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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: 27 July 2021

Dignity in Confucian and Buddhist Thought

Dignity in Confucian and Buddhist Thought

(p.67) Reflection Dignity in Confucian and Buddhist Thought

David B. Wong

Oxford University Press

“Dignity” in the Western tradition typically connotes the inherent and unearned worth that entitles each person to respectful attitudes and treatment. Confucian and Buddhist thought contains concepts that overlap with this concept, making possible a three-way dialogue. Confucianism forthrightly asserts the special value of the individual, but that special value lies in one’s capacities to connect with others and to create a truly worthwhile life of relationships. Correspondingly, if one fails to develop these capacities, one may lose one’s dignity. A possible basis in Buddhism for human dignity lies in the distinctively human capability for “awakening.” However, this capability involves realizing that one’s individuality is not as real or as important as one thought it was, and that this is the key to being free from the suffering that any being, human or animal, should be free from.

Keywords:   Buddhism, compassion, Confucianism, dignity, self, shame, suffering

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