A Theory of Human Dignity, #3–What Human Dignity Is.

Prüfung,” by Edith Breckwoldt (2004)

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Introduction

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This installment contains the first part of section III.

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III. The Metaphysics of Human Dignity

According to the broadly Kantian theory of human dignity, human dignity is the absolute, non-denumerably infinite, intrinsic, and objective value of human real persons as ends-in-themselves, and human real personhood is grounded in a unified set of innate cognitive, emotional, and practical capacities present in all and only human animals possessing the essentially embodied neurobiological basis of those capacities. Some human animals are born permanently lacking this essentially embodied neurobiological basis or have suffered its permanently destruction by accident, disease, or violent mishap, and therefore some human animals do not have human dignity because they are not human real persons. So not necessarily all human animals are real persons. Conversely, not necessarily all real persons are human: it’s really possible for there to be real persons belonging to other animal species, whether on the Earth or other planets. If so, then they’ll have dignity too.

NOTES

[i] For a full development and defense of the theory of essential embodiment, see R. Hanna and M. Maiese, Embodied Minds in Action (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2009).

AGAINST PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY REDUX 533

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Mr Nemo

Mr Nemo

Formerly Captain Nemo. A not-so-very-angry, but still unemployed, full-time philosopher-nobody.