Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
DignityA History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Remy Debes

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199385997

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199385997.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021



(p.1) Introduction

Remy Debes

Oxford University Press

Until the mid-nineteenth century, the concept of dignity almost invariably connoted elevated social rank, of the sort that marked nobility or ecclesiastic preferment. However, today dignity usually connotes a fundamental moral status belonging to all humans equally, which status is the basis of human rights. How did this radical change in meaning come about? And did anything like our moralized concept of dignity exist before it was named “dignity”? The introduction sketches the way that the chapters in this volume answer these questions, and in turn how they draw the arc of dignity’s conceptual development from Homeric Greek thought to medieval Christian and Islamic theology through eighteenth century enlightenment revolutions all the way to the contemporary era.

Keywords:   human dignity, dignitas, imago Dei, Pico della Mirandola, Immanuel Kant, American Constitution, human rights, human worth, respect, equality

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .