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In Pursuit of Human Dignity: An Introduction to Current Debates

Understanding Human Dignity, Proceedings of the British Academy/Oxford University Press, Forthcoming

U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 309

55 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2013 Last revised: 1 Mar 2013

Christopher McCrudden

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law; University of Michigan Law School

Date Written: February 15, 2013

Abstract

The discussion of human dignity raises such complex issues, and the issues that current scholarship now considers central to its understanding are so daunting, that we are in danger of not being able to see the forest for the trees. This Introduction forms the first chapter of a forthcoming book of essays (Christopher McCrudden (ed.), Understanding Human Dignity, Proceedings of the British Academy/Oxford University Press, in press) by a multi-disciplinary group of historians, legal academics, judges, political scientists, theologians, and philosophers, arising from a Conference held in Rhodes House, Oxford in June 2012. The Introduction aims to provide a guide, a map, through the thicket of current dignity scholarship. It situates the subsequent chapters of the book within an overview of the terrain that currently constitutes debates about the use of dignity in these fields. I have not attempted to put forward my own comprehensive account of dignity. Mostly based on the rich conversations that took place at the Conference, I have sought, rather, to probe the potential strengths and weaknesses of all of the principal positions identified, at least in some contexts taking on the role of a Devil’s Advocate.

Keywords: human dignity

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

McCrudden, Christopher, In Pursuit of Human Dignity: An Introduction to Current Debates (February 15, 2013). Understanding Human Dignity, Proceedings of the British Academy/Oxford University Press, Forthcoming; U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 309. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2218788

Christopher McCrudden (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law ( email )

School of Law
Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland BT7 1NN
United Kingdom

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

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