What is Human Dignity?

Lebech, Mette (2004) What is Human Dignity? Maynooth Philosophical Papers (ed. by M. Lebech, Maynooth). pp. 59-69.

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The English expression 'human dignity' consists of the predicate 'human' and the noun 'dignity'. The adjective qualifies the noun, thus determining the kind of dignity in question as the human kind. The adjective has a similar function in the expression 'human being': Here it qualifies the noun 'being', to determine the kind of being in question as a being of the human kind. 'Human' is etymologically related to the Latin for earth, humus, so that 'human' means what is 'earthly' (as an adjective), or an 'earthling' (as a substantive). Generally speaking it means what is proper to the kind that 'we' are, or to the species of rational animals, referring in particular to their kindness (humanity) and their fallibility ('all too human').

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Human Dignity
Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > Philosophy
Item ID: 392
Depositing User: Mette Lebech
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2006
Journal or Publication Title: Maynooth Philosophical Papers
Publisher: Faculity of Philosophy, NUI Maynooth
Refereed: Yes

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