Human Dignity and Human Rights: Rethinking the Connection

July 5, 2021 - July 9, 2021
Department of Philosophy, Monash University


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Monash University

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Confirmed speakers:

Anne Phillips (London School of Economics)

Andrea Sangiovanni (King’s College London/European University Institute)

David Livingstone Smith (University of New England)

Human rights instruments such as the Universal Declaration presuppose a tight connection between possessing dignity and having human rights. Philosophical accounts frequently echo this presupposition, taking dignity to name the inherent quality that serves as a foundation for human rights. The aim of this workshop is to challenge this presumed connection between human dignity and human rights, and provide a forum to explore alternatives.

Topics covered include, are but not limited to:

·      Can dignity provide a truly universal foundation for human rights?

·      Are there alternative conceptions of dignity that do not presuppose specific cognitive capacities, and if so what relationship do these alternatives bear to human rights?

·      What is the relationship between being human and having dignity?

·      How else might we justify human rights, if not through the concept of human dignity?

This workshop is organized as part of the “Conferring Dignity in Human Rights and Healthcare” project, funded by the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Project scheme.

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July 2, 2021, 9:00am +10:00

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