Public Reason: Vol. 8, No. 1-2, 2016
Why Dignity is not the Foundation of Human Rights
Stamatina Liosi

This essay questions what is argued by many scholars today, namely that the moral concept of human dignity provides the basis for the establishment of human rights. More specifically, I critically discuss the two most prominent conceptions of human dignity, the ‘status’ and the ‘value’ (coming from the Catholic and the Kantian traditions) conceptions of dignity, which are suggested today as the foundations of human rights (sections I and II). Ultimately, I propose a different, ‘duty-based’ philosophical account for the justification of the latter (section III).

Key words: Dignity, justification, human rights, status, value, duties.


Liosi, Stamatina. Why Dignity is not the Foundation of Human Rights. Public Reason 8 (1-2): 51-64.