University of Leeds Graduate Political Theory Conference

September 16, 2022
School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds

Leeds
United Kingdom

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University of Southampton

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University of Leeds

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In the history of western political philosophy dignity is a feature of theoretical discourse about human values and human status, so personhood and humanity. The concept of dignity became a core concept and a universal principle, especially from the work of Pico della Mirandola or Kant who conceptualized dignity as a characteristic of human beings in virtue of their reason. In other words, dignity is a foundational concept. Moreover, this concept of dignity can entertain a relativity, especially in ethical debates regarding, for instance, the question of the death penalty. To put it differently, when the question of dignity is related to the one of individuality, it raises all sorts of political and juridical debate.

Nevertheless, dignity has not always been associated with the universality of the individual or personhood. In The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon related dignity to the question of the land. It is the land that provides dignity and not an abstract conception of universal humanity or personhood. For him, dignity is not a human property, precisely because for the colonized it is something that needs to be fought for, acquired, sometimes through a violent struggle. Accordingly, dignity is a central concept of decolonial thought, Africana philosophy or indigenous studies. From that perspective, dignity is also an existential question as it concerns the modes of existence.

In addition to a keynote lecture give by David Owen (University of Southampton), this event will feature talks by PhD Students. The conference will be in person and there will be a £20 attending fee. Tickets for registration will be available later. Please see CFP for more details.

Submissions are due by July 8, 2022.

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