Dignity and the Foundation of Human Rights: Toward an Averroist Genealogy

Vatter, Miguel 2020, Dignity and the Foundation of Human Rights: Toward an Averroist Genealogy, Politics and Religion, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 304-332, doi: 10.1017/S1755048319000336.

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Title Dignity and the Foundation of Human Rights: Toward an Averroist Genealogy
Author(s) Vatter, Miguel
Journal name Politics and Religion
Volume number 13
Issue number 2
Article ID 1755048319000336
Start page 304
End page 332
Total pages 29
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Place of publication Cambridge, Eng.
Publication date 2020
ISSN 1755-0483
Keyword(s) Arts & Humanities
Government & Law
Political Science
Social Sciences
Summary AbstractThe aim of this article is to give a new reconstruction of the conception of human dignity as a pre-associative yet legal status. Such a legal conception of human dignity carries a universal legal obligation to respect the “innate” right to independence and enables us to move beyond the impasse between moral and political views of human rights. The argument has a normative and a genealogical component. The normative component shows why a legal conception of human rights is grounded on the Kantian idea of an innate legal right to independence, as well as showing that Kant adopted a legal status concept of human dignity. The genealogical component shows that the conception of human dignity as legal status undergoes a transvaluation from its ancient aristocratic to its modern democratic meaning in Dante's political thought, which is itself rooted in the western reception of Arabic philosophy, in particular political Averroism. By contrast to the Christian elaboration of dignity, the Averroist genealogy of dignity better describes the modern pursuit of an ideal of worldly happiness essentially linked with the collective attainment of public happiness through the unrestricted public use of reason facilitated by republican constitutions crowned by human rights.
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/S1755048319000336
Field of Research 1606 Political Science
2204 Religion and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30153339

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