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Humanity Without Dignity: Moral Equality, Respect, and Human Rights

Andrea Sangiovanni
Format
Book
Published
Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2017.
Language
English
ISBN
9780674049215, 0674049217
Summary
Liberalism and our modern allegiance to human rights rest on a foundational commitment to moral equality. But why, given our differences, must we always treat one another as equals? Most who have attempted to answer this question have appealed to the idea of dignity, the idea that all human beings possess an intrinsic worth--grounded in capacities, for example, to reflect, reason, or love--that raises us up in the order of nature. In Humanity without Dignity, Andrea Sangiovanni rejects this predominant view and offers a radical alternative. He argues that, to understand our commitment, we must begin with a consideration not of equality but inequality. Rather than search for a chimerical value-bestowing capacity possessed to an equal extent by each one of us, we ought to ask: Why and when is it wrong to treat others as inferior? He comes to the conclusion that our commitment to moral equality is best explained by a rejection of cruelty rather than a celebration of rational capacity. He then traces the impact of this fundamental shift for our understanding of human rights, and the place of anti-discrimination norms in that understanding.--
Contents
  • Part one. Foundations
  • Against dignity
  • Moral equality, respect, and cruelty
  • Why and when is discrimination wrong?
  • Part two. Human rights
  • The concept of human rights : the broad view
  • International legal human rights and equal moral status
  • Fundamental rights, indivisibility, and hierarchy among human rights.
Description
x, 308 pages ; 25 cm
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 257-302) and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View

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    a| Part one. Foundations -- Against dignity -- Moral equality, respect, and cruelty -- Why and when is discrimination wrong? -- Part two. Human rights -- The concept of human rights : the broad view -- International legal human rights and equal moral status -- Fundamental rights, indivisibility, and hierarchy among human rights.
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