"Aristotelian Phronesis, the Discourse of Human Rights, and Contemporary Global Practice"
Author: Salkever, Stephen.
POLIS, 33 (1):7-30; SI 10.1163/20512996-12340071 2016
Abstract: This essay outlines some fundamental differences between the evaluative and explanatory language of Aristotelian practical reason based on his empirical psychological theory of human development, on the one hand, and the late 20th and 21st century discourse of human rights based on a NeoKantian transcendent principle of universal human dignity on the other. To what extent are these two types of political discourse compatible in today's globalizing world? To the extent that they are not compatible, which should be preferred? My answer is that they are compatible and even complementary, but only if the Aristotelian framework is treated as more fundamental, and the rights-and-dignity perspective is understood as a potentially good political solution, for the time being, in the contemporary context of global politics.