“Human Rights” as One Third of the “Rights”

“Direitos Humanos” como um terço dos “Direitos”


  • Michiko Yusa Western Washington University


Human rights are basic and essential. Freedom, equality, justice, basic security (food, shelter, clothing), peace. But so are the earth rights (or the rights of the environment). And also the animal rights, or more broadly, “non-human” rights. These are rights that must be respected and protected by us, which in turn will protect and strengthen human rights. We need to move away from an anthropocentric formulation of the language of rights, and speak of “rights” more broadly, so that we do not lose sight of the fact that we are inhabitants on this planet and embraced in the bosom of magnificent nature. The more inclusive a “language we speak,” the more diverse and subtle voices do we become attuned to hear. Nishida Kitarō spoke of “seeing the form of the formless; hearing the sound of the soundless.” I apply this as a practical principle to deal with the larger environment-climate crises. Non-human beings including non-sentient things. This is an intellectual-spiritual perspective that runs deep in Nishida Kitarō’s philosophy and other Kyoto School thinkers’ thought. The more balanced a view of “rights” we cultivate—encompassing human, environmental, and all things on earth, the more flexible and robust a future path
can we find for our planet. This will clarify the course of action we need to take. At least this is my hope.
Keywords: Human Rights, Earth Rights, Non-Human Rights, Kyoto School.

Biografia do Autor

Michiko Yusa, Western Washington University

Professor Emeritus of Japanese and East Asian Studies at the Western Washington University.




Como Citar

Yusa, M. (2024). “Human Rights” as One Third of the “Rights”: “Direitos Humanos” como um terço dos “Direitos”. Modernos & Contemporâneos - International Journal of Philosophy [issn 2595-1211], 7(17), 3–22. Recuperado de https://ojs.ifch.unicamp.br/index.php/modernoscontemporaneos/article/view/5212