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DignityA History$
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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

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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: 31 July 2021

Universalizing Dignity in the Nineteenth Century

Universalizing Dignity in the Nineteenth Century

(p.301) Chapter 10 Universalizing Dignity in the Nineteenth Century

Mika LaVaque-Manty

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces some of the conceptual history from the late eighteenth century, when arguments about equal, intrinsic, and universal human dignity became politically important, to the mid-twentieth century, when the idea of universal human dignity was enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. The chapter argues that this universalization process primarily took place in the nineteenth century, in political controversies around gender, race, and labor. The chapter argues that a particular Christian conception about the dignity of labor, expressed by Pope Leo XII, helped cement the value of inherent human dignity while at the same time weakening its more radical political potential.

Keywords:   dignity of labor, race, gender, nineteenth century, Declaration of Human Rights, Leo XII

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