H U M A N     R I G H T S

Philosophy 19A

 A Legal Studies Course

Professor Andreas Teuber

Department of Philosophy
Waltham, Massachusetts 02554
Tel. 781-736-2788

Office Hours:
Tuesday & Fridays 3:00-4:00 PM
and by appointment

T A.
Khahil Habib
Office Hours: To be announced

          What are human rights and what reasons are there for thinking that persons have rights? Are some rights more basic than others and what compelling interests, if any, justify their violation? The course will look closely at international human rights policies and the moral and political issues to which they give rise as they are embedded in actual, concrete cases.

   Course Syllabus

   Course Requirements

   Electronic Reserve




       Opening sections of the course will be devoted to an examination  of the rights of civilians and non-combatants in time of war, at Hiroshima, during the fire-bombing of Dresden, at Mylai, and  The Nuremberg Trials.

Discussion will include the role considerations of human rights ought to play in the foreign policy of any country as well as an examination of the role such considerations actually have played most recently in Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, China & Tibet, Haiti, Iraqi Kurdistan, Chechnya, as well as Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Burma, Indonesia, East Timor, Somalia, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Guatamala , El Salvador, Nicaragua, and  South Africa.

 Discussion will also include: territorial integrity and the ethics of humanitarian intervention, state sovereignty and human rights violations, the role of international peacekeeping forces,   the significance and effectiveness of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, the responsibilities of individuals and states to alleviate world hunger and famine, the moral and political issues surrounding the plight of the morality of torture, and  refugees and homeless persons.

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Philosophy 19a and Legal Studies
Professor Andreas Teuber
Spring  2001


January 16th
Introduction and Organization
January 19TH What is a Human Right?
Minogue, "The History of the Idea of Human Rights" (ELRS)
 Cranston, "What are Human Rights?" (ELRS)
 Locke, Second Treatise on Government (CHAPTER II ONLINE), (ELRS)
 Richard Wasserstrom, Rights, Human Rights, and Racial Discrimination (ONLINE) (A HUMAN RIGHTS EXTRA)
 Joel Feinberg, Wasserstrom on Human Rights (ONLINE) (A HUMAN RIGHTS EXTRA)
 Louis Pojman, Are Human Rights Based on Equal Human Worth? (ONLINE) (A HUMAN RIGHTS EXTRA)
 Mordecai Roshwald, The Concept of Human Rights (ONLINE) (A HUMAN RIGHTS EXTRA)
 Richard Gale, Natural Law and Human Rights (ONLINE) (A HUMAN RIGHTS EXTRA)
 Richard Lillich, The Constitution and International Human Rights (ONLINE) (A HUMAN RIGHTS EXTRA)
January 23rd
The Moral Reality of War
Walzer, JUST AND UNJUST WARS, pp. 3-47
Walzer, "Naked Soldiers," JUST AND UNJUST WARS, pp. 138- 144; 
Walzer, "The Theory of Aggression" JUST AND UNJUST WARS, 
 pp.51-85; 109-124
January 26th Non-Combatant Immunity (1)
Walzer, JUST AND UNJUST WARS, pp.127-137; 144-174
Nagel, "War and Massacre" ONLINE (ELRS) 
Richard Brandt, "Utilitarianism and the Rules of War" ONLINE (A HUMAN RIGHTS EXTRA!) 
Mavrodes, "Conventions and the Morality of War,"
Richard Wasserstrom, "Three Arguments Concerning the Morality of War" ONLINE (A HUMAN RIGHTS EXTRA!) 
January 30th
Non-Combatant Immunity (2)
"War and Innocence," INTERNATIONAL ETHICS, pp. 90-7
Alexander, "Self-Defense and the Killing of Non-Combatants,"

Walzer, "Guerrilla War and Terrorism," JUST AND UNJUST WARS, 
pp. 176-206

Walzer, "War and Peace in the Jewish Tradition" (ELRS)
February 2nd Churchill╠s Decision to Bomb the German Cities and
Truman╠s Decision to Bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Walzer, JUST AND UNJUST WARS, pp. 251-62; pp. 263-68.
Walzer, "World War II: Why Was This War Different?" ONLINE (A HUMAN RIGHTS EXTRA!) 
February 6th
War Crimes: Nuremberg and Mylai
Wasserstom, "The Relevance of Nuremberg" ONLINE (ELRS);
Sanford Levinson, "Responsibility for Crimes of War" ONLINE (ELRS)
Walzer, JUST AND UNJUST WARS, pp. 287-327; 
David Malament, "Selective Conscientious Objection & the Gillette Decision" ONLINE (ELRS)
February 9th TheDevelopment of Human Rights in International Law
J. Roland Pennock, "Rights, Natural Rights, and Human Rights █ A General    View" (ELRS)
Moynihan, "The Poltics of Human Rights" (ELRS)
 David Forsythe, Human Rights in U. S. Foreign Policy: Retrospect and Prospect (ONLINE) (A HUMAN RIGHTS EXTRA)
Driscoll, "The Development of Human Rights in Intl. Law," (ELRS) 
Douglas Husak "Why There Are No Human Rights"  (ELRS)
Louis Henkin, "International Human Rights as 'Rights'"  (ELRS)
 Louis Henkin, The United Nations and Human Rights (ONLINE) (A HUMAN RIGHTS EXTRA)
 James Nickel, Are Human Rights Utopian? (ONLINE) (A HUMAN RIGHTS EXTRA)
 Louis Henkin, U. S. Ratification of Human Rights Conventions(ONLINE) (A HUMAN RIGHTS EXTRA)
U. N. Declaration and other International Agreements (WEBSITE)

Paper topics for the first paper will be handed out on Friday,
February the 9th. The paper is due on Friday, March the 2nd, in class.

