, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 423-425,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 25 May 2012

Review of George Kateb: Human Dignity

This is an excerpt from the content

Man’s place in the world is a significant matter, both from an existential and a practical viewpoint. George Kateb’s Human Dignity deals with, inter alia, moral philosophy, philosophical anthropology (establishing the basis for human dignity) and philosophy of law (addressing the subject of human rights). Despite the scope of the inquiry, the author has managed to present his ideas in a book of modest proportions.

Kateb seeks to locate the foundation of human dignity and to know which consequences follow from it. Each human being is said to have an equal status, while the dignity of the human species is covered by the notion of stature.

Kateb’s notion of ‘human dignity’ is thus an intricate one, incorporating status and stature (pp. 5, 6, 9, 18). One wonders, though, what could prompt such an amalgam. If there were merely a need to underline the special contributions individuals (are able to) accomplish, the stature aspect would obviously be a superfluous addition. The benefit – if that ...