Human Nature, Dignity, and Human Rights
Late 18th and early 19th century authors Mary Prince and Harriet Jacobs whose writings have been recognized by historians and scholars of English literature, have not been recognized as philosophers. Nonetheless, these former slaves argued for abolition of slavery by through first personal narratives. Not only did these narratives convey the brutality of slavery to a wider public, the first-personal form of writing itself conveyed the personhood of their authors, thereby demonstrating the basic premise of abolitionist arguments and further justifying the demands of human dignity. These appeals to human dignity build on earlier discussions on the inherent dignity of women and develop into assertions of human rights.