David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (3):323-335 (2012)
Why should all human beings have certain rights simply by virtue of being human? One justification is an appeal to religious authority. However, in increasingly secular societies this approach has its limits. An alternative answer is that human rights are justified through human dignity. This paper argues that human rights and human dignity are better separated for three reasons. First, the justification paradox: the concept of human dignity does not solve the justification problem for human rights but rather aggravates it in secular societies. Second, the Kantian cul-de-sac: if human rights were based on Kant’s concept of dignity rather than theist grounds, such rights would lose their universal validity. Third, hazard by association: human dignity is nowadays more controversial than the concept of human rights, especially given unresolved tensions between aspirational dignity and inviolable dignity. In conclusion, proponents of universal human rights will fare better with alternative frameworks to justify human rights rather than relying on the concept of dignity
|Keywords||Dignity Human rights Kant|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Deryck Beyleveld (2001). Human Dignity in Bioethics and Biolaw. Oxford University Press.
Ron Bontekoe (2008). The Nature of Dignity. Lexington Books.
James Griffin (2008). On Human Rights. Oxford University Press.
Immanuel Kant (1785/2002). Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. Oxford University Press.
Onora O'Neill (1996). Towards Justice and Virtue: A Constructive Account of Practical Reasoning. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Shaoping Gan (2009). Human Dignity as a Right. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):370-384.
Fabrice Jotterand (2010). Human Dignity and Transhumanism: Do Anthro-Technological Devices Have Moral Status? American Journal of Bioethics 10 (7):45-52.
Gan Shaoping & Zhang Lin (2009). Human Dignity as a Right. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):370 - 384.
Glenn Hughes (2011). The Concept of Dignity in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Journal of Religious Ethics 39 (1):1-24.
Katherine Eddy (2007). On Revaluing the Currency of Human Rights. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (3):307-328.
Thaddeus Metz (2012). African Conceptions of Human Dignity: Vitality and Community as the Ground of Human Rights. Human Rights Review 13 (1):19-37.
Jürgen Habermas (2010). The Concept of Human Dignity and the Realistic Utopia of Human Rights. Metaphilosophy 41 (4):464-480.
Manuel Toscano (2011). Human Dignity as High Moral Status. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 6 (2):4-25.
Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez, A Human Dignitas? The Contemporary Principle of Human Dignity as a Mere Reappraisal of an Ancient Legal Concept.
Martin Gunderson (2006). Human Rights, Dignity, and the Science of Genetic Engineering. Social Philosophy Today 22:43-57.
Donald Kirby (1985). Situating the Employee Rights Debate. Journal of Business Ethics 4 (4):269 - 276.
Thomas W. Satre (1991). Human Dignity and Capital Punishment. Journal of Philosophical Research 16:233-250.
Peter Baumann (2007). Persons, Human Beings, and Respect. Polish Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):5-17.
Thaddeus Metz (2010). Human Dignity, Capital Punishment, and an African Moral Theory: Toward a New Philosophy of Human Rights. Journal of Human Rights 9 (1):81-99.
Added to index2012-01-19
Total downloads125 ( #14,266 of 1,707,759 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #104,804 of 1,707,759 )
How can I increase my downloads?