David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Metaphilosophy 41 (4):464-480 (2010)
Abstract: Human rights developed in response to specific violations of human dignity, and can therefore be conceived as specifications of human dignity, their moral source. This internal relationship explains the moral content and moreover the distinguishing feature of human rights: they are designed for an effective implementation of the core moral values of an egalitarian universalism in terms of coercive law. This essay is an attempt to explain this moral-legal Janus face of human rights through the mediating role of the concept of human dignity. This concept is due to a remarkable generalization of the particularistic meanings of those "dignities" that once were attached to specific honorific functions and memberships. In spite of its abstract meaning, "human dignity" still retains from its particularistic precursor concepts the connotation of depending on the social recognition of a status—in this case, the status of democratic citizenship. Only membership in a constitutional political community can protect, by granting equal rights, the equal human dignity of everybody.
|Keywords||Kant human rights collective civil rights individual conceptual connection morality liberal rights legal duty legal concept human dignity|
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Citations of this work BETA
Jaakko Kuosmanen (2013). What (If Anything) Is Wrong with Trading Refugee Quotas? Res Publica 19 (2):103-119.
Mehmet Aközer & Emel Aközer (forthcoming). Basing Science Ethics on Respect for Human Dignity. Science and Engineering Ethics:1-21.
John J. Davenport (2011). Just War Theory, Humanitarian Intervention, and the Need for a Democratic Federation. Journal of Religious Ethics 39 (3):493-555.
Varun Gauri & Daniel M. Brinks (2012). Human Rights as Demands for Communicative Action. Journal of Political Philosophy 20 (4):407-431.
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