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ScholarOne - The Right to Live or to Live Well? Refugees' Quest for Entitlement. A Reflection through Aristotle's and Arendt's Lenses.
  • Clarisse Fagard
Clarisse Fagard
Global Campus of Human Rights

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The term “life” is undoubtedly a concept that legislators can no longer fail to understand in present times, certainly with a burning migration crisis at the forefront. The present study explores the intrinsic relationship between the concepts of “life” and “rights” through the lens of ancient philosophy, in particular from Aristotle’ seminal writing. The distinction between “Bios” and “Zoe”, as recognized by the latter, is analyzed and reconsidered in contemporary contexts, specifically within the framework of modern human rights and the challenges posed by the global migration crisis. Challenging thereby the philosopher Agamben, who maintains a dichotomy between the biological and the political body - albeit blurred by his conception of “naked life”, the study argues for a more nuanced interpretation of Aristotle’s oeuvre, which allows for the recognition of a complementary - if not inseparable - connection between biological life and political existence. Through a further interlacing with Hannah Arendt’s concept of “The right to have rights”, the article aims to apply this framework to the situation of refugees, emphasizing the intertwined nature of life and political recognition. In a forward-looking perspective, it is hoped to raise reflexive stances on the contemporary right to life, whose complete comprehending hinges on recognizing its innate political dimension.
10 Nov 2023Submitted to Advance
27 Mar 2024Published in Advance