Date of Award

Fall 12-11-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS)



First Advisor

Jessica Berry


The concept of Human Rights today holds the same sanctity as the divine right of kings. Underpinning Human Rights is a concept of a Human as an enduring metaphysical entity, a concept that has been inscribed onto bodies throughout history. Human Rights, as we think of them, say, in the context of international politics, operate through an ethics of equivalence, which is to say that underpinning these rights is an assumption of equality of all Humans universally. This ethic abstracts from the very Human beings it claims to represent, and it rests on the claim that there is an essence embedded within them that is inalienable, eternal, and equivalent in every Human. The problem is that these doctrines do not actually make people equal; they instead allow Humans to be viewed in abstraction from everything that makes them the persons that they are. My task is to challenge this concept.


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