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Understanding Human Dignity$
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Christopher McCrudden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265642

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265642.001.0001

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Response to Tollefsen and Cameron

Response to Tollefsen and Cameron

(p.501) 29 Response to Tollefsen and Cameron
Understanding Human Dignity

Robert P. George

British Academy

This chapter responds to the chapters by Christopher Tollefsen and Edwin Cameron. Although both authors argue from an understanding of human dignity in which the obligation to respect dignity is an obligation to favour the integral flourishing of the human person, the chapters are seen as offering deeply opposed and irreconcilable positions on central issues pertaining to sexual morality and marriage. The authors differ so fundamentally precisely because they have such profound differences about what constitutes and promotes the flourishing of human persons when it comes to sexuality and the choices people face and make in which sexual desire and judgements about what is intrinsically good and bad and right and wrong crucially figure. These differences reflect competing conceptions of the nature of the human person—that being whose integral good should be respected and favoured in all of our choosing and acting if, as both Professor Tollefsen and Justice Cameron believe, we have an obligation to honour human dignity.

Keywords:   human flourishing, John Rawls, marriage, sexual morality, nature of the human person

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