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Georgia State University Research Foundation, Inc. (Atlanta, GA 30302-3999)
Andrew Altman (Project Director: March 2006 to September 2008)

Seminars for Higher Education Faculty
Education Programs

$111,837 (approved)
$111,837 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2006 – 9/30/2007

Philosophical Perspectives on Democracy, Law, and Human Rights

A four-week seminar for fifteen college and university teachers on philosophical questions relating to democracy, law, and human rights.

Democracy, the rule of law and human rights are three core concepts in current political and legal thought. Few persons deny that these are worthy ideals, but conflicting understandings of these concepts has generated debate among contemporary philosophical thinkers. This seminar will examine that debate through an historically-informed discussion of the writings of some of its main participants. Among the questions to be addressed are: What is democracy? What role does public deliberation play in a properly functioning democracy? What is the rule of law? What value does the rule of law possess? Can the rule of law come into conflict with democracy? What rights are human rights? Is the idea of human rights culturally biased? And: Is there a human right to democracy? The main purpose of the seminar is to enable its participants to contribute to the current debate on these questions and to bring their understanding of that debate to their teaching.