Inclusive dignity

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 23 (1):22-46 (2024)
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The idea of dignity is pervasive in political discourse. It is central to human rights theory and practice, and it features regularly in conceptions of social justice as well as in the social movements they seek to understand or orient. However, dignity talk has been criticized for leading to problematic exclusion. Critics challenge it for undermining our recognition of the rights of non-human animals and of many human individuals (such as children, the elderly, and people with disabilities). I argue that, on a plausible articulation of it, the idea of dignity does not lead to these exclusions and that it in fact helps defend an appropriately inclusive moral and political treatment of all individuals. Difficult issues about equality and diversity indeed arise, but a dignitarian approach can provide good answers to them or at least help make them clearer and more tractable.

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Pablo Gilabert
Concordia University

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References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - In Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37-108.
Dignity: Its History and Meaning.Michael Rosen - 2012 - Harvard University Press.
Respect and the Basis of Equality.Ian Carter - 2011 - Ethics 121 (3):538-571.

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