Personhood and the practical

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (4):271-283 (2010)
Traditionally, it has been assumed that metaphysical and practical questions about personhood and personal identity are inherently linked. Neo-Lockean views that draw such a link have been problematic, leading to an opposing view that metaphysical and ethical questions about persons should be sharply distinguished. This paper argues that consideration of this issue suffers from an overly narrow conception of the practical concerns associated with persons that focuses on higher-order capacities and fails to appreciate basic practical concerns more directly connected to our animality. A more inclusive alternative is proposed
Keywords Persons  Personal identity  Psychological continuity  Animalism
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DOI 10.1007/s11017-010-9149-6
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