Dignity at Work

In Hugh Collins, Gillian Lester & Virginia Mantouvalou (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law. Oxford University Press. pp. 68-86 (2018)
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This paper offers a justification of labor rights based on an interpretation of the idea of human dignity. According to the dignitarian approach, we have reason to organize social life in such a way that we respond appropriately to the valuable capacities of human beings that give rise to their dignity. That dignity is a deontic status in virtue of which people are owed certain forms of respect and concern. Dignity at work involves the treatment of people in accordance to the ideal of solidaristic empowerment as it pertains to their life as workers. This requires that we generate feasible and reasonable social schemes to support each other as we pursue the development and exercise of our valuable capacities to produce in personally and socially beneficial ways. The spectrum of dignitarian justice goes from basic rights to decent working conditions to maximal rights to flourish in working practices that are free from domination, alienation, and exploitation.

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Pablo Gilabert
Concordia University


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