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Project "Human Dignity"

Human Dignity (2008-2011)

The project “Human Dignity” was initiated to stimulate the dialogue between cultural studies and the natural sciences about fundamental and applied questions on this topic. It also aimed to bring together the many different discourses on human dignity that had hitherto largely been carried out in isolation of one another.

This project is a reaction to the following developments:

  • Firstly, the advances made in biomedicine have called into question the traditional conception of the human being in many ways. Its central instances – personality, subjectivity, freedom – are increasingly being traced back to biological (genetic, neuronal and other) processes and at the same time, human life is becoming more accessible to technical intervention, especially at its beginning and its end.

  • Secondly, the meaning, scope and justification of human dignity have become increasingly controversial. Particularly disputed are questions that address, for instance, whether human dignity is due all human lives, if it is violated by certain behaviours or laws or whether human dignity, the right to live and humans' right to self-determination can be balanced.

The project consists of the following subprojects:

  1. View of Man and Neurosciences
  2. Human Dignity at the Start of Life
  3. Humane dying

Associated with these was a School Project "Human Dignity" (2005-2009).

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