Friday, October 28, 2011
Let me begin, in the spirit of the New Roman Missal, for an apology for "what I have failed to do" -- namely post in a quite a while. Here goes, "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault....."
OK, on to business. The Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy just finished hosting Georgetown's David Luban for a two-day visit. As part of our ongoing Human Dignity Lecture Series, Luban presented the draft of a new piece he's working on: "The Dignifier and the Dignified: Human Dignity from Autonomy To Relations." It's a characteristically brilliant and engaging attempt to locate a common understanding of the concept of human dignity in the practices of those who fight for human rights, focusing not on some intrinsic human property, but instead in the relationship between the dignifier and the dignified. In the tradition of this lecture series, Luban presented his work in a public lecture, followed the next morning by an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional seminar to explore the work more deeply. Our seminar this morning was attended by faculty from UST's Catholic Studies, Philosophy, and Theology departments, as well as Law School faculty including MOJ'ers Tom Berg and Rob Vischer; Brian Bix from the University of Minnesota Law School, Marie Failinger from Hamline, and Russ Panier from William Mitchell. We plan to publish all the papers in this series as a book, eventually, but in the meantime, for a bracingly non-natural law attempt to grapple with the concept of human dignity, I'd highly recommending contacting Luban for a draft (or better yet, convince him to come to your school to present it).