Human Rights from the perspective of postmodern thought. Some aspects and basic considerations

Krystyna Wojcik Radkowska


Postmodern philosophers have announced the “death” of the great ideas elaborated by modern philosophy. The concept of human rights thus faces a school of thought that announces the death of the subject, the end of man, history and ideology. In this context, two aspects of human rights are being discussed: their universal nature and the autonomy of the subject. In addition, the crisis of the national state has revealed the degradation of rights. For this reason, it is proposed that we should stop treating human rights declarations as proclamations of universal meta-legal values and, instead, begin to investigate the real functions that human rights fulfill in the modern state. Postmodern thinkers demonstrate that the idea of human rights does not support «petrification», in the sense of the absence of a renewal of philosophical reflection and of legal narratives. In addition, they do not consider that the «legalisation» of human rights in the structures of the national state is convenient.We must worry about man, in his pure state of existence, in naked life.

Received: 19 June 2018
Accepted: 23 October 2018
Published online: 11 December 2018


human rights; postmodernity; human nature; national state; homo sacer

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