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Persons

Edited by David Shoemaker (Tulane University)
About this topic
Summary The metaphysics of personhood primarily addresses two questions: what is the nature of persons and what are their persistence conditions across time?  Addressing the former question prompts investigations into the nature of the self (if distinct from the person), consciousness, mind, and embodiment.  Addressing the latter prompts investigations into theories of personal identity.  Because many view "person"as a thoroughly normative notion, however, its study is often connected closely to investigations into value and practical identity.
Key works Primarily metaphysical investigations into personhood are taken up repeatedly by major figures throughout the history of philosophy, from Plato to Descartes to Kant.  In the contemporary literature, there are clear discussions by Baker 2000, Olson 2007, Shoemaker 1963, and Van Inwagen 2001. Personhood as a normative ("forensic") concept was introduced by John Locke, in "Of Identity and Diversity" (see Perry 1975).  Contemporary normatively-based explorations of personhood include Frankfurt 1971 and Korsgaard 1989
Introductions Gallagher 2011, Martin, Raymond and Barresi, John, eds., Personal Identity (2003).
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Subcategories:See also:History/traditions: Persons
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  1. B. W. A. (1982). You, I and the Others. Review of Metaphysics 35 (3):638-639.
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  2. B. W. A. (1982). You, I and the Others. Review of Metaphysics 35 (3):638-639.
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  3. E. J. A. (1966). Self-Knowledge and Self-Identity. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 19 (3):601-601.
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  4. E. M. Adams (1993). Rationality and Morality. Review of Metaphysics 46 (4):683 - 697.
    The purpose of the article is to challenge widely accepted views of the relationship among rationality, morality, and prudence. It contends that we cannot understand either the rational or the moral enterprise without a correct philosophical view of the human self, and that such a view of the self is impossible without taking account of the rational and the moral enterprises themselves. The paper concludes that the moral point of view is anchored in the nature of selfhood so that one (...)
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  5. E. M. Adams (1986). The Human Substance. Review of Metaphysics 39 (4):633 - 652.
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  6. Laura Alba-Juez & Felix Alba-Juez (2012). Who Am I?: Identity, Evaluation, and Differential Equations. Pragmatics and Cognition 20 (3):570-592.
    In this paper we study the connection between the use of evaluative language and the building of both personal and social identities, from the perspective of Dynamical System Theory . We primarily discuss two issues: 1) The use of evaluation (in the sense given to the term by Alba-Juez and Thompson (forthcoming)) as a means to the construction of both individual and group identities, thus exploring how the connection between linguistic choices and social identities is shaped by interactional needs for (...)
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  7. Virgil C. Aldrich (1975). Pictures and Persons: An Analogy. Review of Metaphysics 28 (4):599 - 610.
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  8. Barry Allen (1997). The Chimpanzee's Tool. Common Knowledge 6:34-51.
  9. Rayan Alsuwaigh & Lalit K. R. Krishna (2014). The Compensatory Nature of Personhood. Asian Bioethics Review 6 (4):332-342.
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  10. Adansi A. Amankwaa (1996). Prior and Proximate Causes of Infant Survival in Ghana, with Special Attention to Polygyny. Journal of Biosocial Science 28 (3):281-295.
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  11. Thomas Aquinas (ed.) (2005). Human Constitution. University of Scranton Press.
    The central positoin of St. Thomas Aquinas in the pantheon of Catholic thinkers along with St. Augustine of Hippo more than justifies ongoing attention to his thought and contributions to philosophy, theology, and medieval culture. This volume is an anthology of the passages of his Summa Theologia on human nature or the "human constitution.".
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  12. Yoko Arisaka (2001). The Ontological Co-Emergence Of'self and Other'in Japanese Philosophy. Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (5-7):5-7.
    The coupling of 'self and other' as well as the issues regarding intersubjectivity have been central topics in modern Japanese philosophy. The dominant views are critical of the Cartesian formulation , but the Japanese philosophers drew their conclusions also based on their own insights into Japanese culture and language. In this paper I would like to explore this theme in two of the leading modern Japanese philosophers - Kitaro Nishida and Tetsuro Watsuji . I do not make a causal claim (...)
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  13. Stephen T. Asma (2012). Affective Neuroscience and the Philosophy of Self. Journal of Consciousness Studies 19.
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  14. Bruce Aune (1983). The Identity of the Self. Review of Metaphysics 36 (3):724-726.
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  15. R. J. B. (1970). Principles and Persons. Review of Metaphysics 24 (2):343-343.
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  16. Samia Bano & Jennifer L. Pierce (2013). Personal Narratives, Social Justice, and the Law. Feminist Legal Studies 21 (3):225-239.
    North American writer Joan Didion’s eloquent testimonial speaks to the significance of storytelling in our lives. Personal storiesmake our lives meaningful. Part of this is because our stories, wittingly or not, become the means through which we fashion our identities for listeners. Or, as scholars from many disciplines have argued, identity and selfhoodare narrative accomplishments. In this formulation, an individual constructs a sense of self by telling stories or “personal narratives,” which describe “the evolution of an individual life over time (...)
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  17. Joe Barnhardt (1998). Dissociation. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 5 (2/3):33-37.
    My hypothesis is that human personhood has ancient biological roots which make it possible for social reinforcers to contribute to the gradual construction of real persons who are always deeper than the stories about them. Multiple persons do sometimes emerge from one human organism. Rather than try to prove they are real, I explore the consequences of assuming them to be genuine emergentsthat become social environment to one another. I suggest that the multiple-persons phenomenon has profoundly influenced the development of (...)
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  18. John Barresi, On Seeing Our Selves and Others as Persons.
    Human beings may be the only organisms capable of thinking of self and other in equivalent ways – as selves and persons. Most organisms think about their own activities differently than they do the activities of others. A few large-brained organisms like chimps and dolphins sometimes think of the activities of self and other in the same way. But, only humans think quite generally in this manner. In this paper I give a description of our commonsense notions of self and (...)
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  19. Jackson G. Barry (1989). Narrative, Cognition, and Corrections. Semiotics:39-44.
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  20. Kathy Behrendt (2014). Whole Lives and Good Deaths. Metaphilosophy 45 (3):331-347.
    This article discusses two views associated with narrative conceptions of the self. The first view asserts that our whole life is reasonably regarded as a single unit of meaning. A prominent strand of the philosophical narrative account of the self is the representative of this view. The second view—which has currency beyond the confines of the philosophical narrative account—is that the meaning of a life story is dependent on what happens at the end of it. The article argues that the (...)
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  21. Christopher Belshaw, Death, Brains, and Persons.
    This book explores many of the issues that arise when we consider persons who are in pain, who are suffering, and who are nearing the end of life. Suffering provokes us into a journey toward discovering who we are and forces us to rethink many of the views we hold about ourselves.
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  22. P. Bendlova (1993). Death Survival and Immortality in the Works of Marcez, Gabriel (Vol 41, Pg 677, 1993). Filosoficky Casopis 41 (6):1100-1100.
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  23. Peter A. Bertocci (1961). The Moral Structure of the Person. Review of Metaphysics 14 (3):369 - 388.
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  24. Mark H. Bickhard (2012). 9 The Emergent Ontology of Persons. In Jack Martin & Mark H. Bickhard (eds.), The Psychology of Personhood: Philosophical, Historical, Social-Developmental and Narrative Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. 165.
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  25. Susan Blackmore (1994). Demolishing the Self. Journal of Consciousness Studies 1 (2):280-282.
    [opening paragraph]: Do you believe, deep down, that you exist? Do you feel as though `you' make the decisions and run `your' life? Above all do you think that `you' are conscious? If so, according to Guy Claxton's latest book, you have got it all wrong.
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  26. Andreas Blank (2006). Michael Tye, Consciousness and Persons. Unity and Identity. Pragmatics and Cognition 14 (1):188-191.
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  27. Tomislav Bracanović (2003). James Rachels (1941–2003). Prolegomena 2 (2):265-266.
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  28. Andrei A. Buchareff (2010). E. J. Lowe, Personal Agency: The Metaphysics of Mind and Action. Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 30 (4):276-279.
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  29. Michael B. Burke (1997). Persons and Bodies: How to Avoid the New Dualism. American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (4):457 - 467.
