Persons

Edited by Timothy Campbell (Rutgers University - New Brunswick, Stockholm 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).
Related categories
Subcategories:See also:History/traditions: Persons

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  1. Persoonuudesta, sen tilasta ja tulevaisuudesta.Heikki Ikäheimo - 2006 - Niin and Näin 2006 (4):97-101.
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  2. Recognition and Humans with Reduced Person-Making Capacities (Handbuch Anerkennung).Heikki Ikäheimo - 2020 - Handbuch Anerkennung.
    People whose person-making capacities or status are diminished or who lack them altogether are mostly ignored in mainstream theories of recognition. This entry clarifies the conceptual landscape around and some of the key questions about recognition in relation to these people. The concept of personhood is analyzed into three different sub-concepts – juridical, moral and psychological – and the connection of these to recognition on relevant concepts of recognition is discussed.
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  3. Personhood – Workshop Papers of the Conference ‘Dimensions of Personhood’.Heikki Ikäheimo, Jussi Kotkavirta, Arto Laitinen, Pessi Lyyra & Petteri Niemi (eds.) - 2004 - University of Jyväskylä, Publications in Philosophy.
    This volume contains the workshop papers of the philosophical conference Dimensions of Personhood held in August 13-15, 2004 at University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The conference was organized by the Finnish Academy research project The Concept of Person. In the call for papers, the theme of the conference was formulated as follows. Recent developments in neuroscience and information technology, in medicine and biotechnology, and in society and culture more broadly have made various questions concerning our identity as human beings urgent. As (...)
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  4. Fichte and Recognition (Handbuch Anerkennung).Heikki Ikäheimo - 2020 - Handbuch Anerkennung.
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  5. Humans with Reduced Person-Making Capacities (Handbuch Anerkennung).Heikki Ikäheimo - 2020 - Handbuch Anerkennung.
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  6. Personhood and Recognition (Handbuch Anerkennung).Heikki Ikäheimo - 2020 - Handbuch Anerkennung.
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  7. John Macmurray's Religious Philosophy: What It Means to Be a Person.Esther Mcintosh - 2011 - Ashgate Publishing.
    Recent dissatisfaction with individualism and the problems of religious pluralism make this an opportune time to reassess the way in which we define ourselves and conduct our relationships with others. The philosophical writings of John Macmurray are a useful resource for performing this examination, and recent interest in Macmurray's work has been growing steadily. -/- A full-scale critical examination of Macmurray's religious philosophy has not been published and this work fills this gap, sharing his insistence that we define ourselves through (...)
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  8. Thinking About Oneself: The Place of Reflection in Philosophy and Psychology.Waldomiro J. Silva-Filho & Luca Tateo (eds.) - 2019 - Chan, Switzerland: Springer.
    What is the place and value of reflection in people’s lives? The answer requires a careful discussion about the relationship between our epistemic performances, our intellectual capabilities and competencies, our affective relationships with the environment, our actions and our interpersonal interactions. It is a fact that for us to navigate and interact with the world and with our society, we sometimes think about our reasons, we give reasons, we change our minds, and even think about our habits and character traits (...)
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  9. The Virtue of Running a Marathon.Simone Gozzano - 2019 - Think 18 (52):69-74.
    Running a marathon is not solely a personal achievement; rather it sets an example. Because of the nature of this example, it constitutes an achievement that deserves our praise (contrary to what has recently been argued in this Journal).
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  10. Annunciazione e trasformazione Fenomenologia dell'annuncio.Guido Cusinato - 2015 - Giornale di Metafisica 37.
    In the Greek mythology the concept of annunciation has been often associated with the figure of “winged messenger”, in Greek “anghelos”, while in the Christian tradition it usually recalls the archangel Gabriel in his announcing to Mary the generative act per excellence: the birth. In this paper I take into consideration Botticelli’s Cestello Annunciation: the image represented in this painting suggests the interpretation of the annunciation from the viewpoint of transformation, i. e., of the crisis and the birth of something (...)
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  11. Individualism in Early China: Human Agency and the Self in Thought and Politics by Erica Fox Brindley. [REVIEW]Hagop Sarkissian - 2012 - Philosophy East and West 62 (3):408-410.
    Review of Individualism in Early China: Human Agency and the Self in Thought and Politics by Erica Fox Brindley.
