Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal

Volume 9, April 2016

Caroline Carr
Pages 9-16

Does the Dao Support Individual Autonomy and Human Rights?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights lists what have come to be called “first” and “second” generation rights. First generation rights are civil and political; second generation rights are social, economic, and cultural. Western and Asian nations are in disagreement about whether each of these rights is universal. While Western nations strongly believe that first generation rights should be universal, many “Confucian” nations insist that second generation rights precede first generation rights. After analyzing the Confucian values in detail, I conclude that Confucianism supports both generations of rights.