Author Archives: Dan Edelstein

About Dan Edelstein

Dan Edelstein is William H. Bonsall Professor of French and, by courtesy, professor of history at Stanford University. He is the author of The Terror of Natural Right: Republicanism, the Cult of Nature, and the French Revolution (Chicago, 2009), and The Enlightenment: A Genealogy (Chicago, 2010). He is currently completing a book manuscript on the history of natural rights from the wars of religion to the age of revolutions.

Is There a “Modern” Natural Law Theory? Notes on the History of Human Rights

Historians of human rights would do well to clarify, or simply to recognize, which aspect of human rights they are writing about, since the field covers such a wide array of subjects. Samuel Moyn, for instance, is often read as making arguments about the language or content of human rights, when he has claimed only to be addressing the history of practices.1 Conversely, studies that trace human rights discourse back to antiquity mostly sidestep analyses of practices and tend to focus on far more general Continue reading → Continue reading →