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  12. Substanz, Relation oder beides: Augustinus und Heidegger zur Frage ‘Was sind Personen?’ (Substance, Relation or Both: Augustine and Heidegger on the Question ‘What are Persons?’).Anne Sophie Meincke - 2012 - Crossing Borders. Grenzen (Über)Denken. Beiträge Zum 9. Internationalen Kongress der Österreichischen Gesellschaft Für Philosophie in Wien.
    What are persons? There are two traditional answers: the relation model of person according to which a person is nothing more than a function of her relationships to other persons and the substance model which construes the person as persisting independently of relations and accidental properties. In my paper, I explore two interesting intersections of these models occurring in Augustine's speculative doctrine of trinity and in Heidegger’s early Theory of Dasein. Are Augustine’s and Heidegger’s conceptions of person convincing reconciliations of (...)
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  13. On the Resurrection of the Dead: A New Metaphysics of Afterlife for Christian Thought.James T. Turner Jr - 2018 - London: Routledge.
    Christian tradition has largely held three affirmations on the resurrection of the physical body. Firstly, that bodily resurrection is not a superfluous hope of afterlife. Secondly, there is immediate post-mortem existence in Paradise. Finally, there is numerical identity between pre-mortem and post-resurrection human beings. The same tradition also largely adheres to a robust doctrine of The Intermediate State, a paradisiacal disembodied state of existence following the biological death of a human being. This book argues that these positions are in fact (...)
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  14. A Problem for Christian Materialism.Elliot Jon Knuths - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (3):205.
    This piece raises a new challenge for Christian materialist accounts of human persons. Revisiting one of the perennial challenges for Christian materialism, explaining the metaphysical compatibility of resurrection and the life everlasting with materialist metaphysics, I argue that resuscitation phenomena reported in scripture undermine van Inwagen’s and Zimmerman’s attempts to reconcile resurrection and materialism. Although this challenge to Christian materialism is not insurmountable, it provides good reason to reject several of the most serious Christian materialist projects and offers a reason (...)
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  15. Edward Jonathan Lowe.James Miller - 2018 - The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Edward Jonathan Lowe (usually cited as E. J. Lowe) was one of the most significant philosophers of the twentieth and early twenty-first century. He made sustained and significant contributions to debates in metaphysics, ontology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophical logic, and philosophy of religion, as well as contributing important scholarly work in early modern philosophy (most notably on Locke). Over the length of his career, Lowe published eleven single-authored books, four co-edited collections, and well over 300 papers and (...)
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  16. Book Review: Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the BibleBody, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible by GreenJoel B.Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, 2008. 240 Pp. $ 19.99. ISBN 978-0-8010-3595-1. [REVIEW]Jeremy M. Hutton - 2011 - Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology 65 (1):100-102.
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  17. Does Integrated Information Lack Subjectivity.Janko Nešić - 2018 - Theoria: Beograd 61 (2):131-145.
    I investigate the status of subjectivity in Integrated Information Theory. This leads me to examine if Integrated Information Theory can answer the hard problem of consciousness. On itself, Integrated Information Theory does not seem to constitute an answer to the hard problem, but could be combined with panpsychism to yield a more satisfying theory of consciousness. I will show, that even if Integrated Information Theory employs the metaphysical machinery of panpsychism, Integrated Information would still suffer from a different problem, not (...)
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  18. Persons, Stages, and Tensed Belief.Nicholas Rimell - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (3):577-593.
    Perdurantists hold that we persons—just like other ordinary objects—persist by perduring, by having temporal parts, or stages, located over time. Perdurantists also standardly endorse the B-theory of time. And, in light of this endorsement, they typically characterize our tensed beliefs as self-ascriptions of properties, made not by us but by our stages. For instance, for me to believe that Angela Merkel is currently the chancellor of Germany is for my now-located stage to self-ascribe the property of being simultaneous with Merkel’s (...)
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  19. Был ли бог стоиков личностью? (Was the Stoic God a Person?).Pavel Butakov - 2017 - Schole 11 (2):558-569.
    Peter Forrest claims that his “Personal Pantheist” conception of God is in agreement with the Stoic pantheism. The traditional interpretation, however, treats the Stoic God as the non-personal universal law. I demonstrate that arguments in favor of the personal interpretation typically imply either a personalist or an anthropocentric metaphysical foundation. I also argue that the Stoics were neither personalists nor anthropocentrists, therefore those arguments should be rejected.
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  20. Relations in the Trinitarian Reality: Two Approaches.Pavel Butakov - 2014 - Schole 8 (2):505-519.
