Home :: HR Scholarship

The scholarship listed on the Philohr Society's website comes from philosophers at universities in all cultures on all five continents. The titles of the works listed are in alphabetical order by continent, nation-state, and author's name. Because the 192 nations in the world with the highest rankings in human rights are also the most prosperous, and the nations with the worst rankings in human rights are the most impoverished, the listing of philosophical works is preceeded by works on freedom by Nobel Laureates in Economics: Hayek in 1974; Friedman in 1976; Buchanan in 1986; Sen in 1998. Islamic scholarship on 'Human Rights' has a distinct listing, and includes political, legal, and sociological works as well as contemporary philosophical works by eminent Muslim philosophers.

Nobel Laureates in Economics:

"The Constitution of Liberty" (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1960), Dr. F.A. Hayek

"Free to Choose" (Harcourt, 1979), Dr. Milton Friedman

"Limits of Liberty" (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1975), Dr. James Buchanan
"Calculus of Consent" (Univ. of Michigan Press, 1962), Dr. James Buchanan
"Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty" (Liberty Fund Press, 1999), Dr. James Buchanan
"Rationality and Freedom" (Harvard University Press, 2002), Dr. Amartya Sen


 South Africa

- 'The Relevance of Ideology to Ethnic Conflict' (Kampala, 2002), Dr. A. Rukooko Byaruhanga (Spec: Human Rights), Professor of Philosophy, Makerere University

Asia - The Liberty Fund lists the ancient Sumerian civilization as the "earliest-known written appearance of the word 'freedom'." And the I Ching was already an ancient text when Confucius used it as the foundation for building his philosophy of virtue: The oracle 'Ko' of the I Ching is the hexagram for freedom from tyranny. Whether 4,300 years ago in western-Asia (Middle East) Sumeria or 3,300 years ago in east-Asia China, the continent of Asia is arguably the earliest source of writing on human freedom.

 Hong Kong
 Selected works of Dr. Chad Hansen (Spec: Chinese Philosophy, Phil of Language, Taoism), Professor of Philosophy, University of Hong Kong, and President, Australasian Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy:

- 'What does Confucius add to Human Rights?' (London, 1999).
- 'How Confucian Values are Relevant to Human Rights Issues,' (Hong Kong, 1999).
- 'Asian Values and Human Rights,' (Melbourne, 1999).


- In the Name of Identity (Penguin Press, 2003), Amin Maalouf

- Ethics in Context, (Polity Press, 2001), Dr. Gernot Bohme (Spec: Phil of Nature, Ancient Phil, Aesthetics), Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Technische Universitat Darmstadt

- 'Are Human Rights computable? A Representation of a Basic Defect of 'Humanitarian Intervention', (Meggle, G. (ed.), Humanitare Interventionsethik, Paderborn: Menthis 2004), Dr. Harald Wohlrapp (Spec: Phil of Science, Logic), University of Hamburg

- 'War for Human Rights?', (German Journal for Philosophy 48, 2000), Dr. Harald Wohlrapp (Spec: Phil of Science, Logic), University of Hamburg

 Northern Ireland
- Rights and Reason, (McGill-Queen's U. Press, 2003), Dr. Jonathan L. Gorman (Spec: Metaphysics, Analytic Phil, Phil of History), Chair, Dep't of Philosophy, Queen's University of Belfast


Islam - The personal example set by the Prophet in emancipating slaves was faithfully followed by the first four Caliphs of Islam, who had known Muhammad personally. The life, Sunnah, Final Sermon at Arafat, and hadith of Muhammad are often foundational in Islamic scholarship for the inquiry into the Philosophy of Human Rights.

- Human Rights in Islam, (Cairo, 1978), Ali Abdul-Wahid Wafi

- Reason, Freedom and Democracy in Islam
, (Oxford, 2000), Dr. Abdolkarim Soroush

- Human Rights in International Law, (Kuwait, 1984), Abdul-Aziz Sarhan


- Islam and Human Rights, (Beirut, 1980), Muhammad H. Khidir
- Human Rights in the Arab Nation, (Beirut, 1986), Husayn Jamil


   Representative works by Dr. Ioanna Kucuradi (Spec: Ethics, Human Rights, Political Philosophy), former Chair, Department of Philosophy, Hacettepe University, and long-time President of the Turkey Philosophical Society:
- 'Philosophy and Human Rights' in Philosophical Foundation of Human Rights, (Ankara, 1982).
- 'The Concept of the State from the View-Point of Human Rights,' (Ankara, 1983).
- 'Freedom and Social Reform' in Freedom, Progress and Society, (Delhi, 1986).
- 'Tolerance and the Limits of Toleration' in Diogenes, (Berghahn Books, 1996).
- 'Freedom of Thought: What is This?' (Istanbul, 1998).
- 'Human Rights as the Principal Aim of National Policies,' Turkish Academy of Sciences, (Ankara, 1998).
- 'Universal Human Rights and Their Different Implications for Multiethnic and Multireligious Societies' in World, Islam and Democracy, (Ankara, 1999).
- 'Human Rights from a Philosophical Viewpoint,' (Sivas, 2000).

-'Identity, Cultural Identities, and Human Rights,' (Ankara, 2002), Dr. Harun Tepe (Spec: Epistemology, Ethics), Chair, Dep't of Philosophy, Hacettepe University

North America



 United States

On Being Free, (University of Notre Dame Press, 1977), Dr. Frithjof Bergmann (Spec: Continental Philosophy, Existentialism, Social Phil), Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Michigan

- The Philosophy of Human Rights, (Wadsworth, 1989), Dr. Morton Winston (Spec: Ethics, Cognitive Sci, Political Phil), past Chair, Department of Philosophy, College of New Jersey, and twice Chair, Amnesty International

- Puzzle of Equality, (Michie Co., Law Publishers, 1967), Ronald P. Sokol

- Freedom Evolves, (Viking, 2003) Dr. Daniel C. Dennett (Spec: Phil of Mind, Phil Psychology), Tufts University

- Objectivity, (Ashgate, 2004), Dr. Tibor Machan (Spec: Social-Polit Phil, Ethics, Marxism), Chapman U.
- Human Rights and Human Liberties, (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1975), Dr. Tibor Machan, Chapman U.

- Modern Liberty, (Norton, 2007), Charles Fried, Harvard Law School

South America


- 'Ethics, War, and Peace,' (Porto Alegre: Edipucrs, 2004), Dr. Nythamar de Oliveira (Spec: Ethics), Professor of Philosophy, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul

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