.”
Jan Narveson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo
I found Boersema’s approach to be engaging and refreshing. His writing is readable without sacrificing the theoretical precision and philosophical depth. The short selections from notable authorities featured in each chapter are judiciously chosen and well-edited, and the overall organization of the book covers many of the issues found in a typical undergraduate course on the philosophy of human rights
.This textbook is a welcome addition to the literature and will doubtless find a place in syllabi of many college courses
Human Rights Quarterly
David Boersema’s Philosophy of Human Rights is a lucid, unpretentious textbook
[Boersema] sidesteps jargon and generally suppresses his own opinions, allowing readers to observe the concerns, tendencies, and rhetorical moves that characterize the writings of modern-day rights theorists. The focus is not on cataloguing the various positions that recent theorist have taken, but on providing an understanding of how university-trained philosophers tend to parse, study, and apply rights concepts.”
Harvard Human Rights Journal
About the Author
David Boersema is the Douglas C. Strain Professor of Natural Philosophy and Distinguished University Professor at Pacific University in Oregon. He is the author of Pragmatism and Reference and Philosophy of Science, and coeditor of Spiritual and Political Dimensions on Nonviolence and Peace.