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The Idea of Human Dignity: A Reconstruction of Confucianism

作者:张千帆   点击量:77264

The Idea of Human Dignity in Classical Chinese Philosophy:
A Reconstruction of Confucianism
 
Qianfan Zhang
 
 
Academic CV:
       Qianfan Zhang has earned doctoral degrees in Physics (Carnegie-Mellon University, 1989) and in Government (University of Texas at Austin, 1999), and is currently a professor of public law at Nanjing University in P.R. China.  He studied physics at Nanjing University before he first came to the United States through Professor T. D. Lee’s CUSPEA program in 1984, and was a postdoctoral fellow at University of California at Santa Cruz during 1990-1992.  He then undertook legal studies at University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore until 1995, when he was transferred to UT Austin’s Government program, where he studied moral and political theory.  He served as a representative for the Inter-Collegial Program of Social Research sponsored by University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in the summer of 1996, and received the Ford Foundation Grant for Asian Studies for a collaborative research project in the summer of 1998.  Beginning in 1998 he was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Economics, Law and Politics of Nanjing Normal University and a research associate at the Public Policy Institute at UT Austin in June 1999.  He is a member of the American Philosophical Association, American Political Science Association, and American Chinese Philosophical Association, and is now the Chief Editor for Nanjing University Law Review.  Professor Zhang is broadly interested in the comparative studies of constitutional jurisprudence, legal and political philosophy, and the moral foundations of liberal democracy and constitutionalism, particularly the relevant enduring values in the classical Chinese thought.  He has published a dozen articles and several books on these subjects, including “Constitutionalism and Democracy: The Seperation of Powers and Party Politics in the American Federal Government” (Chinese Social Science Quarterly, 1996), Market Economy and Legal Regulations (Shichang Jingji de Faluu Tiaokong, 1998), The Constitutional Structure of American Government (Meiguo Xianfa yu Zhengfu Jiegou, 2000), and the coming two-volume work, The Western Constitutional Systems (Xifang Xianzheng Tixi).  Among other things, he is working on a project examining the relationships between constitutional engineering, social and economic transitions, and the traditional moral values in China.
 

QIANFAN ZHANG
 
The Idea of Human Dignity in Classical Chinese Philosophy:
A Reconstruction of Confucianism[1]
 
 
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.  They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
 
