Human Dignity As A Problem Of National And Transnational Relations


The article considers human dignity from the point of view of anthropological philosophy. In the interpretation of a nation, the authors do not divide into two approaches the understanding of a nation as ethno-cultural and national-civil. Both views of the national problem lead by necessity to the transnational posing of the question. The utopian theme of the possibility of a global ethos is touched upon. The article notes the multidimensional nature of the problem being raised. The relevance of the problem is due to the fact that the basis of human dignity is constituted by basic universal human values of a transnational nature. The use of an anthropoxy-axiological approach and interdisciplinary methods reveals the universal value of dignity. The concept of human dignity is associated with a responsible attitude to life with the adoption of responsible decisions in modern conditions of socio-cultural interactions and interethnic relations. Based on the ontological understanding of globalization as megatrends in the self-movement of the natural historical process, the authors substantiate the transnational value of human dignity. In the context of globalization, human dignity becomes the core of the moral rethinking of the ratio of transnational and national development in the light of responsibility, tolerance, and the capacity for non-violence. The authors state in the formulation of the main issue of human dignity the possibility of going beyond the philosophical and ethical category, since the unchanging core of the universal human values of goodness-beauty-truth does not lose its meaning in the global, changing world.

Keywords: Human dignityglobalizationtransnational values


In the context of globalization, the question of the further development of modern technological culture and civilization is acute, with the importance of the problem of human existence, a decent lifestyle and the essence of human dignity growing in the center. Modern thinkers point to the need for a new reassessment of values. So, Stepin (2011) in the urgency of the problem of points of growth of new values, determining a gradual departure from liberalism, identified three kinds of reasons: 1) increased migration of people, 2) the formation of large new interstate formations, 3) the search for new strategies of civilization development of the globalizing world. The tendency to move away from liberal values, the values of a consumer society towards transnational absolute values is indicated (Kolomiets, 2012).

European humanists point to the need for a new reassessment of values. For example, at the Russian Philosophical Congress in Ufa in 2013, Johanna Kuchuradi made a report on human rights, in which she highlighted the value of justice as an appeal to human rights in terms of the realization of human dignity. With the theme of human dignity, Kuchuradi spoke at a seminar on “Human Rights and Human Dignity” in 2004, where she outlined the philosophical and anthropological understanding of human dignity as knowledge of the value of a human being, the universality of the concept of human dignity, as opposed to cultural-specific concepts of “honor” , "pride." Kuchuradi (2018) considers unacceptable the priority of individual cultural values over human rights, which are universal norms that actualize the possibility of implementing a decent lifestyle for each person.

Problem Statement

The increasing role of human dignity, which is obliged to make responsible decisions, is indicated by integrative processes that are accompanied by the search for a new sociocultural identity, the search for a place and sense of human dignity in the light of intersubjective values in the dialogue of national cultures.

The value core of dignity is the measure of consumer demands, the ethical, moral content of any activity. The life of mankind is life itself as a value, extended subject to the harmonization of national, political, economic, legal, scientific, practical, intercultural relations. In this regard, the quality of human life itself, the activity of man interacting with nature, living and inanimate matter is being rethought. The study of the problem of human dignity in the context of globalization induces to reveal the need for an anthropoxiological approach to interethnic dialogue.

Referring to the aspect of national and transnational relations of a globalizing world, we denote that we assume both points of view on the concept of a nation: a traditional national-ethnic concept and a modern national-civilian, which identifies a person’s nationality with his citizenship and relates it to acts of conscious choice (Guseinov, 2012). At the same time, for our article, it is important to establish the value of human dignity in the correlate of national and transnational relations. With this formulation of the problem, we, first, turned to the ethical classics on human dignity; secondly, we approved the status of national dignity in the global world.

Research Questions

If in the normative ethics the basic value of human dignity was the obligation connected with the realization that the guarantor of the moral law is the highest good, then after the antinormative turn in philosophy and ethics, in the period of the new industrial revolution of the XIX century aspect within the boundaries of the same duty. The modern understanding of human dignity is revealed in the context of both individual ethics and social ethics, where as an absolute ethical value containing the unchanging core of such ethical existentials as free will, the meaning of life, justice and responsibility, a person, life, ecology is affirmed in a creative and creative activities in the era of globalism. The structure of the concept of human dignity goes back to the idea of man in the unity of the natural, social and spiritual principles. Exploring the history of philosophical thought about human dignity, one can identify three positions of a philosophical view of human dignity - this is a subjective-personal, social, anthropological (Voropaeva & Kolomiets, 2017, p. 49). Human dignity is a complex, multi-level, multi-valued, integral moral concept. In foreign studies, human dignity is considered in the context of individual freedom and human rights. In modern Russian studies, the idea of human value is highlighted in connection with its purpose, and anthropological dignity is asserted through creative activity in a globalizing space.

