International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research
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Tuesday 27 February 2024






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Who is the 'Human' in Human Rights ? A Levinasian Reflection

[ Qui est l'Homme dans les Droits de l'Homme ? Une Réflexion Levinasienne ]

Volume 13, Issue 2, February 2015, Pages 654–658

 Who is the 'Human' in Human Rights ? A Levinasian Reflection

Pascal Ally Hussein1

1 Department of English and African Culture, Institut Supérieur Pédagogique of Bukavu, P.O. Box 854, Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Original language: French

Copyright © 2015 ISSR Journals. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We are living in a period where public opinion is unanimous in the defence of Human Rights, as the protesters are always far outnumbered by the partisans. This paper neither takes a side nor acts as a judge in disputes between supporters and protesters, but offers a constructive criticism of the theory and praxis of Human Rights. Thus, in an attempt to extend the scope of traditional criticism whose only target was the concept of 'Right,' this essay reflects on the essential identity of Man, the beneficiary of the Rights. It walks in the footsteps of Levinas in the laying of the practice of the 'unconditional duty to the Other' as the foundation of Man's Humanity and as the objective foundation of the Rights.

Author Keywords: receiver, unconditional duty to the Other, owner, proprietor, the face of the Other.

Abstract: (french)

Nous vivons une époque où la défense des Droits de l'Homme jouit de la faveur générale, le nombre de voix protestataires étant toujours scandaleusement inférieur à celui de partisans. Cet article ne se veut ni une prise de position ni un arbitre des querelles entre les défenseurs et les contestataires, mais une critique constructive de la théorie et de la praxis des Droits de l'Homme. Ainsi, s'efforçant de déborder le cadre de la critique traditionnelle qui avait pris pour cible le seul concept de 'Droit', cet essai s'interroge-t-il sur l'identité essentielle de l'Homme, le bénéficiaire de Droits. Il pose, à la suite de Levinas, la pratique du 'devoir inconditionnel envers Autrui' comme fondement de l'Humanité de l'Homme et comme fondement objectif des Droits.

Author Keywords: destinataire, devoir inconditionnel envers Autrui, possesseur, propriétaire, le visage de l'Autre.

How to Cite this Article

Pascal Ally Hussein, “Who is the 'Human' in Human Rights ? A Levinasian Reflection,” International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 654–658, February 2015.