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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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Dignity: The Case Against

Dignity: The Case Against

(p.143) 7 Dignity: The Case Against
Understanding Human Dignity

Michael Rosen

British Academy

Is talk of human dignity mere humbug? That is, is the attribution of dignity to human beings the erection of a façade, flattering to human self-esteem but lacking in objectively justifiable content—a façade behind which (at best) judges and courts can get on with the practical business of developing a jurisprudence of human rights, shielded from the intrusive scepticism of philosophers and other seekers after rational foundations for legal practice, or one which (at worst) allows religious doctrines to be advanced at the expense of hard-won rights of autonomy and self-determination while keeping their dogmatic motivations concealed?

Keywords:   human dignity, Kant, religion, philosophy, autonomy, respect

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