The Global Rights of Humanity in Krausistic Philosophy

22 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2010

See all articles by Claus Dierksmeier

Claus Dierksmeier

Global Ethic Institute; Humanistic Management Network

Date Written: December 27, 2010


A quite unique phenomenon in the history of human rights theory is the legal philosophy of Krausismo. Rooted in the works of the German philosopher Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781-1832), the Krausistic tradition blossomed in Spain from the mid-1860s until the reign of Franco, and it spread thence to South and Central America. In 1803, the then 22-year old German philosopher Krause emancipated himself from the nationalistic mindset of his days and postulated a cosmopolitan catalogue of human rights: Krause fought for global justice, both with regard to synchronic (distributional and procedural) problems of fairness as well as to its diachronic (i.e. intergenerational) dimensions; he argued for the protection of minorities and marginalized groups as well as for redress of past discrimination; and he tried to advance the institutionalization of regional and global law in the name of the rights of each and all world citizens.

Largely unnoticed in the Anglo-American world, his theory impacted many a legal institution in Latin America. Especially in Uruguay and Argentina, the Krausistic tradition was able to mark out argumentative space against the theories of contractualism, which predominated in the Anglo-American World. In the following, I will reconstruct some of the main arguments of Krause’s cosmopolitan theory of human rights. After (1) a brief survey on the international reception of Krause’s philosophy, and (2) an introduction into Krause’s philosophical methods, I reconstruct (3) the argumentative logic behind his human rights doctrine, and then show (4) how it translated into concrete human and social rights policies in Uruguay and Argentina.

Suggested Citation

Dierksmeier, Claus, The Global Rights of Humanity in Krausistic Philosophy (December 27, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Claus Dierksmeier (Contact Author)

Global Ethic Institute ( email )

Waldhäuser Strasse 23
Tübingen, 72076

Humanistic Management Network ( email )

St. Gallen


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