,,Wer sich aber zum Wurm macht ..."-Würde als Selbstverpflichtung
Deutsche Zeitschrift fur Philosophie , Volume 66 - Issue 5 p. 607- 625
Kant introduces a duty to oneself to respect oneself and to avoid servility-or not to make oneself a worm. I argue for a wider understanding of this duty:
Persons ought to respect their own dignity as persons with autonomy, rationality, and morality (A), but also as personalities, who embody dignity and live a dignified life (B).
A corresponds to Kant's concept of duty as the necessity of an action done out of respect for the moral law, B is an obligation arising from the practical necessity that follows from one's self-understanding as an individual personality in a socio-cultural context. A and B relate to two types of dignity that are discussed in current debates. I argue that both types of dignity are equally relevant for understanding and respecting one's own dignity.
Finally I discuss why, even though persons can behave like worms, others ought not to step on them.