The Inherence of Human Dignity

The Inherence of Human Dignity

Foundations of Human Dignity, Volume 1

Edited by Angus J. L. Menuge & Barry W. Bussey

The first of two volumes, Foundations of Human Dignity focuses on foundational, conceptual issues, oriented around the central question, “What are the various meanings of ‘human dignity,’ and how are they grounded or justified?”

PDF, 254 Pages


February 2021

£25.00, $40.00

EPUB, 254 Pages


February 2021

£25.00, $40.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

For the 2019 IVR World Congress of Philosophy of Law meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland, Drs. Barry W. Bussey and Angus J. L. Menuge organized a special workshop on the inherence of human dignity, featuring participation from philosophers, legal scholars, and legal practitioners from around the world. Many of the chapters in these volumes are the result of that invigorating two-day workshop. In addition, several new papers were solicited to round out each volume so that it offers broad coverage of the issues it addresses. 

The first volume, Foundations of Human Dignity, focuses on the foundational questions concerning the meaning, nature, and scope of human dignity, and our ability to know it. It addresses the following questions: It addresses the following questions. How was dignity understood by the drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Can human dignity be grounded in natural characteristics of human beings accessible by reason, or must it be grounded in God? How can we recognize and promote dignity? What is the connection between dignity and religious liberty? Should dignity be understood in terms of autonomy or well-being? What is the origin of the new dignity jurisprudence, and is it defensible? Can dignity be understood as social characteristic? Can it be extended to artificially intelligent systems?


Occupying a place front and center among important moral phenomena in need of robust explanation is the dignity of human persons. As such this perennially fascinating topic constitutes a powerful test case for rival explanatory candidates, an eminently telling clue to the import of the human condition and the very nature of reality. The essential dignity and unspeakably great worth of each and every human being is both a vital humanistic and humanizing doctrine, and an ineliminable moral datum that veritably cries out for adequate explanation to do it justice. The most penetrating explanations of human dignity refuse to domesticate or deflate it, but rather allow its full reverential and evidential force to be felt. This diverse collection adds a chorus of intelligent and insightful voices to this timely and timeless exploration, providing clarifying analysis, points of resonance and common ground across divergent views, as well as tensions and disagreements that ultimately, and instructively, may prove insuperable. — David Baggett, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Moral Apologetics at Houston Baptist University, USA

The political and legal battle over how we understand human dignity is right at the heart of the comprehensive crisis that is rocking the advanced modern world to its foundations, and there is no better scholarly exploration of that concept than the work published in these two invaluable volumes. — Greg Forster, Ph.D., Director, Oikonomia Network, Assistant Professor of Faith and Culture, Trinity International University, USA

The Inherence of Human Dignity, Vol. 1 and 2, deserves a wide readership. Barry Bussey and Angus Menuge have drawn together an important collection of essays from a diverse group of authors in order to explore different conceptions of human dignity and how it is to be grounded. — Robert A. Larmer, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of New Brunswick, Canada

Bussey and Menuge have edited a magisterial, brilliant two volume work that should be essential reading for anyone interested in a commitment to human dignity. — Charles Taliaferro Overby Distinguished Chair and Professor of Philosophy, St. Olaf College, USA

"Human rights protect human dignity. But what is human dignity? Why is it important? An international group of scholars comments first on grounding human dignity and second on human dignity’s competing conceptions. By editing these essays, Barry Bussey and Angus Menuge have done the scholarly community a great service”.—Prof. dr. Paul Cliteur, Professor of Jurisprudence, Leiden University.

“Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (or Maastricht Treaty, 1992) states that ‘The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.’ This Article makes human dignity a notion that is relevant for legal scholars, politicians, and others who want to understand the foundations of contemporary European culture. Barry Bussey and Angus Menuge have done an excellent job collecting some of the most thought-provoking contributions on this topic. This book deserves a wide readership.” — Prof. dr. Afshin Ellian, Professor of Jurisprudence, Leiden University.

Author Information

Angus J. L. Menuge is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Concordia University Wisconsin and past President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. 

Barry W. Bussey is Director of Legal Affairs, at the Canadian Centre for Christian Charities and Associate Adjunct Professor of Law at University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney.


No series for this title.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Angus J. L. Menuge; Part I Grounding Human Dignity; Chapter One Human Dignity in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: ‘Old’ or ‘New’?, Laura Kittel; Chapter Two How Do We Justify Human Rights and Dignity?, Keith Thompson; Chapter Three May Critics of ‘Inherent Dignity’ Be Answered? Rejoinders from Christian Anthropology, David Guretzki; Chapter Four Three Sources of Human Dignity, Erik J. Wielenberg; Chapter Five Atheism and Theism: A Comparison of Metaphysical Foundations for Human Dignity, Paul Copan; Chapter Six Dignity and Tolerance: A Tension and a Challenge, Claudia Mariéle Wulf; Chapter Seven Human Dignity: What to Do with It? From Fruitless Abstraction to Meaningful Action, Hendrik Kaptein; Part II Competing Conceptions of Human Dignity; Chapter Eight Two Concepts of Dignity: On the Decay of Agency in Law, Åsbjørn Melkevik and Bjarne Melkevik; Chapter Nine Human Dignity as Law’s Foundation: An Outline for a Personalist Jurisprudence, Michał Rupniewski; Chapter Ten The Social Ontology of Human Dignity, Nicholas Aroney; Chapter Eleven How Not to Interpret Human Dignity: A Common Fallacy, Friedrich Toepel; Chapter Twelve The Nominalist Foundations of Constructivist Dignity, R. Scott Smith; Chapter Thirteen Artificial Dignity: The Humanizing and Dehumanizing Implications of Polanyi versus Turing’s Ontology, Andy Steiger; Notes on Contributors; Index.


No Podcasts for this title.
Comodo SSL