Persons, signs, animals: A Peircean account of personhood

In this essay I describe two of the accounts that Peirce provides of personhood: the semiotic account, on which a person is a sequence of thought-signs, and the naturalistic account, on which a person is an animal. I then argue that these disparate accounts can be reconciled into a plausible view on which persons are numerically distinct entities that are nevertheless continuous with each other in an important way. This view would be agreeable to Peirce in some respects, as it is modeled on his theory of perception, incorporates his categories of Firstness, Secondness and Thirdness, and is in harmony with his objective idealism. But it diverges from Peirce in one important respect, viz. its rejection of the idea that some groups of human beings count as persons.
Keywords Peirce  personhood
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Albert Atkin, Peirce's Theory of Signs. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Tom L. Beauchamp (1999). The Failure of Theories of Personhood. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 9 (4):309-324.
    Albert Atkin (2008). Peirce's Final Account of Signs and the Philosophy of Language. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 44 (1):pp. 63-85.
    S. K. Wertz (2012). Persons and Collingwoods Account. Collingwood and British Idealism Studies 17 (2):189-202.
    Elisa Aaltola (2008). Personhood and Animals. Environmental Ethics 30 (2):175-193.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    30 ( #49,032 of 1,088,753 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    3 ( #30,936 of 1,088,753 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.