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date: 21 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates how human dignity might be understood as a normative concept for the regulation of technologies. First, various distinctions that are relevant for the way human dignity can be understood are discussed. It is argued that it is particularly important that we should see human dignity as a concept that ascribes a specific status that forms the basis of the human rights regimes. Second, the author’s own approach, inspired by Kant and Gewirth, is presented, it being proposed that we should see the concrete content of human dignity as the protection of the authority of human beings to govern their own lives. Third, various consequences for the evaluation of technologies are discussed. In a context of major global and ecological challenges, together with the replacement of human action by automation, the role of human dignity becomes one of guiding the development of a technology-responsive human rights regime.

Keywords: human dignity, Kantian philosophy of technology, agency, human rights, technology

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