The vacuous concept of dignity

Allan, James and Bagaric, Mirko (2006) The vacuous concept of dignity. Journal of Human Rights, 5 2: 257-270. doi:10.1080/14754830600653603

Author Allan, James
Bagaric, Mirko
Title The vacuous concept of dignity
Journal name Journal of Human Rights   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1475-4835
Publication date 2006-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/14754830600653603
Volume 5
Issue 2
Start page 257
End page 270
Total pages 14
Editor Thomas Cushman
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Abstract Rights talk dominates contemporary moral discourse. It is also having a growing impact on the development of legal principle and doctrine. One of the best known general arguments in support of rights-based moral theories is the one given by John Rawls, who claims that only rights-based theories take seriously the distinction between human beings; only they can be counted on to protect certain rights and interests that are so paramount that they are beyond the demands of net happiness (Rawls 1971). Charges and assertions of this nature have been extremely influential. After the Second World War, there was an immense increase in rights talk, both in the sheer volume of that talk and in the number of supposed rights being claimed. Rights doctrine has progressed a long way since its original modest aim of providing “a legitimization of … claims against tyrannical or exploiting regimes” (Benn 1978: 61). As Tom Campbell points out: The human rights movement is based on the need for a counter-ideology to combat the abuses and misuses of political authority by those who invoke, as a justification for their activities, the need to subordinate the particular interests of individuals to the general good (Campbell 1996: 13).
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 20:13:09 EST