In the course of the twentieth century, human dignity became a major point of reference in the debate about rights, politics, and ethics. The UN declarations and covenants on human rights consider "freedom, justice and peace in the world" to be founded on the "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family." Any study of human dignity in Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola must start by noting that dignitas is not a key term in their texts. Studies on the work of Ficino's disciple Pico della Mirandola have stressed his search for unity in the manifold forms of being, thinking, and discourse. Like Ficino, Pico thus reinforces the in- or under-determination of human beings, their ontological "liberty," suggesting that being human consists in a variety of potentialities that require finding some unity that is neither given, nor obvious in any single life.