Comments on Griffin Klemick’s «Hannah Arendt, Human Rights and the priority of community»

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Griffin Klemick’s very interesting and thought-provoking paper intends to clarify what remains unclear in Arendt’s critique by asking if it applies to the principles of the framework of these declarations, that is to say, to the universality of mankind they entail or if it applies to the insufficiency of their political enforcement and, therefore, to their inefficiency to defend any people from the violence of sovereign states as it has been shown throughout the twentieth century. Griffin Klemick interprets Arendt as objecting at bottom to the metaphysical and axiological priority ascribed to human rights-bearing and argues that a revised framework of human rights can avoid this objection without rejecting their universality. Such revision requires to take into account the priority of community and to understand, as Arendt does, that humanity is not an ideal, but a condition, inseparable as such from participation in a common world. By doing so, Klemick argues, we overcome the idea that human dignity comes from natural Human Rights, when, in reality, it results from a participation in a common world made possible by the legal and normative frameworks of a community.
Period3 Jun 2019
Event titleCanadian Existencial and Phenomenological Theory and Practice Society Annual Conference
Event typeConference
LocationVancouver, Canada
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Hannah Arendt
  • Human Rights
  • Human Condition
  • Philosophy
  • Law