Human and nonhuman rights


  • Darlei Dall'Agnol Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina



human rights, post-human existence, post-human rights, personhood


This paper tries to rethink the notion of human rights and to evaluate whether we should redefine them in light of the main challenges presented by advances in technoscience (genetic engineering, robotics, nanotechnology etc.). It claims that there are basic, intrinsic rights to personhood, which, on the one hand, allow us to justify a moral claim to a posthuman existence (should it become possible) and to attribute rights to artificial agents, while, on the other hand, granting the moral entitlement to remain human. This shows that the notion of human rights is far from becoming obsolete, as claimed by some scholars. The paper is divided into five parts. It (1) presents reasons for rethinking the notion of “a right” in order to apply it to beings other than humans (e.g., nonhuman animals, robots etc.); (2) discusses the metaethical problem concerning the meaning of “a right”; (3) presents a basic system of rights that are intrinsic to personhood and that can be attributed to different kinds of agents (human or not); (4) analyzes whether there is a right to a posthuman existence or a right to remain human; and finally, (5) presents some reasons to justify such a system of rights.


Não há dados estatísticos.

Biografia do Autor

Darlei Dall'Agnol, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

Doutor em Filosofia pela University of Bristol

Professor Titular da UFSC



BENTHAM, J. The principles of morals and legislation. New York: Hafner Press, 1948.

BUCHANAN, A. Beyond humanity? Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

CRUFT, R.; LIAO, S. M.; RENZO, M. (Eds.). Philosophical foundations of human rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Rev. Filos., Aurora, Curitiba, v. 32, n. 55, p. 4-26, jan./abr. 2020

CRISP, R. (Ed.). Griffin on human rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

DALL’AGNOL, D. Care and Respect in Bioethics. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2016.

DALL’AGNOL, D. La ética de Wittgenstein y el problema del relativismo. València: Publicaciones de la Universidad de València, 2016.

WALL, F. Bonobo. The forgotten ape. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.

EDMUNDSON, W. A. An introduction to rights. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

EVANS, T. Human rights fifty Years on. A reappraisal. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998.

FUKUYAMA, F. Our poshuman future: Consequences of the biotechnology revolution. London: Profile Books, 2003.

GRIFFIN, J. On human rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

HABERMAS, J. Die Zukunft der menschilichen Natur. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2001.

HOBBES, T. Leviathan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

HOHFELD, W. N. Fundamental legal conceptions as applied in judicial reasoning and other essays. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1919.

HUXLEY, A. Brave new world. New York: Harper, 2006.

KANT, I. Practical philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

KURWEIL, R. The singurality is near: When humans transcend biology. New York: Viking Penguin, 2005.

LANPHIERS, E. et al. Don’t Edit the Human Germ Line. Nature, 519, 26 March 2015. p. 41.

LEWIS, C. S. The abolition of man. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1943.

LIN, P.; ABNEY, K.; BEKEY, G. A. (Eds.). Robot ethics. The ethical and social implications of robotics. London/Mass.: The MIT Press, 2012.

LOCKE, J. Two treatises of government. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

PARFIT, D. On what matters. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. OVIEDO CONVENTION. 1997. Retrieved from: <>.

PIETRZYKOWSKI, T., & STANCIOLLI, B. (Eds.). New approaches to the personhood in law. Essays in legal philosophy. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2016.

RAWLS, J. Political liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993.

SANDEL, M. The case against perfection. Harvard: Belknap Press, 2007.

SAVULESCU, J.; BOSTROM, N. (Eds.). Human enhancement. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

SAVULESCU, J. et al. (Eds.). Enhancing Human Capacities. Oxford: Wiley-Brackwell, 2011.

SHUE, H. Basic rights. Subsistence, affluence, and U.S. foreign policy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980. The B.R.A.I.N. Retrieved from: . TUGENDHAT, E. Vorlesungen über Ethik. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1994. PARIJS, P. Real freedom for all. What (if anything) can justify capitalism? Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. UNIVERSAL DECLARATION ON BIOETHICS AND HUMAN RIGHTS. 2005. Retrieved from: <>. Access in: 22 fev. 2018. UNIVERSAL DECLARATION ON HUMAN RIGHTS. 1948. Retrieved from: <> WITTGENSTEIN, L. Philosophical investigations. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.




Como Citar

Dall’Agnol, D. (2020). Human and nonhuman rights. Revista De Filosofia Aurora, 32(55).