oa South African Journal of Bioethics and Law - Human Dignity in Contemporary Ethics, David G. Kirchhoffer : book review

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1999-7639



In this strictly academic book, David Kirchhoffer processes the complex issues surrounding the concept of human dignity through a clearly defined ethical method. At the outset, he questions whether it is possible to use human dignity as a normative criterion, when empirical research has shown there is no evidence that an inherent and inviolable dignity of the person exists. Yet from there, he artfully demonstrates a multidimensional understanding of human dignity which could be used to refute recent calls for the concept's dismissal. He explains how, when viewed as a multidimensional concept, human dignity serves not only as a valuable descriptive function in ethics, but also as a way in which to understand moral behaviour.

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