Ethics, identity and the boundaries of the person

Philosophical Explorations 6 (2):139 – 156 (2003)
Ethical theories and theories of the person constrain each other, in that a proposition about the person may be a reason for or against an ethical proposition, and conversely. An important class of such propositions about the person concern the boundaries of the person. These boundaries enclose a person's defining properties, which constitute his identity. A person's identity may partly determine and partly be determined by his ethical judgments. An equilibrium between one's identity and one's ethical judgments is the counterpart, at the personal level, of the philosophical ideal of reflective equilibrium between a theory of the person and an ethical theory.
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