    The Greek model of the Trinity, based on the Theological Orations of Gregory of Nazianzus, treats the Trinitarian relations as connections between the Father and the two other persons: the Son and the Holy Spirit. The two relations have to be heteronymous, and have to be interpreted from the extreme realistic position. The Latin Trinitarian model, based on Boethius’ De Trinitate, treats relations as three subsistent persons. The relations have to be unidirectional: from the Father to the Son, and from (...)
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  21. The Metaphysics of Economic Exchanges.Massin Olivier & Tieffenbach Emma - 2017 - Journal of Social Ontology 3 (2):167-205.
    What are economic exchanges? The received view has it that exchanges are mutual transfers of goods motivated by inverse valuations thereof. As a corollary, the standard approach treats exchanges of services as a subspecies of exchanges of goods. We raise two objections against this standard approach. First, it is incomplete, as it fails to take into account, among other things, the offers and acceptances that lie at the core of even the simplest cases of exchanges. Second, it ultimately fails to (...)
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  22. Przerysować Mapę I Przestawić Czas: Fenomenologia I Nauki Kognitywne.Shaun Gallagher & Francisco Varela - 2010 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 1 (1).
    We argue that phenomenology can be of central and positive importance to the cognitive sciences, and that it can also learn from the empirical research conducted in those sciences. We discuss the project of naturalizing phenomenology and how this can be best accomplished. We provide several examples of how phenomenology and the cognitive sciences can integrate their research. Specifically, we consider issues related to embodied cognition and intersubjectivity. We provide a detailed analysis of issues related to time-consciousness, with reference to (...)
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  23. Working One’s Life Away: Precarity, Personhood, and the Dissolution of Identity in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.Geoffrey R. Owens - 2015 - Semiotics:45-53.
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  24. John Macmurray: Selected Philosophical Writings.Esther Mcintosh (ed.) - 2004 - Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic.
    The philosophy of John Macmurray is only now receiving the attention it deserves. It is in the contemporary climate of dissatisfaction with individualism that Macmurray's emphasis on the relations of persons has come to the fore. Moreover, Macmurray's recognition of the central importance of acknowledging human embodiment is being favourably received by a wide range of fields, which includes philosophers, theologians and psychologists.Macmurray's overriding concern is to present an adequate account of the person and of personal relationships. Nevertheless, he is (...)
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  25. Dimensions of Personhood.Arto Laitinen & Heikki Ikaheimo - 2007 - Imprint Academic.
    A resale copy of a special issue of Journal of Consciousness Studies (Volume 14, Issue 5-6, 2007). This collection of original articles considers the perennial question ‘What are persons?’ It aims first of all to clarify the nature of the question and its relation to associated questions such as the nature of the human animal; how the concepts of human being, person, subject, and self are related; the persistence and unity of persons; and questions as to the conditions for personhood (...)
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  26. Men and Machines.Thomas S. Szasz - 1957 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 8 (29):310.
  27. "Lectures on Human and Animal Psychology". Translated by J. E. Creighton and E. B. Titchener. [REVIEW]Wilhelm Wundt - 1894 - Ancient Philosophy (Misc) 5:631.
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  28. The Real Distinction Between Mind and Body.Stephen Yablo - 1990 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 16:149.
  29. Toward An Anatomy of Human Nature. [REVIEW]Charles Echelbarger - 1987 - Behavior and Philosophy 15 (2):175.
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  30. Self: Ancient and Modern Insights About Individuality, Life, and Death.Jean-Louis Hudry - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):686-688.
  31. The Bounds of Agency: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics.Maximilian Degaynesford - 2002 - Mind 111 (441):170-174.
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  32. Personal Knowledge In Perspective: A Reply To R. T. Allen's Questions.Stephen R. Palmquist - 1988 - Tradition and Discovery 16 (2):22-27.
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  33. Transcendent Selfhood. The Loss and Rediscovery of the Inner Life. [REVIEW]T. L. E. - 1978 - Review of Metaphysics 32 (1):133-134.
    Dupré argues that at the center of the cultural crisis of our time is an objectivist attitude, an attitude which results in thinking of human existence using models appropriate to objects with the result that transcendence is lost and man is thought of as a thing to be manipulated. However, a mere retreat into subjectivity is not the answer to this crisis. What is needed is reflection on the subject itself in order to give it a content of its own, (...)
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  34. Lukács, Marx and the Sources of Critical Theory. [REVIEW]R. S. - 1982 - Review of Metaphysics 36 (1):165-167.
