Menschenwürde und das Bedürfnis nach Respekt

In Ralf Stoecker (ed.), Menschenwürde – Annäherungen an einen Begriff. öbv&hpt. pp. 19-34 (2003)

Authors
Peter Baumann
Swarthmore College
Abstract
Human dignity seems very important to us. At the same time, the concept ‘human dignity’ is extraordinarily elusive. A good way to approach the questions “What is it?” and “Why is it important?” is to raise another question first: In virtue of what do human beings have human dignity? Speciesism – the idea that human beings have a particular dignity because they are humans – does not seem very convincing. A better answer says that human beings have dignity because and insofar as they are persons. I discuss several versions of this idea as well as several objections against it. The most promising line of analysis says that human beings cannot survive psychologically without a very basic form a recognition and respect by others. The idea that humans have a special dignity is the idea that they owe each other this kind of respect. All this also suggests that human dignity is inherently social. Non-social beings do not have dignity – nor do they lack it. It is because we are social animals of a certain kind that we have dignity – not so much because we are rational animals.
Keywords Human Dignity  Respect
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Human Dignity as a Right.Shaoping Gan - 2009 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):370-384.

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