David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Human Rights Review 13 (1):19-37 (2012)
I seek to advance enquiry into the philosophical question of in virtue of what human beings have a dignity of the sort that grounds human rights. I first draw on values salient in sub-Saharan African moral thought to construct two theoretically promising conceptions of human dignity, one grounded on vitality, or liveliness, and the other on our communal nature. I then argue that the vitality conception cannot account for several human rights that we intuitively have, while the community conception can do so. I conclude that, of plausible theories of human dignity with an African pedigree, the field ought to favour a community-based view and critically compare it in future work with the Kantian, autonomy-based view that dominates Western thinking about dignity.
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References found in this work BETA
W. E. Abraham (1962). The Mind of Africa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Deogratias Biembe Bikopo & Louis-Jacques van Bogaert (2010). Reflection on Euthanasia: Western and African Ntomba Perspectives on the Death of a Chief. Developing World Bioethics 10 (1):42-48.
United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (2005). Universal Draft Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. Developing World Bioethics 5 (3):197–209.
Kwame Gyekye (forthcoming). African Ethics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
H. L. A. Hart (1994). The Concept of Law. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Oritsegbubemi Anthony Oyowe (forthcoming). An African Conception of Human Rights? Comments on the Challenges of Relativism. Human Rights Review.
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