Saving human rights from its friends : a critique of the imaginary justice of Costas Douzinas

Morss, John R. 2003, Saving human rights from its friends : a critique of the imaginary justice of Costas Douzinas, Melbourne University law review, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 889-904.

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Title Saving human rights from its friends : a critique of the imaginary justice of Costas Douzinas
Author(s) Morss, John R.
Journal name Melbourne University law review
Volume number 27
Issue number 3
Start page 889
End page 904
Publisher Melbourne University
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic
Publication date 2003-12
ISSN 0025-8938
1839-3810
Summary Costas Douzinas has argued that human rights arise from a universal but unconscious need for recognition of oneself by others as unique and whole. According to Douzinas, humans' activities and interrelationships are determined by their desires and human rights are a manifestation of those same deep characteristics. Because the basic desires are by their nature incapable of being satisfied, the aspiration for human rights is likewise doomed to frustration. Douzinas' analysis of human nature is derived from a reading of Jacques Lacan's theory of psychoanalysis in which an imaginary and a symbolic realm of experience are defined. Douzinas attempts a synthesis between the Lacanian imaginary and the ethical arguments of Emmanuel Levinas. It will be argued here that the synthesis proposed by Douzinas is itself doomed to failure and that Douzinas' negative approach to human rights and to justice should be rejected in favour of a positive approach.
Language eng
Field of Research 180114 Human Rights Law
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30004093

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Law
Higher Education Research Group
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