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In the articles by Nussbaum and Stark, we see two competing portraits of human dignity. For Stark (and the contract theorists, such as Rawls) the norm appears to be rationality or practical reason. For Nussbaum, this norm about dignity defined by rationality must be challenged, as it excludes those with cognitive disabilities from dignity, and thus from the kinds of rights and protections that typically follow from that view. In response, she suggests that dignity can be captured in a far more inclusive and broader sense – seen in her ten capabilities theory that embraces human flourishing.
In your essay, you must (a) explain how each approach understands human dignity (and why – what does it mean, why is it seen as important?); (b) explain how those with cognitive disabilities fare in each approach, and why, and (c) provide a reasoned explanation for which approach you think is the best one to take with respect to cognitive disability (each has pros and cons), and why.
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