Rama Alshoufani
Stockholm University
Human beings as imperfect rational beings face continuous challenges, one of them has to do with the lack of recognizing and respecting our inner dignity in present times. In this collective paper, we address the overall theme—Philosophy of Education in a New Key from various perspectives related to dignity. We address in particular some of the constraints and possibilities with regard to this issue in various settings such as education and society at large. Klas Roth discusses, for example, that it is not uncommon that the value of human beings has to do with their price in, inter alia, their social, cultural, political and economic settings throughout the world. He argues that such a focus does not necessarily draw attention to the inner dignity of human beings, but that human beings ought to do so in education and society at large. Lia Mollvik discusses views of inner and outer dignity, and argues that there needs to be a balance in between them, and that the balance ought to be acknowledged in education. Rama Alshoufani discusses the classification of human beings in terms of various diagnoses related to the asserted dysfunction of the brain, and she argues that such classification does paradoxically not necessarily respect people with such diagnoses as ends in themselves. On the contrary, she argues that their inner dignity is not respected, but that it should be. Other such failures are due to the lack of inner dignity when it comes to Children’s rights as discussed by Rebecca Adami, and to the lack of recognition of human beings’ vulnerability as discussed by Katy Dineen. Fariba Majlesi criticizes a too strong emphasis on substantive notions of humanist education, which seem to hinder new ways of thinking; she argues that it is necessary to acknowledge the latter in and through education in order to preserve the dignity of human beings. Dignity, it is argued throughout the paper, has an inner moral worth, and is beyond price.
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DOI 10.1080/00131857.2020.1851189
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