February 13-16
Human Rights Discussion Week
Parts One and Two of the film BREAKER MORANT or the film JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG will be shown during the week of the 13th of February.  The bulk of class time will be devoted to discussing the issues raised during the first four weeks of the course as well as a discussion of strategies for answering the Paper Topics handed out on Friday the 9th.
WEEK 6 Midterm Recess
February 19 - February 23

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Primary texts will be available at the University Book Store:

  Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars, Basic Books
  Charles Beitz et al. (eds.), International Ethics, Princeton University Press
  Henry Shue, Basic Rights, Princeton University Press
  Michael Ignatieff, The Warriors Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience, Owl Books
  Martha Minow, Between Vengeance and Forgiveness, Beacon Press
  Desmond Tutu, No Future Without Forgiveness, Doubleday
         There will also be a specially prepared collection of readings available on the WEB Electronic Reserve (ELRS) accessible by Password.  To reach Electronic Reserve, you may click here:
 http://www.brandeis.edu/cgi- bin/eres/view.pl 
or type the URL into your browser window and hit "Return." These articles are available to you on the WEB if you enter the appropriate code information.  Type in "PHIL19A" for the course number and then the password. You may download any article for your own personal use.  See Articles on Electronic Reserve.  A limited number of these articles will also be available at the Reserve Desk in Goldfarb to use in the Library.

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 The following articles are available on the WEB through Electronic Reserve (ELRS) accessible by Password.  To reach Electronic Reserve, you may click here: 

http://www.brandeis.edu/cgi- bin/eres/view.pl 
or type the URL into your browser window and hit "Return." These articles are available to you on the WEB if you enter the appropriate code information.  You may download any article for your own personal use. The Library has put these articles ONLINE as PDF Files. To read the articles, you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat, then click on the icon below to download it for free.

(1) "War and Massacre" ONLINE  
by Thomas Nagel
(29)  "Human Rights: A Western Cultural Bias?"
  by Richard Schifter
(2)  " "Utilitarianism and the Rules of War" ONLINE
  by Richard Brandt
 (30)  "Towards Democracy"
  by Andrei Sakharov
(3)  "War and Peace in the Jewish Tradition"
  by Michael Walzer
(31)  "Gorbachev Interview by the Washington Post & Newsweek"
  Mikhail Girbachev
(4)  "The Relevance of Nuremberg" ONLINE
  by Richard Wasserstrom
(32)  "Speech to the U. N. General Assembly"
  by Mikhail Gorbachev
(5) "Responsibility for Crimes of War" ONLINE
   by Sanford Levinson
(33)  "Report on Iran"
  Amnesty International
(6)  "Selective Conscientious Objection & the Gillette Decision" ONLINE
  by David Malament
(34)  "Iraqi Chemical weapons Use in Kurdistan"
  by Peter Galbraith and Christopher Van Hollen, Jr.
(7)  "The History of the Idea of Human Rights"
  by Kenneth Minogue
(35)  "Speech on Salmon Rushdie Affair" (1989)
  by Hojjat ol-Eslam ╬Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani
(8)  "What are Human Rights?"
  by Maurice Cranston
(36)  "On Salmon Rushdie and Civil Liberties"
  by Leon Wieseltier
(9)  "The Politics of Human Rights"
  by Daniel P. Moynihan
(37)  "The United States and Yugoslavia╠s Wars"
  by David C. Gompert
(10) "The Development of Human Rights in Intl. Law,"
  by Dennis J. Driscoll
(38)   "Collective Spinelessness:  U. N. Actions in the Former Yugoslavia"
  by Thomas G. Weiss
(11) Excerpt from "Second Treatise on Government" (ONLINE),
  by John Locke
(39)  "How Much Force in Humanitarian Intervention?"
  by Raimo Vayrynen
(12)  "Rights, Natural Rights, and Human Rights █ A General View"
  by J. Roland Pennock
(40)  "Humanitarian Intervention in the Former Yugoslavia"
  by Stanley Hoffmann
(13)  "Why There Are No Human Rights"
  by Douglas Husak "
(41)  "A Treatise on International Law (1912)"
  by L.  Oppenheim
(14)  "International Human Rights as ╬Rights╠"
  by Louis Henkin
(42)  "Revision of Oppenheim (1955)"
  by H. Lauterpacht
(15)  "Human Rights and Foreign Aid: Forging an Unbreakable Link"
  by Tom Harkin
(43)  "A Treatise on International Law (1895)"
  by W. E. Hall.
(16)  "Human Rights and Foreign Assistance Programs"
  by Hugo Adam Bedau
(44)  "Intervention in International Law (1921)"
  by E. C. Stowell
(17)   "Human Rights and Social Justice"
  by Charles Beitz
(45)  "Domestic Jurisdiction, Intervention & Human Rights"
  by Thomas Buergenthal
(18)  "Human Rights as a Neutral Concern"
  by Thomas Scanlon
(46)  "The Ethics of Intervention"
  by J. Bryan Hehir
(19)  "Constraints, Goals, and Moralism in Foreign Policy"
  by Douglas MacLean
(47)  "Human Rights and Intervention"
  by Marc Wicclair
(20)  "Can A Human Rights Policy Be Consistent?"
  by Abraham M. Sirkin
(48)   "Nationalism, Nation-State, and the United Nations"
  by Elizabeth Smith and H. Gene Blocker
(21)  "Law Day Speech on Human Rights"
  by Cyrus Vance
(49)  "The Narcissism of Minor Difference"
  by Michael Ignatieff
(22)  "Commencement Address at Notre Dame"
  by Jimmy Carter
(50)   "The Seductiveness of Moral Disgust"
  by Michael Ignatieff
(23)  "Establishing a Viable Human Rights Policy"
  by Jeanne Kirkpatrick
(51)  "Twelve Point Program for the Preventiuon of Torture"
  by Amnesty International
(24)  "╬Human Rights╠: The Hidden Agenda"
  by Irving Kristol
(52)   "The Case for Torture"
  by Michael Levin
(25)  "Human Rights in the Reagan Years: A Reply to Irving Kristol"
  by Richard Schifter
(53)  "Torture in the Eighties" (Excerpt)
  by Amnesty International
(26)  "Reform And Human Rights:  The Gorbachev Record"
  by the Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe
(54)  "On Not Feeding the Starving"
  by Garrett Hardin
(27)  "The Reagan Adminstration╠s Human Rights Record"
   by Holly Burkhalter, Human Rights Watch
(55)  "Reconsidering the Famine Relief Argument"
  by Peter Singer
(28)  "Human Rights and U. S. Foreign Policy:  A Mandate for Leadership"
   by Amnesty International
(56)  "Poverty and Food: Why Charity is Not Enough"
  by Thomas Nagel

