Dignity and Liberty: Constitutional Visions in Germany and the United States

Overview

Striking a balance between the aspirations of individual freedom and the demands of organized society is a central quest of constitutional law. Germany and America provide different paths toward accomplishment of this equilibrium, revealing two paths to freedom and its relation to community. This work is addressed to philosophers of law, political theorists, constitutional lawyers, and everyone interested in protecting human rights and learning the meaning of human personality and freedom as expressed in ...

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Overview

Striking a balance between the aspirations of individual freedom and the demands of organized society is a central quest of constitutional law. Germany and America provide different paths toward accomplishment of this equilibrium, revealing two paths to freedom and its relation to community. This work is addressed to philosophers of law, political theorists, constitutional lawyers, and everyone interested in protecting human rights and learning the meaning of human personality and freedom as expressed in democratic constitutional regimes. Eberle challenges current thinking in the field by setting out alternative visions of human freedom, dignity, personality and expression; demonstrating that use of comparative methodology has much to offer critical examination of major constitutional and public policy issues; and showing that different conceptions of fundamental ideas are possible.

Exploring the nature of human personality as reflected in the constitutional law of two important constitutional democracies, Eberle inquires into human values and human freedom, across national borders, in pursuit of a better understanding of human potential and the nature and limit of freedom. The central personality traits examined comprise human dignity; autonomy; self-determination and identity, including privacy, computer privacy, control over personal information, and maintenance of one's image, words, and reputation; abortion; and freedom of expression, including defamation, offensive speech, hate speech, and burning of the flag. The book weaves between German and American law in examining these questions, providing a unique comparative perspective on the idea of human personality and freedom.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

EDWARD J. EBERLE is Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law, Bristol, RI, and Series Editor of Praeger's Issues in Comparative Public Law.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Notes 10
1 The Constitutions of America and Germany 13
2 Human Dignity 41
3 Personality and Freedom of Action: The Outer World 59
4 Inner Freedom: The Personal Sphere 79
5 Identity, Self-Determination, and Autonomy 125
6 Abortion 161
7 Freedom of Expression 189
8 Comparative Observations 253
App. A Selected Provisions of the Constitution of the United States 273
App. B Selected Provisions of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany of May 23, 1949 277
Selected Bibliography 285
Index 289
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