CFP: Human Dignity and Human Rights: Rethinking the Connection

Submission deadline: February 1, 2021

Conference date(s):
July 5, 2021 - July 9, 2021

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, Monash University
Melbourne, Australia

Topic areas


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.

We invite abstracts exploring the relationship between dignity and human rights, including 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?

If you would like to present at the online workshop, please email a 750-1000 word abstract (anonymized for review) to [email protected] by February 1, 2021. Notification of acceptance will be provided by February 26. Please note that talks will be scheduled according to the speaker’s time zone, and will be recorded (with the speaker’s permission).

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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