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On the international legal aspects of human dignity

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Chalmers, DRC and Ida, R (2007) On the international legal aspects of human dignity. In: Perspectives on human dignity: a conversation. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp. 157-168. ISBN 978-1-4020-6280-3

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Abstract

Human dignity is a value of great antiquity. Dignity for the classical Roman conveyed the sense of the rank of some citizens of Roman society. Later, in the period of the Renaissance, religious writings expanded the idea of human dignity to a quality enjoyed by all, not simply an elite. The Renaissance fortified the conception of the individual's capacity, through God, to transform themselves.

The second great renaissance in the life of human dignity occurred at the end of World War II. The appalling loss of civilian life during this conflict and the gruesome revelations of the treatment of minorities, most notably the evil treatment of European Jews, revived discussion of human dignity. Human dignity may have waxed and waned in legal and philosophical attention after this time. In the 1970s, one writer suggested that discussion of human dignity 'seems to have suffered the fate of notions such as virtue and honour, by simply fading into the past'. However, human dignity has enjoyed yet another renaissance over the past decades, in debates about dying with dignity and the human cloning debates of the modem Genome Era.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Springer
Page Range: pp. 157-168
Additional Information:

© 2007 Springer

Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:55
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:36
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