1.    Introduction
About fifty years ago, the United Nations appealed to the “recognition of the inherent dignity and of equal and inalienable rights of all members of human family” as “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.[2]  Except the 1949 Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany which honored human dignity as its controlling norm,[3] however, the concept of human dignity did not seem to arouse much political attention among nations of the world.  While many developing nations were beset by economic hardships and political repression, developed liberal democratic nations were caught by the explosion of various political, economic, and social rights.  The United States, for example, was preoccupied with the Civil Rights Movement in the Sixties and with the welfare rights and rights for women in the Seventies.  And, despite the conservative turn, the world continued to be inundated with the “rights-talks” in the Eighties.  Individual rights in different realms of human life--rights to free speech and free exercise of religion, rights against legal and political discriminations based on race and sex, right to procedural fairness in welfare hearings, right to physical freedom of woman versus potential rights of an unborn life, and so on--seemed to be the only ground that people in liberal democracies were willing to accept as the basis for good life.  Yet rights are not self-justifying, and “rights-talks” would remain groundless without some unifying conception of human beings.  Although the postwar rights movements did contribute to improving the social, economic, and political status of disadvantaged sections of the population, they shifted the focus of political, legal, and philosophical debates away from the central question about the meaning of human dignity and, without even attempting to answer this question, many invented rights remained unjustified.[4] Recently, however, there seems to be a renewed interest in the idea of human dignity among  philosophers and legal scholars.  Within the western liberal tradition itself, some philosophers come to treat dignity as the philosophical foundation for the existence of rights.[5]  A U.S. Supreme Court Justice even made effort to found the new constitutional rights on the basis of human dignity.[6]  The concept of dignity is also used, though implicitly, as a device to reconcile Confucianism, primarily a duty-oriented ethics, with the rights-based modern liberalism.[7]
The recent rise in references to human dignity has hardly contributed to its conceptual clarity, however.  The concept, which Dworkin notes rightly as broad and vague,[8] has caused much confusion in literature.  It has been used by authors of different convictions to stand for different meanings and with different implicit assumptions, often never made explicit and articulated.  It has been employed variously to mean, among other things, the Kantian imperative of treating human being always as the end and never as means only,[9] the “intrinsic humanity divested of all socially imposed roles and norms”,[10] the inherent worth belonging equally to all human beings,[11] the actually developed and mutually recognized moral status of a person,[12] the act and the capacity of claiming one’s rights or the self-controlled expression of rights,[13] the right to secure inviolable moral status against degradation and disgrace in the context of the Due Process and the Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment in the United States Constitution,[14] self-respect implying respect for others as opposed to purely self-centered esteem,[15] the quality or state of being worthy and esteemed which requires respect for one’s physical or psychological integrity,[16] full realization of human power and rational existence,[17] the existentialist “authentic dignity of man” as found in man’s thrownness into the truth of Being,[18] the universally shared human reality as given by God or the unique value of human being created in the image of God,[19] and the all-embracing Confucian ideal of humanity (Ren) composed of “concentric circles” of the self, the family, the state, human society, and the cosmos.[20]  While some of the connotations are vague and unclear in themselves (what is meant by the end as opposed to mere means?  what is full realization of human power? etc.), others conflict with one another (e.g., human dignity as intrinsic quality universal to all versus extrinsic characters present only in some human beings).  It is perhaps not far-fetched to say that the current discussions of human dignity are mired in the stage of conceptual chaos.
In this paper I seek to clarify the concept of human dignity by introducing the contribution of classical Confucianism to this subject.  As I indicate in the title, however, it is a reformulation of the Confucian view, for the concept of human dignity was neither explicitly mentioned in classical Confucian text nor systematically explained by traditional interpretations.  I nevertheless argue that it is the most adequate concept for understanding and interpreting Confucianism, which discovered the dignity of man in the innate virtues (De) unique to mankind by which every man and woman is enabled to live a morally decent and materially self-sufficient life.  The paper is divided roughly into two parts.  After a brief review of the conceptual development in the West, I explain, primarily in the words of Confucius and Mencius, the meaning of human dignity as exemplified by a Confucian gentleman.[21]  Next, I shall discuss the connection between the Confucian concept of dignity and the western concepts of rights and duties.  Conceding that Confucianism failed to espouse the modern ideas of democracy and liberty, as some might contend,[22] I argue that the idea of human dignity, which is firmly rooted in Confucianism, does contain the potential of receiving new interpretations that can bring about basic compatibility between the Chinese cultural tradition and the prevailing western notion of liberal democracy.  While human dignity implies a universal demand for its protection and respect, and thus is primarily a duty-oriented concept, the universal duty imposed on the state and society does confer definable rights to the individual.  I argue, indeed, that compared to the Hobbesian theory of natural right, on which the western liberal tradition is founded, the Confucian concept of human dignity can accommodate a more balanced and consistent view of rights and duty.
2.    The Concept of Human Dignity in the West: An Overview
Like the notion of individual rights, human dignity is surely a western concept.  But in the prevalent rights-oriented ethical discussions today,[23] “human dignity” is not among the terms that are often talked about.  And in those academic works that do mention the phrase (even in their titles), it is often left undefined and is used to express moral convictions the authors take for granted to be self-evident.[24]  Yet, of course, the concept of human dignity is anything but self-evident.  Having comprehensively surveyed the conceptual development in the history of western philosophy, Spiegelberg finds it compelling to conclude that the meaning of “human dignity” remains vague and inconsistent, and the clarification of the concept still poses a “genuine challenge” to contemporary philosophers.[25]  To facilitate comparison with the Confucian idea of human dignity discussed below, I provide here a brief account of the conceptual development in the West.[26]
Since the Greek philosophers, the concept of human dignity has evolved in the entwined development of two traditions in the West: secular and religious.  From the beginning human dignity was implicitly associated with freedom and reason.  In the Platonic anatomy of the soul, reason is the best and the highest part; it is the divine substance, the partaking of which elevates the soul and makes it immortal.  For Aristotle, men are dignified in virtue of reason because it brings order to their individual and social lives.[27]  When it came to the Christian scale of value, however, human reason was relegated to a minor place.  For Augustine, human beings are knowing animals, yet reason is not the end in itself, but only the means to a higher end.[28]  Fundamentally faith is the precondition to right reasoning, and the faith in God, the perfect and highest good, is to be chosen freely by human will.[29]  Free will, then, seems to be the ultimate locus of human dignity.[30]  In the same vein, Descartes elaborates further that mankind can be said to partake a part of its Creator, not in its limited capacity for reason, but in the unlimited free will.[31]  In a sense man has dignity because he is created in the image of God, and carries within him a portion of divine substance.[32] Under the influence of the humanist movement since the Renaissance, the Christian view of human nature took further positive development.  Indeed, one of the earliest clear expression for the “dignity of man” came from a young Medieval priest.[33]  Yet the Christian notion of human dignity seems to be necessarily limited in certain aspects.  After all, it is precisely the free will that makes men consciously abandon their belief in God and deviate from his commands, thus falling into sin and evil.[34]  Consistent with the Christian theological belief, it seems, human dignity could not possibly originate within human being, but must come from some external source.[35]
With the Enlightenment, “the dignity of man” became a general ideal independent of particular religious doctrines and acquired its modern meaning.  Most prominently, Kant combines freedom and reason in one to derive a unique notion of human dignity.  For Kant, one’s dignity (wurde) comes exclusively from the inner, unconditional worth of moral law and the capacity for autonomous law-making.[36]  Everyone is in essence a free and rational being, capable of making for him/herself the moral laws that applies universally.[37]  In virtue of the self-legislating capacity, men is able to live in the kingdom of ends, where he treats others as the beings of intrinsic, irreplaceable worth (as opposed to goods replaceable at certain prices), and can expect in turn that he is treated by others in the same manner.[38]  The universal, categorical imperative would commands everyone to treat others as well as him/herself as ends in themselves and never merely as means to some other ends.[39]  Yet, as several authors have contended, the Kantian notion of dignity is difficult to conceive because it is associated with moral freedom, which exists not in the observable phenomenal world (which Kant, under the influence of the Newtonian and Laplacian view of the cosmos prevailing at his time, believed to be mechanically determined), but only in the non-observable and incomprehensible noumenal world (“the thing in itself”).[40]
Despite its problem, the Kantian conception of man as a morally autonomous and self-legislating creature, who must be treated as the end in itself and not merely as means, remains unsurpassed as the basis for the western concept of human dignity.  Indeed it became all the more appealing in light of the traumatic human experience in the twentieth century, especially during and after the two World Wars, in which the dignity and basic rights of millions of men and women were systematically trampled by totalitarian dictatorships.  To permanently prevent the resurrection of monstrosities committed by the Nazi regime, the Federal Republic of Germany absorbed the elements of Kantian moral philosophy in its postwar constitutional practice.  Most notably, the German Basic Law declares in its unalterable opening article that “The dignity of man shall be inviolable.  To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority”.[41]  The clause of human dignity has led to an admirably body of jurisprudence developed by the German Constitutional Court and is treated as the controlling norm by which all individual rights are interpreted.[42]  The philosophical cornerstone of the German constitutional jurisprudence remains the Kantian tradition, infused with the Christian natural law and social democratic thoughts.[43]
On the other hand, moral idealism in Kant’s philosophy took a radical subjective turn in the existentialist development during the war period.[44]  In searching for a secure place for human freedom and dignity in a hostile human environment, the existentialists turned to the inner world of human consciousness, and identified the dignity of man with the freedom of choosing and making oneself.  Radical and unfettered freedom now becomes the sole foundation of all values.  In a representative work,[45] for example, Sartre underscores the famous existentialist theme: “Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself”; “Man makes himself; he is not found ready-made; he makes himself by the choice of his morality, and he cannot but choose a morality”.[46]  Through free choice a man becomes responsible for his actions.  Indeed, Sartre goes beyond Kant’s universality of moral laws when he declares that man not only legislates for himself, but is also “a legislator deciding for the whole of mankind”, and thus become “responsible for myself and for all men”.[47]  But, although Sartre seems to agree with Kant that certain form of morality is universal, he rejects any notion of a priori moral laws, and insists that “One can choose anything”,[48] as long as the choice is made freely.  He further rejects the Kantian version of humanism, which takes man as the end in itself and as the ultimate value.  To the contrary, the existentialists would “never take man as the end, since man is still to be determined”.[49]  Of course, at the same time, the existentialists reject the Christian theology as the proper account of human morality.  There is neither a God who created mankind with fixed human nature nor the Ten Amendments which inexorably order human beings to refrain from doing certain things; every man is completely free and responsible for every action he takes, even though it is taken without any rational justification.  As existentialism treats individual choices as fundamentally groundless, irrational, and absurd, it has often been attacked for advancing moral nihilism.  For our purpose, the radically subjective orientation of existentialism seems to have undermined its chance of success in searching for human dignity.[50]  After all, it is difficult to make sense of human responsibility without any guiding principle, or to see the dignity in human beings as moral agents whose value choices are entirely without rational ground.  A solid basis for human dignity and freedom is yet to be established.
In seeking to provide the philosophical foundation for the respect and protection of individual rights, several attempts have been made recently to reinvestigate the meaning of human dignity.  While authors in the Judeo-Christian tradition continue to maintain that human dignity is to be ultimately based upon the theological premise that God created man in his own image,[51] there are encouraging development within the secular tradition.  The concept is explicitly discussed in a recent volume edited by Meyer and Parent,[52] which explores the essential relationship between human dignity, constitutional rights, and American liberal values.  Perhaps the most systematic and consistent treatment is provided by Alan Gewirth,[53] who seeks to use his “dialectically necessary method” to derive the existence of human dignity.  For Gewirth, the concept of human dignity contains both empirical and inherent  aspects.[54] While the contingent features of acquired desirable characters (such as gravity, composure, confidence, and self-respect) belong only to certain human beings and to different degrees, the intrinsic worth is shared by all human beings to an equal degree.  Questions still exist, however, as to the relationship between the intrinsic and extrinsic aspects of dignity and its moral implications.  In what sense is inherent dignity shared by all men, making a criminal on the par with a saint?[55]  Should individual differences in extrinsic dignity make any difference to one’s political and social rights?  Should the notion of inherent dignity impose any duty on the person to acquire extrinsic dignity, besides giving him the right to demand respect from others--an aspect on which almost all relevant discourses so far have focused?[56]  Since these questions have not been satisfactorily answered in the existing literature primarily interested in finding justifications for individual rights, I now turn to classical teachings of Confucianism for additional insight.


