Human Dignity, Capital Punishment, and an African Moral Theory: Toward a New Philosophy of Human Rights

Journal of Human Rights 9 (1):81-99 (2010)
Abstract
In this article I spell out a conception of dignity grounded in African moral thinking that provides a plausible philosophical foundation for human rights, focusing on the particular human right not to be executed by the state. I first demonstrate that the South African Constitutional Court’s sub-Saharan explanations of why the death penalty is degrading all counterintuitively entail that using deadly force against aggressors is degrading as well. Then, I draw on one major strand of Afro-communitarian thought to develop a novel conception of dignity as the view that what is special and inviolable about human nature is our capacity for harmonious relationships. I argue that a principle of respect for the dignity of such a capacity entails that the death penalty is an indignity but that deadly force in self- or other-defense need not be, and I contend that this African- inspired principle promises to do no worse than the more Western, Kantian principle of respect for autonomy at accounting for a broad range of human rights.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,727
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Thaddeus Metz (2012). African Values and Capital Punishment. In Gerard Walmsley (ed.), African Philosophy and the Future of Africa. Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. 83-90.
Thomas W. Satre (1991). Human Dignity and Capital Punishment. Journal of Philosophical Research 16:233-250.
Shaoping Gan (2009). Human Dignity as a Right. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):370-384.
Doris Schroeder (2012). Human Rights and Human Dignity. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (3):323-335.
Thaddeus Metz (2014). Dignity in the Ubuntu Tradition. In Marcus Düwell (ed.), Cambridge Handbook on Human Dignity. Cambridge University Press. 310-18.
Gan Shaoping & Zhang Lin (2009). Human Dignity as a Right. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):370 - 384.
Manuel Toscano (2011). Human Dignity as High Moral Status. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 6 (2):4-25.
Katherine Eddy (2007). On Revaluing the Currency of Human Rights. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (3):307-328.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-02-01

Total downloads

41 ( #43,608 of 1,099,549 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #64,617 of 1,099,549 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.