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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. Yoko Arisaka (2001). The Ontological Co-Emergence Of'self and Other'in Japanese Philosophy. Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (5-7):5-7.
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  2. Stephen T. Asma (2012). Affective Neuroscience and the Philosophy of Self. Journal of Consciousness Studies 19.
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  3. Bruce Aune (1983). The Identity of the Self. Review of Metaphysics 36 (3):724-726.
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  4. R. J. B. (1970). Principles and Persons. Review of Metaphysics 24 (2):343-343.
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  5. Peter A. Bertocci (1961). The Moral Structure of the Person. Review of Metaphysics 14 (3):369 - 388.
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  6. Susan Blackmore (1994). Demolishing the Self. Journal of Consciousness Studies 1 (2):280-282.
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  7. Andreas Blank (2006). Michael Tye, Consciousness and Persons. Unity and Identity. Pragmatics and Cognition 14 (1):188-191.
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  8. A. S. C. (1971). Bradley's Metaphysics and the Self. Review of Metaphysics 25 (2):373-373.
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  9. A. S. C. (1971). The Problem of the Self. Review of Metaphysics 25 (2):356-356.
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  10. A. S. C. (1971). The Problem of the Self. Review of Metaphysics 25 (2):356-356.
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  11. Chris Calvert-Minor (2014). Minimal, Narrative, and Committed Selves. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (1-2):74-95.
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  12. 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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  13. Robin S. Dillon (2007). Arrogance, Self-Respect and Personhood. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (s 5-6):101-126.
    This essay aims to show that arrogance corrupts the very qualities that make persons persons. The corruption is subtle but profound, and the key to understanding it lies in understanding the connections between different kinds of arrogance, self-respect, respect for others and personhood. Making these connections clear is the second aim of this essay. It will build on Kant's claim that self-respect is central to living our human lives as persons and that arrogance is, at its core, the failure to (...)
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  14. Jonathan Edelmann (2007). Setting Criteria for Ideal Reincarnation Research. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (12):92-101.
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  15. Shaun Gallagher & Jonathan Shear (1997). Models of the Self: Editors' Introduction. Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (5-6):5-6.
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  16. Adam Green (2012). Perceiving Persons. Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (3-4):3-4.
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  17. Richard Hallam (2012). A Mind-Less Self Ontogenesis and Phylogenesis. Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (3-4):3-4.
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  18. Kenneth Einar Himma (2003). What Philosophy of Mind Can Tell Us About the Morality of Abortion. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (1):89-109.
    I attempt to show that, under materialist assumptions about the nature of mind, it is a necessary condition for fetal personhood that electrical activity has begun in the brain. First, I argue that it is a necessary condition for a thing to be a moral person that it is (or has) a self—understood as something that is capable of serving as the subject of a mental experience. Second, I argue that it is a necessary condition for a fetus to be (...)
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  19. Heikki Ikaheimo & A. Laitinen (2007). Dimensions of Personhood. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (s 5-6):6-16.
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  20. A. E. J. (1966). Self-Knowledge and Self-Identity. Review of Metaphysics 19 (3):601-601.
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  21. G. Jeff (1999). Lenore Thomson, Personality Type. Journal of Consciousness Studies 6:122-122.
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  22. Raya A. Jones (2006). The Person Still Comes First: The Continuing Musical Self in Dementia. Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (3):73-93.
    It is well known anecdotally that, for many people in dementia, the appreciation of music outlasts other faculties. Could the residual musicality constitute a 'musical self', an enduring fragment of the person that the sufferer used to be? The question, as far we know, has not been raised before. Towards formulating the hypothesis, this article examines some of the available research and theorizing concerning the self and the neurology of music and dementia. A unified neurocognitive 'musical self' system seems plausible, (...)
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  23. L. Kall & K. Zeiler (2014). Bodily Relational Autonomy. Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (9-10):100-120.
    Conceptions of autonomy in western philosophy and ethics have often centred on self-governance and self-determination. However, a growing bulk of literature also questions such conceptions, including the understanding of the autonomous self as a self-governing independent individual that chooses, acts, and lives in accordance with her or his own values, norms, or sense of self. This article contributes to the critical interrogation of selfhood, autonomy, and autonomous decision making by combining a feminist focus on relational dimensions of selfhood and autonomy (...)
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  24. Gyula Klima, The Distinction of Substance and Accident and the Analogy of Being.
    Of those that exist, some are said of a subject, but are in no subject: as man is said of some subject, namely of some man, but is in no subject. Others, however, are in a subject, but are said of no subject. And I say that to be in a subject which, while it is in something not as a part, cannot exist apart from the thing in which it is. For example, some particular literacy is in a subject, (...)
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  25. Arto Laitinen (2007). Sorting Out Aspects of Personhood:Capacities, Normativity and Recognition. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (s 5-6):248-270.
    This paper examines how three central aspects of personhood -- the capacities of individuals, their normative status, and the social aspect of being recognized -- are related, and how personhood depends on them. The paper defends first of all a 'basic view' that while actual recognition is among the constitutive elements of full personhood, it is the individual capacities (and not full personhood) which ground the basic moral and normative demands concerning treatment of persons. Actual recognition depends analytically on such (...)
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  26. Drew Leder & Daniel J. Martino (eds.) (2003). Phenomenology of the Body: The Twentieth Annual Symposium of the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center. Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center, Duquesne University, Gumberg Library.
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  27. Maria Legerstee (1998). Mental and Bodily Awareness in Infancy: Consciousness of Self-Existence. Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (5-6):5-6.
    In this article, I will draw on my own work and related publications to present some intuitions and hypotheses about the nature of the self and the mechanisms that lead to the development of consciousness or self awareness in human infants during the first 6 months of life. My main purpose is to show that the origins of a concept of self include the physical and the mental selves. I believe that it is essential when trying to understand what a (...)
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  28. Casimir Lewy (1943). Is the Notion of Disembodied Existence Self-Contradictory? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 43:59-78.
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  29. Kym Maclaren (2008). Embodied Perceptions of Others as a Condition of Selfhood? Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (8):63-93.
    Against recent claims that infants begin with a sense of themselves as distinct selves, I propose that the infant's initial sense of self is still indeterminate and ambiguous, and is only progressively consolidated, beginning with embodied perceptions of others. Drawing upon Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of perception and Hegel's notion of mutual recognition, and with reference to empirical studies in developmental psychology, I argue that perceiving other persons is significantly different from perceiving inanimate things. Until sufficient motor capacities have developed for exploring (...)
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  30. Henry Rutgers Marshall (1904). Of Noetic Stability; and Belief. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 1 (19):505-512.
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  31. Jack Martin (2012). Agent Causation and Compatibilism Reconsidered The Evolutionary and Developmental Emergence of Self-Determining Persons. Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (5-6):5-6.
  32. Brian Massumi (2002). Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Duke University Press.
    Replacing the traditional opposition of literal and figural with new distinctions between stasis and motion and between actual and virtual,Parables for the ...
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  33. Wallace I. Matson (1995). Human Nature Preserved. [REVIEW] Behavior and Philosophy 23 (1):43 - 47.
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  34. Arnold Mindell (1982). Dreambody, the Body's Role in Revealing the Self. Sigo Press.
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  35. N. M. L. Nathan (1997). Self and Will. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 5 (1):81 – 94.
    When do two mental items belong to the same life? We could be content with the answer -just when they have certain volitional qualities in common. An affinity is noted between that theory and Berkeley's early doctrine of the self. Some rivals of the volitional theory invoke a spiritual or physical owner of mental items. They run a risk either of empty formality or of causal superstition. Other rivals postulate a non-transitive and symmetrical relation in the set of mental items. (...)
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  36. Cathal O'Madagain (2012). Group Agents: Persons, Mobs, or Zombies? International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (2):271-287.
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Volume 20, Issue 2, Page 271-287, May 2012.
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  37. Douglas Odegard (1989). The Body in the Mind. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 19 (2):299-308.
