Paul Kucharski
Manhattanville College
What does it mean to say that a person has dignity, and what explains her dignity? Linda Zagzebski argues that personal dignity entails both infinite and irreplaceable value. Initially she grounds the former claim in the power of rationality and the latter in the uniqueness of one’s subjective lived experience. Later she grounds both in the power of rationality, understood in terms of reflective consciousness. I argue that the latter account is an improvement upon the former but that needless problems arise from both accounts because she conflates properties considered in the abstract with properties instantiated in concrete persons and she fails to recognize an ambiguity in the notion of incommunicability or uniqueness. I also argue that the more fundamental account of rationality should be given not in terms of reflective consciousness but in terms of the ability to understand particulars in light of universals.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/ipq202124163
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,410
External links

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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Right to Dignity: Terminological Aspects.Eglė Venckienė - 2011 - Jurisprudencija: Mokslo darbu žurnalas 18 (1):91-109.
Undignified Bioethics.Alasdair Cochrane - 2010 - Bioethics 24 (5):234-241.
Human Dignity and the Right to Assisted Suicide.Baumann Holger & Schaber Peter - 2017 - In Sebastian Muders (ed.), Human dignity and assisted death. Oxford University Press. pp. 218-229.
Nature of Dignity and Human Dignity.Vasil Gluchman - 2017 - Human Affairs 27 (2):131-144.
Human Dignity.Theo Kobusch - 2019 - In Ludger Kühnhardt & Tilman Mayer (eds.), The Bonn Handbook of Globality: Volume 2. Springer Verlag. pp. 1299-1314.


Added to PP index

Total views
11 ( #856,016 of 2,519,871 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #406,012 of 2,519,871 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes