This paper aims to propose and justify a framework for understanding the concept of personhood in both biological and artificial entities. The framework is based on a set of requirements that make up a suitable cognitive architecture for an entity to be considered a person, including the ability to have propositionally structured intentional states, having a form of sensory capabilities, and having a means of interacting with the environment. The case of individuals in a persistent vegetative state, as studied by (...) Owen, serves as an example to show the importance of each of these requirements and the possibility of a "hybridization" of personhood. The proposed set of requirements provide a complete framework for understanding the concept of personhood and highlight the significance of cognitive architecture in determining personhood. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to clarify the content of the concept “person” as it figures in philosophical debates about personhood and personal identity. In order to do so, I will look at both specific philosophical problems that ask for a clear definition of this notion, as well as at the history of this concept’s formation, and try to motivate the specific assumptions that are tightly connected to it.
I aim to show that, contrary to standard deflationary or eliminativist theories of the self, we can argue from the phenomenology of pre-reflective self-awareness for the thesis that subjects of experience are substances. The phenomenological datum of subjectivity points to a specific metaphysical structure of our experience, that is, towards the substance view rather than the bundle or the minimal self view. Drawing on modern philosophical accounts of pre-reflective self-awareness, mineness and (self-) acquaintance, I will argue that a subject is (...) aware of being the one individual who has many experiences and that it is revealed to the subject that it is the bearer of experiences and their unifier. The subject is present in pre-reflective awareness and known as the subject of experiences, and even this minimal self-awareness gives us reason to favour the substance view. Thus, one can demonstrate how the debates on the phenomenology of pre-reflective self-awareness and the metaphysics of selfhood intersect. (shrink)
In special cases of partial twinning, two heads, each supporting a more-orless normal human mental life, emerge from a single torso. It is often argued that there must be two people in such a case, even if there is only one biological organism. That would pose a problem for ‘animalism’, the view that people are organisms. The paper argues that it is very hard to say what sort of non-organisms the people in such cases would be. Reflection on partial twinning (...) is no more comfortable for those who think we’re not organisms than for those who think we are. We may have to accept that a single person could have two separate mental lives. (shrink)