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Class Times

 The course will meet on Tuesdays, and Fridays from 12:10 PM to 1:30 PM in Shiffman 219.


     Three  papers are required on topics growing out of the readings and class discussions. The papers should be about 7 pages in length, preferably typewritten. Paper topics will be available at least ten (10) days before a paper is due. It is wise to make a copy of a paper before handing in the original. If you are working on a computer, make a back-up.


Human Rights Logs (Journals)

     You  shall also be asked to keep a log or journal throughout the semester.  The log should not be used for note-taking or for  jotting down quotations or for making commentaries on the readings (although you may wish to use a separate note-book for these tasks), but should be reserved exclusively to give and develop your own answers to certain basic questions on human rights issues.  Questions will arise throughout the semester, questions for which there may not necessarily be any, easy or obvious answer, and these questions will be singled- out and identified as questions for the Human Rights logs.  Arrangements shall also be made to have these questions ON LINE and to make it possible for anyone in the class to put their answers on a BULLETIN BOARD as well as the opportunity to comment upon and respond to the answers and commentaries of other students in the class. The Class Bulletin Board is located at  


or type the URL into your browser window and hit "Return." To access the discussions on the Bulletin Board, you will need to be registered and enrolled in the course.


 There will be a short-answer quiz in class towards the end of the semester.  There will be no other written examinations, final or otherwise.


     Grading will be broken down as follows: 35% for your strongest essay, 30% for your next best effort, and 25% for the essay which is least successful of the three. Participation in class and/or in discussion on the Web/Bulletin Board will count 5% and the quiz will make up for the remaining 5%. count 10%.


Attendance is required.  You are allowed two unexcused absences.  Any further absences will have an impact on your final grade.


     A few films will be shown during the semester in the Audio-Visual Room of the Library among them, BREAKER MORANT and THE POLITICS OF FOOD (times to be announced).

Small Group Discussions

     In a course this large discussion groups can be very helpful. Occasional discussion sections will be scheduled especially after paper topics are handed out and before a paper is due. Discussion groups will give you an opportunity to explore some of the complex issues of the course in greater depth.

Office Hours

     Professor Teuber will hold office hours from 3:00 to 4:00 PM on Tuesdays and Fridays and by appointment. His office is located in RABB, Room 306 (Tel. 736-2787).


      If you wish to leave messages for Professor Teuber, you may do so on his Voice Mail at -736-2787 or at his e- mail address: TEUBER@brandeis.edu. You may also wish to visit his Home Page at Teuber Home Page



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March 1, 1999

URL: www.stanley.feldberg.brandeis.edu/~teuber/Courses.html
Andreas Teuber's Home Page