Meaning of Dignity (What it is, Concept and Definition)

Dignity and the quality of who is worthy, i.e, whose is it honored, exemplary, who behaves decently, with honesty. It is a feminine noun, which comes from the Latin dignitate, which means honesty, virtue, consideration.

The dignity of an individual represents their “moral integrity” and an attack on that dignity is characterized as "moral damages" and if in court the contrary is proven, a reparation of the accuser. The individual who incites, affronts or attacks the dignity of the other is called “outrageous”.

Dignity is also a moral quality that inspires respect and self-awareness, it is self-love, pride, however, when this self-love becomes exaggerated this feeling is transformed into "pride", into superb.

The individual who violates any standard of dignity, who cheats, who is manipulative, who causes mischief, who commits fraudulent actions is framed as an unworthy, cretin, despicable person.

Dignity, in the legal sense, is understood as the distinction or honor conferred on a person in a high position, with a position or title of high degree.

In canon law, dignity is an indication of an ecclesiastical office.

Dignity according to Kant

For the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), dignity is the value of everything that is priceless, that is, that cannot be replaced by an equivalent.

Thus, dignity is an inherent quality of human beings as moral and ethical beings. Dignity is totally inseparable from autonomy for the exercise of practical reason, which is why only human beings have dignity.

See about the qualities of a person.

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