chapter  III
RESPECT AND DIGNITY
Pages 12

Kant argues that morality, and humanity so far as it is capable of morality, is the only thing which has dignity. The sensible world as a world of determination becomes the world of equivalence and price. It is denied as a source of dignity and moral worth. This is intended to guarantee the autonomy of morality and our dignity as moral beings through withdrawing the notion of ‘dignity’ from our emotional and bodily selves as well as from our activities and relations. Within this framework they are not only denied any dignity and moral worth, but they can no longer be expressive of our individualities which have been so closely identified with our rational noumenal selves. Kant assumes that our ‘earthly activities’ have to be done for some kind of advantage or profit. He is caught within a distinction between the ‘outer’ and the ‘inner’ where it is only the ‘inner’ which can express our freedom and choice. This guarantee of our ‘dignity’ as ‘an absolute inner worth’ can strengthen our sense of self, but it can also blind us to the different ways in which our feelings and emotions can themselves be a source of self-respect.