[1]       Parts of this paper have been presented at the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy held in Boston, MA, August 1998.  I thank Professors Ni Peimin, Li Chenyang, Li Xiaorong, Jiang Tao, and Wang Qingjie for their helpful comments.  I also thank Professor David Braybrooke at University of Texas at Austin and Professor Zhang Dainian at Beijing University for their encouragement and support during this project.
 
[2]        Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Preamble.
 
[3]       Grundgesetz, Art. I.
 
[4]       The Universal Declaration itself contains several “economic, social, and cultural rights”.  For example,  “Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization ... of economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality” (Art. 22).  “Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection” (Art. 23, sec. 3).  Similar statements are also contained in the Preamble of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1966.  See the collection of documents in Ian Brownlie (ed.), Basic Documents on Human Rights (2nd Ed., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981).  In all occasions the phrase “human dignity” is left undefined.
 
[5]  See e.g. Alan Gewirth, “Human Dignity as the Basis of Rights”, In Michael J. Meyer and William A. Parent (ed.), The Constitution of Rights: Human Dignity and American Values (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), pp. 10-28.
 
[6]  J. William Brennan, “The Constitution of the United States: Contemporary Ratification”, University of California at Davis Law Review, 19 (1985), p. 8; see also Jordan Paust, “Human Dignity as Constitutional Right: A Jurisprudentially Based Inquiry into Criteria and Content”, Howard Law Journal, 27 (1984), pp. 150-158.
 
[7]  See contributions in Wm. Theodore de Bary and Tu Weiming (ed.), Confucianism and Human Rights (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998).
 
[8]       Ronald Dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1978), p. 198.
 
[9]      Ibid.
 
[10]  Peter L. Berger, Brigitte Berger, & Hansfriend Kellner, The Homeless Mind: Modernization and Consciousness (New York: Random House, 1973), p. 89.
 
[11]      Gewirth, ibid., p. 12.
 
[12]      A.I. Melden, “Dignity, Worth, and Rights”, In Meyer and Parent, ibid., pp. 29-46.
 
[13]     See, respectively, Joel Feinberg, “The Nature and Value of Rights”, Journal of Value Inquiry, 4 (1970), p. 257, and Michael J. Meyer, “Dignity, Rights, and Self-control”, Ethics, 99 (1989), p. 527.
 
