The Relationship between Ideal and Reality—The Academic Starting Point of Human Rights Research Concretion
October 14,2014   By:CSHRS

Huo Guihuan

How can we move forward our cause of human rights so that we can further enhance China's international image of being a state that respects and protects human rights when scientific development is encouraged across the country today? Obviously, only abstractly discussing the notion and other aspects of human rights does not make any sense, for it will only come to a conclusion that lacks realistic pertinence as well as theoretically explanatory power. For that matter, only by concretizing human rights research  and making the research conclusions more targeted and theoretically convincing can we reach the above goal. Then, from the perspective of strict academic research, how can we make human rights research more concrete?

This article holds the view that if we want to make human rights research more academically concrete, we must be fully aware of the critical academic problem facing concretion process. We believe that throughout history the theoretical reason why it is hard to achieve concrete human rights research and why human rights issue was therefore used to attack other countries in terms of international relations is that researchers of human rights theory, human rights activists and alike all deem respect and protection of human rights as legally-binding and lofty ideal. In most cases, some people have not thought over the relation between such ideal and social reality and they do not know how to achieve that ideal --which helps the problem how to make human rights research more concrete surface. Therefore, if we want to respect, protect and ensure human rights, we must give top priority to the concreteness of human rights and work to put together ideal and reality.

We hold that, if we want to specify human rights research, we must start academically from the relationship between ideal and reality and undertake an in-depth research and study. In this paper, I will elaborate on this issue from three parts: First, are human rights an ideal? Second, we must view concreteness of human rights from the perspective of relations between ideal and reality. Third, breaking the "kingdom of ideas" is the fundamental solution of concrete humanistic studies.

I. Are Human Rights an Ideal?
If we want to show that an in-depth research on the relationship between ideal and reality is the academic starting point of human rights research concreteness, we must make it clear that the notion of human rights itself is an ideal. Then what is an ideal? After going through relevant documentations we come to a conclusion that the China's academia including philosophical community and psychological community haven't got a more appropriate definition than that is given by Ci Hai (a Chinese word dictionary):"(1) An achievable vision associated with goal; (2) as expected; satisfying."