John Dobard, "The Concept of Human Dignity in Human Rights Discourse", November 2012

Since the end of the Second World War, human dignity has been a central concept in human rights discourse. Widespread appeals to the concept, however, have generated serious theoretical concerns. Among these is uncertainty about whether claims of universal human dignity can be successfully defended in nontheistic terms. This paper attempts to deepen this sense of uncertainty by drawing attention to the conceptual relationship between excellence and dignity.