Belknap/Harvard University Press, $ 22.95, 244 pp.
Most discussions of important moral and political issues, along with our everyday reflections on how others should be treated, occur against a background assumption of human dignity—for example, the idea that human beings have special standing shared by no other creatures on earth. In countless contexts—talking about what we must provide to all persons (health care?), what we must never do to anyone (torture?), how to handle end-of-life scenarios (assisted suicide?), what persons should be...
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