The concept of globalization was conceptually singled out by the American sociologist J. Macklin in connection with the increasing social relations (Scholte, 1996). When we classify the scientific definitions of globalization, we rely on interpretations that, within the meaning of the term “globalization,” define ontological bases. For example, globalization is understood as a centuries-old natural historical process that encourages people to strive to achieve some kind of unity, the desire to form the world community, an objective process that is independent of individuals or communities (Chumakov, 2008). Deeper grounds are in the view of globalization as a kind of predetermined program of a self-propelled process originating from sociogenesis (Barlybaev, 2007). Globalization in the context of the sociocultural processes of the 20th century is interpreted as a megatrend to the unification of mankind, taking into account the dialectics of spatial-temporal movements, interactions and anthroposocial transformations, as the universalization of relations in various spheres of society (Granin, 2014). At the same time, Euro-Amerikan researchers point to the strength of the power that seeks to rule the world in the integration processes of the spatial organization of social relations (Held, Perraton, MacGrew, & Goldblatt, 2004).

Global problems affect the essential foundations of the cultural and civilizational activities of mankind. Based on the idea of the unity of man and the Universe, ensuring the survival of the human race is of paramount importance in the new civilizational conditions. Human dignity in the context of globalization allows us to identify both the positive role of humanity in the development of civilization and see the negative aspects of human activity. In our opinion, research questions here can be directed in three ways: ethical, aesthetic, scientific and educational. The metaphysical triad “good-beauty-truth” known from antiquity, which is the value support of human existence, serves as a justification for such a three-fold approach. This triad of higher values is something unchanged in a historically changing world.

Goldman (2018), in his book “Life Values: Pleasure, Happiness, Meaning and Well-being”, comes to the utilitarian conclusion that only well-being is an all-embracing category of subjective-personal value, which is to satisfy the deep rational desires that, in our view, is a prerequisite for a decent human life.

The authors of “The Autonomy and Self-Respect” (Hill, 1991) oppose a utilitarian approach to values associated with dignity, believing that universal utilitarian values do not always work, because in everyday life we are often guided by non-standard values.

The human dignity is indicated by the concept of Agazzi (2012), based on the principles of axiology of science, where he emphasizes the need for responsible scientific and technical activities with the preservation of the cognitive value of science. The concept of ethical responsibility derives from the principle of duty. According to the dignity article in the encyclopedia of Ethics (Meyer, 2001) it is pointed out that Kantian idea of human dignity as an Autonomous source of moral law and the inadmissibility of violation of human dignity as a fundamental dominant of his being, regardless of the nation, race, gender, intelligence, talent prevails in Europe.

Hill (1991), interpreting I. Kant, points to the incommensurable status of human dignity, which should be interpreted and applied through moral principles.

Pullman (2001) addresses the issue of human dignity in connection with the Oregon “Death Law with Dignity” in 1997, arguing with advocates of the “right to die.” Pullman believes that such a law only diminishes human dignity. The desire to live, overcoming suffering and pain, on the contrary, strengthens human dignity.

Purpose of the Study

It is possible to designate the vector of the problem of human dignity in the aspect of national-spatial relations. The affirmation of human dignity occurs in a global world in which national interests operate and the needs of people grow. The manifestation of human dignity also occurs in direct, interpersonal communication in the light of tolerant relationships, responsibility based on universal human values. The natural mutual influence of nations, due to the dialogue of cultures in the context of globalization, implies a focus on the principle of respect between individuals, social and state structures belonging to different cultural communities.The possibility of a dialogue between national (both ethnic and civic) cultures excludes a relativistic approach in the formation of a new transcultural identity, since human dignity involves creative interaction, which excludes both unification by the rule of European or any other culture and eclecticism expressed in politics multiculturalism.

The purpose of this article is to address the topic of human dignity in a globalizing world, which reveals the tendency of an innovative “return” to anthropological models of an ideal transnational ethos in search of resolving the contradictions of real-life national cultures.

Following the axiological methodology, we believe that human dignity in the modern world can act as a factor of non-violence, if we highlight the classical ethical doctrine of human obligation and responsibility, recognizing human dignity as an absolute moral value, recognizing the sociogenetic ability of a person as a moral being to perfection, convinced of the right on progress.

Research Methods

In the methodological foundations of the study of human dignity, we have highlighted the anthropo-axiological approach, which includes the anthropocentric, sociocultural, evolutionary-globalistic methods of humanitarian knowledge, which allows us to find subjective and intersubjective connections with absolute values ​​and to draw attention to the relationship between national and transnational global world. The theoretical basis of the research is European theories of values. These include the right to life, nature, creative activity for the benefit of man, duty and responsibility, freedom and justice, equality and solidarity.

The modern synergetic approach defines society as a self-developing system, where man is a product of cosmic evolution, man exists in interaction with nature. The activity approach allows to single out the individual and public (national-state) responsibility of a person for the results of his activity, which determine the contours of the future of humanity. The historical method of analyzing philosophical and ethical views has shown, firstly, that human dignity is interpreted in various ways and correlates with moral virtues. Secondly, human dignity as a phenomenon is a complex structure, based on the subjective and intersubjective directivity, revealed three interrelated lines of philosophical and ethical views on human dignity – subjective-personal, social-oriented, anthropological.

