Human Rights Theories 

This class is taught in 11-1 by Andrew Heard

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Other than those from the two textbooks, all readings will be available electronically, through WebCT or online.
Jan 11: Organizational Meeting

Jan 18:
Donnelly, Chapters 1, 2 & 3

Jan 25:
Allan Gewirth, "Why There Are Human Rights", (1985) 11 Social Theory and Practice, pp.235-248. Available through WebCT
Douglas N. Husak, "Why There Are No Human Rights", (1984) 10 Social Theory and Practice, pp.125-141. Available through WebCT

Class Debate: Satris, Issue 6 "Should Human Cloning Be Banned?"

Feb 1:

Michael Freeden, “Utility and Rights” , ch. 6 in Michael Freeden, Rights Available through WebCT
Allan Gewirth, "Are There Any Absolute Rights?" in Jeremy Waldron (ed), Theories of Rights Available through WebCT
Andrew Heard, "The Challenges of Utilitarianism and Relativism" (online)

Class Debate: Satris, Issue 14, "Is Torture Ever Justified?"

Feb 8:

Donnelly, Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7 (pages 57-123)

Feb 15:

NO CLASS - Spring break!

Feb 22:

Christopher W. diCarlo, "The Evolution of Morality," in Humanist in Canada, Winter 2002/2003, No. 143. Available through WebCT

Lori Gruen, "Animals," in: Peter Singer (ed.), A Companion to Ethics Available through WebCT

Michael Ruse, "The Significance of Evolution," in: Peter Singer (ed.), A Companion to Ethics. Available through WebCT

Class Debate: Satris, Issue 16, "Does Morality Require Vegetarianism?"

 Mar 1:

Trong & Fletcher, "Anencephalic Infants Should Be Used as Organ Donors"

Berger, "Considering Anencephalic Infants Dead at Birth Would Be Harmful"

Jeffrey Whitman, "The Many Guises of the Slippery Slope Argument," (1994) 20 Social Theory and Practice, 85-97

Class Debate: Satris Issue 17: "Is Physician Assisted Suicide Wrong?"

Student Presentations

Student Presentations start on Mar 8. Remember that your papers are due the week before your presentation date. Critiques are due in the class in which the essay your are critiquing will be presented.

  • You must also submit your essay to
  • Class ID: 3708672  Password: WMC3220

All essay files will be available online during the week preceding their presentation.

Mar 8

  • Talia - Religion
  • Drew - Expression
  • Colin - Democracy
  • Elyssa - Sexual Orientation

Mar 15

  • Rachel - Health Care & Human Rights in Africa
  • Neelam - Caste in India
  • Jehan - Islam & Human Rights
  • Samrah - Sexism & Islam

Mar 22

  • Trevor - Capital Punishment
  • Dana - Targetted Killing
  • Anastasia - Conscription

Mar 29

  • Aleksejs - Right to Food
  • Jennifer - Slavery & the Sex Trade
  • Awa - Rights of Migration
  • Naush - International Enforcement

Apr 5

  • Harjit - Capital Punishment
  • Aachal - Torture
  • Clark - Torture
  • Taren - Human Rights & the Development Tradeoff
  • Adam - Privacy & Public Surveillance