It follows that even the morally worst individuals must still be regarded as ends in themselves and treated with respect. If it is the former, then there are certain beliefs, attitudes, and dispositions a person must have to be self-respecting. Respekt contrasts with contemptuous disregard; it is shown in conduct that is cautious, self-protective, other-placating. Kant argues that, just as we have a moral duty to respect others as persons, so we have a moral duty to respect ourselves as persons, a duty that derives from our dignity as rational beings. One view is that the equality of persons entails equal treatment; another view is that equal treatment would involve failing to respect the important differences among persons. For now, we must address the question, What is it to be an end in itself and to possess dignity? Each identifies a quite different kind of feature of objects as the basis of respect.
This duty requires us to act always in an awareness of our dignity and so to act only in ways that are consistent with our status as end in ourselves and to refrain from acting in ways that abase, degrade, defile, or disavow our rational nature. Dignity is not only a worth but a status or standing, a position in the moral community. I respect what she has accomplished. Indeed, they stake themselves, their value and their identities, on living in accord with these standards. Recognition respect is not something individuals have to earn or might fail to earn, but something they are owed simply because they are rational beings. Moreover, fulfilling our duty to respect ourselves is a necessary condition of fulfilling our duties to respect other persons.
All persons are morally obligated or entitled to have this kind of self-respect. For example, we regard persons as respect-worthy inasmuch as they are agents, centers of autonomous choice and valuation, and we can similarly regard all living things as respect-worthy in virtue of being quasi-agents, centers of organized activity that pursue their own good in their own unique way. In his doctrine of virtue, Kant discusses specific moral duties of recognition respect for other persons, as well as duties of self-respect, to which we'll return below. Evaluative respect centrally involves having a favorable attitude toward the object, while the other forms do not. Thus the morally worst persons have the same dignity as the morally best persons, although the former, we might say, fail to live up to their dignity.
Ending disagreements with a friendly high-five or handshake to ensure that any harsh words have been put to rest. This brings us to a second sense in which persons are ends in themselves. In opposition to the utilitarian claim, some Kantians argue that Kant's ethics is distinguishable from consequentialist ethics precisely in maintaining that the fundamental demand of morality is not that we promote some value, such as the happiness of sentient beings, but that we respect the worth of humanity regardless of the consequences of doing so Korsegaard 1996, Wood 1999. Thus the idea of respect for persons is ambiguous. Rather than ignoring what distinguishes one person from another, it is argued, respect should involve attending to each person as a distinctive individual and to the concrete realities of human lives, and it should involve valuing difference as well as sameness and interdependence as well as independence.
Fourth, respect is universalizing, in the sense that if F is a respect-warranting feature of object O, then respecting O on account of F commits us, other things equal, to respecting other things that also have feature F. The most influential position on these issues is found in the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant 1785, 1788, 1797. Swearing at your grandmother is disrespectful. As such, you recognize that they have rights, opinions, wishes, experience, and competence. Another way of asking a justification question seeks not a normative connection between qualities of persons and moral obligation, but an explanation for our belief that humans and perhaps other beings are owed respect, for example: What in our experience of other humans or in our evolutionary history explains the development and power of this belief? Most things have value as the objects of our desires, interests, or affections; they are the ends we pursue or produce, our subjective ends.
Sighing or making facial gestures while someone is speaking. Some philosophers have argued that certain capacities fit the bill; others argue that there is no quality possessed by all humans that could be a plausible ground for a moral obligation of equal respect. In particular, Kant's view that the rational will which is common to all persons is the ground of respect is thought to ignore the moral importance of the concrete particularity of each individual, and his emphasis on autonomy, which is often understood to involve the independence of one person from all others, is thought to ignore the essential relationality of human beings for example, Noggle 1999, Farley 1993, Dillon 1992a, E. Recognition self-respecting persons are concerned to be the kind of person they think it is good and appropriate for them to be and they try to live the kind of life such a person should live. These discussions also reveal that more work remains to be done in clarifying these attitudes and their places among and implications for our concepts and our lives. One way a self-respecting individual does this is through having, and living in light, of a normative self-conception, i.
Kantian dignity is one form, but not the only form, of status worth. He argues that individuals' access to self-respect is to a large degree a function of how the basic institutional structure of a society defines and distributes the social bases of self-respect, which include the messages about the relative worth of citizens that are conveyed in the structure and functioning of institutions, the distribution of fundamental political rights and civil liberties, access to the resources individuals need to pursue their plans of life, the availability of diverse associations and communities within which individuals can seek affirmation of their worth and their plans of life from others, and the norms governing public interaction among citizens. Other writers discuss ways that individuals and groups might preserve or restore self-respect in the face of injustice or oppression, and the ways in which the development of self-respect in individuals living under oppression or injustice empowers them to participate in the monumental struggles for justice and liberation for example, Babbitt 2000, 1993; Bartky 1990a, 1990b, 1990c; Boxill 1992, 1976; Collins 1990; Dillon 1997, 1995; Hay 2013, 2011; Meyers 1989, 1986; Mohr 1992, 1988; Moody-Adams 1992—93; Statman 2002; Thomas 2001b, 1983a, 1978—79. Others have developed accounts of respect that is or incorporates a form of love agape or care Dillon 1992a, Downie and Telfer 1969, Maclagan 1960 and some have argued that emotions are included among the bases of dignity and that a complex emotional repertoire is necessary for Kantian respect Wood 1999, Sherman 1998a, Farley 1993. Certainly a wide variety of human practices, ranging from agriculture and urban development to recreation and energy use to technological and biomedical research, might have to be profoundly altered by a recognition of moral duties of respect to nonpersons. In such cases the behavior is regarded as constitutive of respecting. Con eso que has dicho has demostrado una falta de respeto imperdonable.
One respects a directive when one's behaviors intentionally comply with it. Self-respect is thus essentially a valuing form of respect. At the same time, however, our awareness of the moral law involves a pleasurably uplifting feeling insofar as we recognize our own reason to be its only source. It is thus not as members of the biological species homo sapiens that we have dignity and so are owed moral recognition respect, but as rational beings who are capable of moral agency. What we owe everything is an opportunity to reveal any value it might have, rather than assuming that only persons have the kind of value that morally warrants attention Birch 1993. One issue with which contemporary philosophers have been concerned is whether self-respect is an objective concept or a subjective one.
One issue is how persons ought to be respected in multicultural liberal democratic societies for example, Balint 2006, Tomasi 1995, C. In modern philosophical discussions, humans are universally regarded as the paradigm objects of moral respect; if anything has moral standing or dignity and so warrants respect, it is the individual human being. As children we are taught one hopes to respect our parents, teachers, and elders, school rules and traffic laws, family and cultural traditions, other people's feelings and rights, our country's flag and leaders, the truth and people's differing opinions. It involves regarding the object as making a rightful claim on our conduct, as deserving moral consideration in its own right, independently of considerations of personal well being. We earn or lose moral merit, and so deserve or don't deserve evaluative self-respect, through what we do or become.