[14]     Meyer and Parent, ibid., pp. 47-72.
 
[15]     Charles Murray, In Pursuit of Happiness and Good Government (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988), pp. 112-129.
 
[16]  Louis Henkin, “Human Dignity and Constitutional Rights”, In Meyer and Parent, ibid., p. 210.
 
[17]  Myres S. McDougal’s notion in W. Michael Reisman and Burns H. Weston, Toward World Order and Human Dignity (New York: Free Press, 1976), pp. 48-51.
 
[18]  Heidegger’s reply to Sartre, see H. Spiegelberg, “Human Dignity: A Challenge to Contemporary Philosophy”, In Rubin Gotesky & Ervin Laszlo (ed.), Human Dignity: This Century and the Next (New York: Gordon & Breach Science Publishers, 1970), p. 53.
 
[19]      See, respectively, Jurgen Moltmann, On Human Dignity: Political Theology and Ethics (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), p. x, and Brad Stetson, Human Dignity and Contemporary Liberalism (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998), pp. 15-17.
 
[20]      Tu Weiming, “Epilogue: Human Rights as a Confucian Moral Discourse”, In de Barry and Tu Weiming, Ibid., p. 302.  In the same collection of works, see also Irene Bloom, “Fundamental Intuition and Consensus Statement: Mencian Confucianism and Human Dignity”, p. 96, and compare with Cheng Chung-ying, “Transforming Confucian Virtues into Human Rights: A Study of Human Agency and Potency”, p. 146.
 
[21]      Of course, this does not mean that other schools, notably Daoism and Mohism, have not made significant contributions to the conceptual development; but to do justice to them would require separate paper(s).
 
[22]      See e.g. Li Chenyang, “Confucian Value and Democratic Value”, Journal of Value Inquiry, 31 (1997): 183-192.
 
[23]      For how the center of natural law doctrine in the West shifted from duty to rights around the resurgence of natural law theories in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, see John Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Rights (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), pp. 205-210.
 
[24]      For example, Herschel Baker’s book, The Dignity of Man: Studies of the Persistence of An Idea (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1947), bears “dignity” in the title, but refers to it only sparingly in the entire book; the same is true with Ernest Bloch’s Natural Law and Human Dignity (trans. by Dennis J. Schmidt, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1986), which does not even have the word in the index.  The French book by Thomas de Koninck, De la dignite humaine (Paris: Presses Universitares de France, 1995), has a general title, but is in fact limited only to child treatment (see Hugo Meynell’s book review, “Politics of Human Dignity”, In The Literary Review of Canada, February 1996, pp. 6-7).  The most relevant treatment of the concept can be found in two edited works: Gotesky and Laszlo’s Human Dignity: This Century and the Next (1970) is more philosophically oriented (see especially Spiegelberg’s analytical essay), while Meyer and Parent’s Constitution of Rights: Human Dignity and American Values (1992) is by and large tied to issues arising from American constitutionalism (but see Gewirth’s contribution therein).
 
[25]      Spiegelberg, “Human Dignity: A Challenge to Contemporary Philosophy”, In Rubin Gotesky & Ervin Laszlo, ibid., pp. 39-62.
 
[26]      For a more detailed review, see J. Prescott Johnson, “Human Dignity and Nature of Society”, In Rubin Gotesky & Ervin Laszlo, ibid., pp. 317-349.
 
[27]      See Baker, ibid., pp. 100-105.
 
[28]      Vernon J. Bourke (ed.), The Essential Augustine (2nd Ed., Indianapolis: Hackett, 1974), pp. 19-32.
 
[29]      St. Augustine, City of God (trans. Henry Bettenson, London: Penguin Books, 1984), pp. 190-196.
 
[30]      Johnson, ibid., pp. 330-338.
 
[31]      Discourse of Methods, Book IV.
 
[32]      Augustine, ibid., pp. 458-463.
 
[33]      Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Oration on the Dignity of Man (trans. A. Robert Caponigri, Washington D.C.: Regnery Gateway, 1956).
 
[34]      Augustine, ibid., p. 195.
 
