The Global Rights of Humanity in Krausistic Philosophy
22 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2010
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: Suggested Citation