The contribution deals with the concept of human rights from philosophical perspective. It tries to answer the question whether a rationally and universally valid definition of human rights is possible at all. In its first part a general characteristics of human rights is offered followed in its second part by the exploration of prevailing ways of justification of human rights in contemporary philosophy. It is argued that the basis of human rights is defined variously and that due to different values giving the legitimacy to human rights we have various lists of the latter. It is this ambivalent basis of human rights that subverts their moral authority.
Discursive ethics of law, Freedom, Human dignity, Human rights, Rationalistic natural law, Universal interests