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Conferences & lectures

Philosophy Lecture Series: Human Rights, Democracy, and the Conception of Persons as Equals

Lecture by Jiewuh Song, Post-doctoral Fellow, Yale University

Date & time
Friday, February 13, 2015
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Jiewuh Song, Post-doctoral Fellow, Yale University


This event is free


Henry F. Hall Building
1455 De Maisonneuve W. Room H-1220

Wheelchair accessible


In her talk, Professor Song will argue for a human right to democracy. She understands this right as offering, in a way that is consistent with understanding persons as equals (i) an institutional safeguard against threats to basic interests in political participation; and (ii) a solution to the problem of coordinating diverse political opinions.

Her argument issues from a general account of human rights as including in their content a conception of persons as equals. It is thus also a rejection of what she calls the discontinuity thesis, or the influential view that democracy is robustly egalitarian in a way that human rights are not. She argues that the considerations to which proponents of the discontinuity thesis appeal "about political obligation, self-determination, and toleration" fail to make the thesis persuasive.

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