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  38. Frederick A. Olafson (1995). What is a Human Being?: A Heideggerian View. Cambridge University Press.
    This broad, ambitious study is about human nature, but human nature treated in a way quite different from the scientific account that influences so much of contemporary philosophy. Drawing on certain basic ideas of Heidegger the author presents an alternative to the debate waged between dualists and materialists in the philosophy of mind that involves reconceiving the way we usually think about 'mental' life. Olafson argues that familiar contrasts between the 'physical' and the 'psychological' break down under closer scrutiny. They (...)
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  39. Jaak Panksepp (1998). The Periconscious Substrates of Consciousness: Affective States and the Evolutionary Origins of the SELF. Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (5-6):5-6.
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  40. Alessia Pannese & Joy Hirsch (2013). Unconscious Neural Specificity for Self and the Brainstem. Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (1-2):1-2.
    The self/non-self distinction is essential for survival, but its neural bases are poorly understood. Studies have sought neural specificity for 'self ' in cortical regions. However, behavioural evidence showing that humans are able to single out self-relevant information in the absence of awareness suggests that the cognitive self/non-self distinction might be rooted in subcortical structures involved in automatic, unconscious functions. Here we employ subliminal presentation of self and non-self faces and repetition suppression to show neural specificity for 'self ' in (...)
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  41. Philip Pettit (2005). Group Agency and Supervenience. Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (Supplement):85-105.
    Can groups be rational agents over and above their individual members? We argue that group agents are distinguished by their capacity to mimic the way in which individual agents act and that this capacity must “supervene” on the group members’ contributions. But what is the nature of this supervenience relation? Focusing on group judgments, we argue that, for a group to be rational, its judgment on a particular proposition cannot generally be a function of the members’ individual judgments on that (...)
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  42. John Pickering (2010). Review of Virtual Selves, Real Persons: A Dialogue Across Disciplines, by Hallam, RS. [REVIEW] Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (9-10):259-262.
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  43. John Pickering (1999). The Self is a Semiotic Process. Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (4):31-47.
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  44. A. N. Prior (1977). Worlds, Times, and Selves. Duckworth.
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  45. Jennifer Radden (2013). The Self and Its Moods in Depression and Mania. Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (7-8):7-8.
    This discussion is about the moods characteristic of depressive and manic states. Moods are distinguished from the emotions they often accompany, and the relationship between these less and more cognitive, and seemingly less and more intentional, states is provided preliminary clarification. Epistemic deficiencies identified here, when combined with differences of quality and quantity in the moods and motivations that beset the depression and mania sufferer, seem likely to hinder self-knowledge and self-integration. These deficiencies, it is argued, may help explain why (...)
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  46. Anne Reichold & Pascal Delhom (eds.) (2011). Normativität des Körpers. Verlag Karl Alber.
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  47. Anita J. Ribeiro-Blanchard, Leda Perillo Seixas & Ana Maria Galrao Rios (2010). The Body in Psychotherapy : Calatonia and Subtle Touch Techniques. In Raya A. Jones (ed.), Body, Mind and Healing After Jung: A Space of Questions. Routledge.
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  48. Robert Romanyshyn (2010). The Body in Psychotherapy : Contributions of Merleau-Ponty. In Raya A. Jones (ed.), Body, Mind and Healing After Jung: A Space of Questions. Routledge. 41.
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  49. Stephen David Ross (2010). Self Identity. International Studies in Philosophy Monograph Series:75-95.
    Possession is preeminently the form in which the other becomes the same, by becoming mine. (Levinas, TI, 46)If perceptions are distinct existences, they form a whole only by being connected together. But no connexions among distinct existences are ever discoverable by human understanding. We only feel a connexion or determination of the thought to pass from one object to another. It follows, therefore, that the thought alone feels personal identity, when reflecting on the train of past perceptions that compose a (...)
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  50. Mark Saban (2010). Fleshing Out the Psyche: Jung, Psychology and the Body. In Raya A. Jones (ed.), Body, Mind and Healing After Jung: A Space of Questions. Routledge. 94.
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