„Wer sich aber zum Wurm macht …“ – Würde als Selbstverpflichtung

Authors
Katharina Bauer
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Abstract
Kant introduces a duty to oneself to respect oneself and to avoid servility – or not to make oneself a worm. I argue for a wider understanding of this duty: Persons ought to respect their own dignity as persons with autonomy, rationality, and morality, but also as personalities, who embody dignity and live a dignified life. A corresponds to Kant’s concept of duty as the necessity of an action done out of respect for the moral law, B is an obligation arising from the practical necessity that follows from one’s self-understanding as an individual personality in a socio-cultural context. A and B relate to two types of dignity that are discussed in current debates. I argue that both types of dignity are equally relevant for understanding and respecting one’s own dignity. Finally I discuss why, even though persons can behave like worms, others ought not to step on them.
Keywords Kant  dignity  duties to oneself  self-respect  servility
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DOI 10.1515/dzph-2018-0043
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