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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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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 13 April 2021

Constructing the Meaning of Human Dignity: Four Questions

Constructing the Meaning of Human Dignity: Four Questions

(p.113) 5 Constructing the Meaning of Human Dignity: Four Questions
Understanding Human Dignity

Catherine Dupré

British Academy

This chapter argues that human dignity has a number of established and significant legal meanings and considers how the concept has been constructed. Using the provisions on human dignity enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights as an example of a recent legal formulation of human dignity in Europe, the chapter considers four key questions, namely what human dignity is, who makes human dignity, when human dignity emerged as a legal concept and why human dignity has been used as a legal concept. It is argued that understanding human dignity involves considering a range of possible answers to these questions. Methodological awareness of this plurality of narratives and narrators gives dignity its dynamism and usefulness as a legal concept.

Keywords:   human rights, core definition, transformation, democracy, image of human beings, histories and narratives, judicial interpretation

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