Obligation as a Precursor of Law. Outlining a declaration of duties regarding others.


  • Castor M. M. Bartolomé Ruiz UNISINOS


Human rights, Obligation, Right, Human life, Alterity


The modern human rights discourse is a tributary of the philosophical framework that give rise to the rationalist discourse of the state of nature and of the natural rights inherent in that state of nature. In this way, human rights are trapped in the notion of law, without realizing, in many cases, that human life goes far beyond the law. The modern discourse of natural rights consolidated the notion of law as being a kind of metaphysical condition of the human being, which in turn established the notion of the individual self as the natural essence of the human. In this discursive equation, the self exists first with natural rights and the other are a secondary condition for its existence, with obligations towards it. We propose, in this essay, to present the arguments for a philosophical proposal that thinks of obligation as a foundation of law. To this end, will initially analyze Simone Weil´s theses on this subject. Subsequently, based on the thought of Emmanuel Levinas, among others, we will develop the main categories that support the arguments of responsibility and obligation as a precursor of law. The objective of this epistemic inversion is to contribute so that the human rights discourse is able to reframe the defense approaches in human life as a new ethical and not merely a legal horizon.

Author Biography

Castor M. M. Bartolomé Ruiz, UNISINOS

Professor de Filosofia da UNISINOS. Doutor em Filosofia pela Universidade de Deusto (Espanha)





Philosophy of Human Rights