The Concept of Dignity in the Capability Approach: A personalistic Perspective

Markova, Asya (2011) The Concept of Dignity in the Capability Approach: A personalistic Perspective. In: International Conference Values of the Human Person: Contemporary Challenges, 3-4 June 2011, Bucharest, Romania. (Submitted)

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Official URL: http://blogs.ub-filosofie.ro/filosofie/2011/05/16/international-conference-values-of-the-human-person-contemporary-challenges/


My attempt in this paper is to develop a conceptual account of human dignity that does not exclude persons with mental disabilities. On one hand I share Martha Nussbaum’s critic on the rationalistic reductionism of the dominant concept of dignity; a reductionism that consists in the grounding of human dignity in the concepts of free will, individual autonomy, and the ability to be a party of the social contract. On the other hand however, I think that Nussbaum’s conception of dignity is a tautological one. That is why I elaborate on this concept further by referring to the approach of the personalist philosophy, and especially to the very fruitful attempt of Gabriel Marcel to conceptualize dignity first by contrasting it to its opposite, which is according to Marcel the “spirit of abstraction”. On the ground of Marcel’s philosophy I argue that human dignity consists in the very basic capability to resist to one’s own stigmatization and reification by the others as well as to struggle for one’s own recognition as a valuable particular person.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Dignity, Capability Approach-Foundational Issues, Personalism
Subjects:Philosophy > Specific philosophical schools and viewpoints
ID Code:1084
Deposited By: Asya Markova
Deposited On:24 Feb 2012 09:56
Last Modified:24 Feb 2012 09:56

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