    The main purpose of this book is to offer a comparative evaluation of the early works of Marx and Lukács, "these two most important texts of 'unorthodox' Marxism". Feenberg refers here to the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts on the one hand, and History and Class Consciousness on the other. At a somewhat more general level, Feenberg writes in defense of, or more accurately in preparation for a new stage in, the philosophy of praxis. To proceed directly to his conclusion, Feenberg's (...)
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  35. Radical Reflection and the Origin of the Human Sciences. [REVIEW]B. J. - 1981 - Review of Metaphysics 34 (3):618-618.
    "The current crisis in the human sciences" can only be overcome, Calvin Schrag insists in this eloquent volume, "when we perceive how it is that science and philosophy alike have been uprooted from their origin." How origin is to be understood here emerges as the initial and perhaps even final theme of the inquiry.
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  36. Social Order and the Limits of Law. [REVIEW]P. D. J. - 1982 - Review of Metaphysics 35 (4):878-879.
    One does not need to read many pages of this very rich book to realize that it is the fruit of a lifetime of study and that it is both speculatively wise and prudent. Though it may not receive the same degree of attention as other well publicized studies it clearly ranks with studies such as Hart's The Concept of Law and Erlich's The Sociology of Law. The author intends to develop a systematic theory of positive law, with close attention (...)
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  37. The Identities of Persons. [REVIEW]S. P. - 1977 - Review of Metaphysics 31 (1):123-124.
    This collection of twelve essays on the problem of persons is divided into two general themes. Essays on "identity and physical continuity" are presented by: Lewis, Rey, Perry, Parfit, Shoemaker, and Wiggins, while Dennett, Williams, de Sousa, Frankfurt, Penelhum, and Taylor write on "social and moral conditions of personhood." A. O. Rorty’s introduction is especially lucid, arguing that the concept of a person must, finally, be treated as a moral one. With advances in technology, e.g., the plausibility of brain transplants (...)
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  38. Rights and Persons. [REVIEW]M. R. - 1980 - Review of Metaphysics 33 (3):642-645.
    A. I. Melden’s earlier writings suggested that the justification for a given moral right is simply the social institution or context in which that right characteristically was involved: "the right that A has is the right that is his moral status or role with respect to B". On this view there is no justification for such rights independent of what can be provided by the particular practices in which they are embedded. Thus, to determine and ultimately to justify the respective (...)
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  39. The Constitution of Agency: Essays on Practical Reason and Moral Psychology. [REVIEW]Christopher W. Gowans - 2010 - International Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):117-129.
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  40. "Self: An Introduction to Philosophical Psychology," by Gerald E. Myers. [REVIEW]John Donnelly - 1971 - Modern Schoolman 48 (4):393-395.
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  41. What Philosophy of Mind Can Tell Us About the Morality of Abortion: Personhood, Materialism, and the Existence of Self.Kenneth Einar Himma - 2003 - 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 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 a self (...)
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  42. Intelligence and Character: A Thomistic View.John Hugo - 1937 - New Scholasticism 11 (1):58-68.
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  43. Robert Spaemann’s Philosophische Essays.Arthur Madigan - 1997 - Review of Metaphysics 51 (1):105-132.
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  44. Langage, Sciences, Philosophie au XIIe Siècle. [REVIEW]François Beets - 2003 - Dialogue 42 (2):382-384.
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  45. The Consciousness of the Literates.Saurav Karki - manuscript
    This essay intends to focus on the so-called 'Literates' people of our society.It labels them as a stigma.
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  46. First Century Sources for the Life of Muḥammad? A Debate.Andreas Görke, Harald Motzki & Gregor Schoeler - 2012 - Der Islam: Journal of the History and Culture of the Middle East 89 (1-2):2-59.
    : In a recent issue of Der Islam, Stephen R. Shoemaker has contributed an extensive article in which he challenged the processes and findings of a number of studies conducted by Gregor Schoeler, Harald Motzki, and Andreas Görke. The following article offers a response to his findings. Whereas the three authors argued the case for the possibility that authentic traditions of the first century of the Hijra can be reconstructed, Shoemaker holds the contrary point of view, as already stated in (...)
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  47. The Categorio-Centric Predicament.Henry W. Johnstone - 1966 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 4 (3):207-220.
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  48. The Personite Problem: Should Practical Reason Be Tabled?Mark Johnston - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4):617-644.
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  49. Persons: A Study in Philosophical Psychology.Annette Baier & Raziel Abelson - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (1):112.
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  50. The Identities of Persons.Christopher Peacocke & Amelie Rorty - 1978 - Philosophical Review 87 (3):456.
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