The criterion of the relationship between the individual and the social in determining human dignity in the history of philosophy is an attitude toward virtues.

According to Plato, the virtues of wisdom, courage, prudence (prudence), justice define the concept of dignity as a quality characteristic of an individual, consisting in the moderation of passions, the way to achieve truth in the unity of the three metaphysical essences of good-truth-beauty with the help of virtues (Voropaeva & Kolomiets, 2017).

Based on the historical and philosophical approach, we establish a stable view of the “unchanging” and “changing” in the interpretation of human dignity, on an intersubjective and subjective basis in the mind of a person reflecting self-esteem.


The complex of methods defined human dignity as an absolute ethical value, which contains the invariable core of virtues (wisdom, responsibility, justice, etc.) in specific meanings in the modern sociocultural space “by means of the implementation by man of his moral essence asserting himself in creative and creative activity, communication and being the guarantor of human responsibility in different guises of subject-object relations” (Voropaeva & Kolomiets, 2017, p. 34).

Ethics of human dignity in the aspect of national relations can have a significant role in the strategy of a globalizing world. The search for a transcultural approach to new values is important here. Human dignity from the point of view of philosophical anthropology is a universal human value and determines, as a utopian ideal, a movement towards a global ethical space, hypothetically achieved thanks to the creative activity of man. The basic formation of such a global movement is the possibility of choosing the ethics of non-violence in the context of globalization through responsibility in communication, through such global transcultural interaction, when the principles of democracy, freedom and human rights, the principle of justice presuppose rationality having a moral content.

In modern anthropological ethics in the structure of the concept of "human dignity" highlighted the unity of the three components of human existence, namely: social, individual, generic. We came to the conclusion that “human dignity is determined, firstly, as a being of a free person, creating his own image, secondly, as a manifestation of individual activity, realization of a higher purpose in interaction with other people, and at the present stage of civilizational development - of a globalizing world” (Voropaeva & Kolomiets, 2017, p. 110). The anthropological, or extra-social direction of the study of the concept of human dignity indicates that the unity of the value being of humanity and the moral value of a person are determined by belonging to the human race.

We focus more on the very concept of philosophical and ethical thought. Note that human dignity in everyday life is not associated with morality, but involves wealth, status, which is expressed through "wealth", "property", "belongings", "physicality". It can be stated that often human dignity in the global world is more connected with its national, political status, scientific achievements, aesthetic experience, rather than with its ethical essence.

At the same time, it is clear that the conditions of globalization actualize the creative and creative human activity, which means that the importance of responsibility in any field of activity increases, which implies respect for the other and non-violence. The sources of violence, which now constitutes a threat to all mankind, appear to be imperfect social relationsThe relevance of human dignity in the context of globalization requires a moral rethinking of the ratio of transnational, universal human podium and national development in the light of responsibility, tolerance, ability to non-violence. Irresponsibility, leading to violence, is the most important problem of the modern world. This is precisely the problem of underestimating human dignity in a globalizing world.

The way out of the global crisis faced by mankind, due to the narrowness of neoliberal values, is seen as a paradigm shift of value orientations. The anthropological essence of human dignity as belonging to the human race, forces to solve the problem of relations between Nations, transnational approach in the dialogue of cultures.

As for the basic concept of a global ethos in the light of the prospects for human dignity, let us point out that the idea of ​​a global ethos was proposed by Guseinov (2009), who admits the study of the possibility of a global ethos as a utopia in accordance with the philosophical and historical study of the future of humanity in its perfect ideal expression. The global ethos implies "a value-given unity of social mores, characterizes a person and a social group in terms of the unity of its mental attitudes, life patterns, social habits, which manifest themselves in everyday culture" (Guseinov, 2009, p. 17).


Summing up the above, we summarize that the anthropo-axiological approach allowed us to single out human dignity as supranational, transcultural, absolute value. The problem of human dignity is deeper than it was presented in the history of philosophical thought as a sense of self-worth, while strengthening and actualizing attention to a given human existential and a socially significant phenomenon that becomes essentially national human dignity in the course of historical development. The ideology of today's liberal democracy, the dangers of forming a unipolar world point to the need to rethink the growing processes of unilateral international order and law, determining the appeal along an ascending vector of dialectical development to absolute values ​​in increasing globalization processes and interdependencies.

In the contemporary situation of globalism, simultaneously with the existence and development of national cultures, the transnational value of human dignity is affirmed, having universal, absolute, transcultural significance from the point of view of philosophical anthropology. Human dignity as a generic is the basis of different types of national dignity. The philosophical knowledge of human dignity as an ethical category goes beyond the limits of ethics proper and acquires the value of special value in the light of true knowledge in search of a decent lifestyle for the future of humanity.


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28 December 2019

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Kolesnikova, I., Parusimova, Y., & Kolomiets*, G. (2019). Human Dignity As A Problem Of National And Transnational Relations. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1714-1720). Future Academy.