On Portraying Human Dignity
Menschenrecht (Nomos (Baden-Baden), 2016), Forthcoming
22 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2016 Last revised: 4 Oct 2016
Date Written: June 18, 2016
This article considers what, if anything, the use of Velázquez’s painting Las Meninas contributes to understanding of the conception of human dignity, drawing on several of Velázquez’s other paintings, including Juan de Pareja, The Buffoon Sebastián de Morra, El bufón Calabacillas, and Francisco Lezcano (El Niño de Vallecas). The work of Avishai Margalit, Emmanuel Levinas, and Hans Joas is drawn on to provide a theoretical structure for this endeavor. More broadly, I continue a conversation in the legal academy on how far resort to art forms such as literature and painting may help us understand problematic concepts in law and moral philosophy.
Keywords: Human dignity, Velázquez, Las Meninas, Avishai Margalit, Emmanuel Levinas, Hans Joas
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