Human dignity is the highest value of international law–and it is said to be one of the highest ethical values as well. But often it is also considered a vague or even meaningless term. Can moral philosophy make sense of the concept of human dignity without either reducing it to other values like autonomy or interpreting it metaphysically? I will discuss some of the most interesting and discussed theories of human dignity and present a unifying approach according to which the concept of human dignity refers to the moral status of the basic features of our self-constitution. I think that this conception coherently brings together the main intuitions of many theories and can answer to skepticism and overly reductive approaches.
Members of the audience are invited to join the speaker and the convenor for drinks and dinner at a local restaurant following the talk (at their own expense). Please contact Ed Lamb at email@example.com to reserve a place. There will obviously be some limit on the number of people who can attend. In future terms the event time may be changed to 15.00, which would make it possible for all to go to pre-dinner drinks. Please let Ed Lamb know if this change of time would make you more or less likely to attend.