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This book proposes a hermeneutically based understanding of Human Dignity which is substantiated by a phenomenological analysis conceived in the light of Edith Stein's early philosophy. A historical analysis lays bare four distinct traditions in European thought, each of which tends to conceptualise Human Dignity in a characteristic way. All of these make sense only because each one is concerned with the same idea, so that it is possible to regard the classical, the Christian, the Modern and the postmodern perspectives as contributing elements towards an eidetic analysis of the idea. It is argued that various definitions can represent the essence of which we have experiential knowledge. A constitutional analysis shows the intersubjective site of the idea and demonstrates why its simplicity and quasi-necessity makes it both universally accessible, and so difficult to explain that many contemporary authors actually deny the idea any precise content. von Lebech, Mette
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The author lectures in Philosophy at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Her research lies in the Philosophy of Human Dignity, Bioethics and the Phenomenology of Edith Stein. She is for the time being the President of the Irish Philosophical Society and the General Editor of its Yearbook.