Dignity as a fundamental principle of culture or as a manifestation of the law of the “existential self”

Philosophical and cultural studies

The article deals with one of the most significant contradictions in the whole issue of dignity: between the moral value and social significance of the individual. The goal of this study is in outlining this contradiction, allowing to consider new horizons in the genesis of sense. The research methods are the method of system analysis, the principle of historical and logical unity, the method of cultural and historical comparison. The author proposes a different, shifted look at the seemingly obvious objects and themes. The unity and contrast between dignity as a fundamental principle of culture and dignity as a manifestation of the laws of sociality is a form of fundamental contradiction between dignity as life and life as dignity. The resolution of this contradiction can imply both a denial of dignity, and its confirmation. Both are equally provable and disprovable. The result of the study is in establishing the equality and differences between the fundamental principle of culture and the social law of the “existential self.” Another result is the following paradox. Everything that is unequivocally condemned by culture as a violation of its fundamental principle, as misbehavior – flattery, servility, careerism, scheming, slander, denunciation – all of this is actually the social norm, as a manifestation of the laws of sociality. Conversely, something that is glorified by culture – heroism, asceticism, holiness – is an exception to the norm, challenging the “normal everyday life.” But it is the principle of worthy existence that is a necessary strategy for positive assembly, pulling, collecting and holding the culture. This is what connects and unites, collects and holds.

Citation: V.V. Kuznetsov, Dignity as a fundamental principle of culture or as a manifestation of the law of the “existential self”, St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University Journal. Humanities and Social Sciences, 8 (3) (2017) 90–100. DOI: 10.18721/JHSS.8309