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Deconstructing DignityA Critique of the Right-to-Die Debate$
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Scott Cutler Shershow

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226088129

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226088266.001.0001

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Human Dignity from Cicero to Kant

Human Dignity from Cicero to Kant

(p.53) Chapter Four Human Dignity from Cicero to Kant
Deconstructing Dignity

Scott Cutler Shershow

University of Chicago Press

This chapter provides a selective genealogy of the concept of human dignity from its first appearance in Cicero’s De Officiis. Via brief consideration of texts by Boethius, Aquinas, Chaucer, Pico de Mirandola, Shakespeare, Francis Bacon and Kant, the chapter argues that dignity, throughout its long history, has always been a concept at once universal and exclusive, conditional and unconditional, and characterized by a strange relation of calculation and incalculability.

Keywords:   Human Dignity, Cicero, Aquinas, Pico de Mirandola, Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, Kant

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