[35]      See Yu Ying-Shih (余英时), The Modern Interpretation of Traditional Chinese Thought 《中国思想传统的现代诠释》 (Nanjing: Jiangsu Renmin Chubanshe, 1989), pp. 24-48.  For an argument that human dignity is saved by redemption through Jesus Christ, see John Warwick Montgomery, Human Rights and Human Dignity (Dallas, TX: Zondervan, 1986), p. 208.
 
[36]      Immanuel Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals (3rd Ed., trans. J.W. Ellington, Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Co., 1993), sec. 411.  See also Thomas E. Hill, Dignity and Practical Reason in Kants Moral Theory (Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press, 1992), pp. 76-96, and Leslie Arthur Mulholland, Kants System of Rights (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), pp. 102-139.
 
[37]      Kant, ibid., sec. 421-423, 452-453.  As Kant himself acknowledges, he is indebted to Rousseau on at least two key points: that everyone, however low in social rank, has intrinsic worth and that freedom means self-legislation (which is, for Rousseau, to make the general will one’s own will).
 
[38]      See H.J. Paton, The Categorical Imperative: A Study in Kants Moral Philosophy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948), pp. 185-198.
 
[39]      Kant, ibid., sec. 428-429.  For Kant’s connection between human dignity and treating man as the end, see Yang Zu-han (杨祖汉), Confucianism and Kantian Moral Philosophy 《儒学与康德道德哲学》 (Taipei: Wenjing, 1987), pp. 40-41.  This notion of human being is widely accepted among Continental philosophers after Kant.  Hegel states, for example, that “Man is only an end in himself (or final end) through what is divine in him--by what has from the beginning been called reason and ... freedom”.  In Carl J. Friedrich (ed.), The Philosophy of Hegel (New York: Random House, 1954), p. 19.
 
[40]      See e.g. Meyer and Parent, ibid., p. 53.
 
[41]      Grundgesetz, Art. I.
 
[42]      See Donald P. Kommers, The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany (Durham: Duke University Press, 1989), pp. 308-309.
 
[43]      Ibid., pp. 312-314.
 
[44]      The subjective tendency is already present in Kant, who seems to have established only that human beings can think of themselves as being free.
 
[45]       Sartre never devoted systematic attention to the question of human dignity.  His relevant concern is mostly reflected in his Existentialism and Humanism, on which my discussion here is focused.  For a book by an existentialist author bearing the title of human dignity, see Gabriel Marcel, The Existential Background of Human Dignity (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963), pp. 128-135, 158.  The discussion on human dignity there is only sporadic, however, and does little to clarify the meaning of the concept.
 
[46]      Jean-Paul Sartre, “Existentialism and Humanism”. In Walter Kaufmann (ed.), Existentialism: From Dostoevsky to Sartre (Cleveland/New York: World Publising Co., 1956), pp. 291, 306.
 
[47]      Ibid., p. 292.
 
[48]      Ibid., pp. 308-309.
 
[49]      Ibid., p. 310.  For a thorough discussion on the existentialist view of human existence and freedom, which leads to a peculiar notion of responsibility, see Sartre’s Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology (trans Hazel E. Barnes, New York: Washington Square Press, 1956), pp. 76, 565, 598, 603, 797.
 
[50]       Spiegelberg, ibid., pp. 51-53.  For a critique of Heidegger and Sartre in comparison with Confucianism, see Yu Ying-shih 1989: 24-48; about a comparison between western and Chinese philosophy on moral personality, see Xu Fu-guan (徐复观), The Basic Characters of Confucian Spirit, Its Limitations and Rebirth 《儒家精神之基本性格、及其限定与新生》 (Hong Kong: Minzhu Pinlunshe, 1951), pp. 1-10.
 
[51]      Moltmann, ibid., 15-31; Montgomery, ibid., pp. 208-217.
 
[52]      Meyer and Parent (ed.), The Constitution of Rights: Human Dignity and American Values (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992).
 
[53]      Gewirth, ibid., pp. 10-28.
 
[54]       For a similar distinction between “intrinsic” and “extrinsic” dignity made in the Christian context, see Brad Stetson, Human Dignity and Contemporary Liberalism (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998), pp. 15-17.
 
[55]      Gewirth, ibid., p. 10; compare with Melden, ibid., p. 31.
 
[56]      The only exceptions are those made in the Christian context, see e.g. Moltmann, ibid., p. 10, Montgomery, ibid., p. 192.
 
载于《中国哲学杂志》Journal of Chinese Philosophy) September 2000.  27 (3): 299-330.