David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 32 (5):465 – 481 (2007)
This article presents Mencius' concept of human dignity in the Chinese Confucian moral tradition, focused on the context of long-term care. The double nature of Mencius' notion of human dignity as an intrinsic quality of human beings qua being human is analyzed and contrasted with the dominant Western account of human dignity as grounded in personhood. Drawing on the heuristic force of an interview with an elder person in Hong Kong, the insights of the Mencian theory of human dignity are used to provide a moral foundation for long-term care for elder persons in a context of diminishing personhood and shrinking autonomy.
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