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  30. Mikel Burley (2009). A Dialogue on Immortality. Think 8 (21):91-97.
    The fictional case of Elina Makropulos has been a focus for philosophical reflections on immortality. Here Mikel Burley presents a conversation between Elina and two imaginary philosophers (some, but not all, of whose views bear a passing resemblance to those of Bernard Williams and John Martin Fischer respectively).
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  31. B. Bønnelykke, J. Olsen & J. Nielsen (1990). Coital Frequency and Twinning. Journal of Biosocial Science 22 (2):191-6.
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  32. A. S. C. (1971). Bradley's Metaphysics and the Self. Review of Metaphysics 25 (2):373-373.
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  33. A. S. C. (1971). The Problem of the Self. Review of Metaphysics 25 (2):356-356.
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  34. A. S. C. (1971). The Problem of the Self. Review of Metaphysics 25 (2):356-356.
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  35. Gé Calis & Lucas Mens (1986). Primary Stages in Single-Glance Face Recognition: Expression and Identity. In H. Ellis, M. Jeeves, F. Newcombe & Andrew W. Young (eds.), Aspects of Face Processing. Martinus Nijhoff. 356--362.
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  36. Joseph Keim Campbell (2008). Reply to Brueckner. Analysis 68 (299):264–269.
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  37. Norman S. Care, Robert H. Grimm & Oberlin College (1969). Perception and Personal Identity Proceedings. Press of Case Western Reserve University.
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  38. Edgardo D. Carosella & Thomas Pradeu (2006). Transplantation and Identity: A Dangerous Split? The Lancet 368 (9531):183--184.
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  39. Peter Cave (2003). Dead People. Think 2 (5):83.
    Peter Cave explains why he believes we can and should treat people well, even after they have ceased to exist. We should treat people well; therefore, we should treat dead people well.
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  40. Louis C. Charland (2009). Reinstating the Passions: Arguments From History of Psychopathology. In Peter Goldie (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion. Oup Oxford.
  41. Jonathan Cole (1997). On 'Being Faceless': Selfhood and Facial Embodiment. Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (5-6):5-6.
    For most people a sense of self includes an embodied component: when describing our selves we describe those aspects of our physical bodies which can be easily codified: height, hair colour, sex, eye colour. Even when we consider ourselves we tend not to consider our intellectual cognitive characteristics but our describable anatomy. Wittgenstein's dictum, ‘the human body is the best picture of the human soul’, is relevant here but I would like to go further: the body-part we feel most embodied (...)
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  42. F. Brian Allen & Coleman & G. Peter (2005). Spiritual Perspectives on the Person with Dementia: Identity and Personhood. In Julian Hughes, Stephen Louw & Steven R. Sabat (eds.), Dementia: Mind, Meaning, and the Person. Oup Oxford.
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  43. Daniel W. Conway (1990). Nietzschean Narratives. Review of Metaphysics 43 (4):883-885.
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  44. David Copp (2002). Social Unity and the Identity of Persons. Journal of Political Philosophy 10 (4):365–391.
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  45. Joseph Corabi & Susan Schneider (2012). Metaphysics of Uploading. Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (7):26.
  46. Katja Crone (2012). Phenomenal Self-Identity Over Time. Grazer Philosophische Studien 84 (1):201-216.
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  47. Stefaan E. Cuypers (1999). The Philosophy of Psychopathology. Philosophical Explorations 2 (3):154 – 158.
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  48. Taylor W. Cyr (2014). Rationally Not Caring About Torture: A Reply to Johansson. Journal of Ethics 18 (4):331-339.
    Death can be bad for an individual who has died, according to the “deprivation approach,” by depriving that individual of goods. One worry for this account of death’s badness is the Lucretian symmetry argument: since we do not regret having been born later than we could have been born, and since posthumous nonexistence is the mirror image of prenatal nonexistence, we should not regret dying earlier than we could have died. Anthony Brueckner and John Martin Fischer have developed a response (...)
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  49. A. B. D. (1964). The Existential Background of Human Dignity. Review of Metaphysics 17 (3):479-479.
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  50. Gary E. Dann (2000). Kass, Leon R., and James Q. Wilson. The Ethics of Human Cloning. Review of Metaphysics 53 (3):710-711.
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