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McInerny Center for Thomistic Studies

Washington D. C.

March 8-10, 2007


“The Philosophical Foundations of Human Dignity”

a conference sponsored by the


Ralph McInerny Center for Thomistic Studies


The Army and Navy Club
17th and I Streets, NW





Almost everyone in the West gives at least lip service to the ideal of human dignity, but the foundations for that principle are often unclear.  Some treat it simply as a “given,” with no need for any intellectual foundation.  Others emphasize religious grounds, based either on natural theology or revealed religion.  Others yet offer various philosophical reasons.  

Moreover, a wide variety of contemporary issues that implicate the principle of human dignity are highly controversial.  These issues include abortion, assisted or artificial reproduction, cloning, the death penalty, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia, just war principles, pornography, societal commitment to promoting economic opportunity and ensuring availability of basic social services such as healthcare, and various forms of discrimination.  Perhaps greater clarity on the foundations of human dignity would narrow the range of disagreement on these issues, or at least provide us with clearer alternatives. 

To examine the question of the foundations of human dignity, the Ralph McInerny Center for Thomistic Studies will hold a conference March 8-10, 2007.

Confirmed speakers include Robert George (Princeton University) and Patrick Lee (Franciscan University), Jeremy Waldron (New York University Law School), William Hurlburt (Stanford University), Michael Pakaluk (Clark University), Fulvio Di Blasi (Centro Ricerche Tommaso D’Aquino), and John Tomasi (Brown University).

The conference will begin at 1 pm on Thursday, March 7 and end Saturday, March 10 at 5 pm. Each of the five sessions will include one major paper and two respondents, with ample time for questions and discussion.

Conference seating is limited.  To register for the conference, email the McInerny Center at mcinerny_center@verizon.net, giving name, address, email, and phone.




Free and Open to the Public


Assessorato ai Beni Culturali ed Ambientali ed alla Pubblica Istruzione della Regione Siciliana