One of the predominating ethical principles in contemporary western culture is the proclamation of the respect for human dignity. It is emphasized as the universal principle of human relationships, its importance being stressed also in specific relationships concerning human care. The author aims at the conceptualization of the phenomenon of human dignity, seen from two points of view: social (interpersonal) and intrasubjective. She defines the concept of dignity on the beckground of various social ideals corresponding various historical periods in western culture. She examnines anthropological and social standards of equality, esteem and respect as the basis od enforcing justice as well as social and individual liberty. On intrasubjective level the stress is put on the selfrespect of the individual as the basis of his or her consciousness of his or her own dignity.