Human Dignity in the Theory of Human Rights: Nothing But a Phrase?



  • A review essay stimulated by George Kateb, Human Dignity (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2011); Michael Rosen, Dignity: Its History and Meaning (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012); and Jeremy Waldron, Dignity, Rank, and Rights, Tanner Lectures at the University of California, Berkeley, 2009 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). For comments on earlier drafts, I thank Pablo Gilabert, Michael Rosen, commentators and audiences at several universities, and the editors of Philosophy & Public Affairs. I am grateful to George Kateb for his help in many conversations.