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:
The Self (939 | 686)
Self-Consciousness* (1,845 | 169)
Self-Knowledge* (1,555 | 499)
The Soul* (329)
Human Beings (1,330 | 278)
Human Nature (914)
Transhumanism* (397)
Human Rights* (3,147 | 2,596)
Parenthood* (387 | 206)
Birth (43)
Aging* (42)
Death and Dying* (6,422 | 2,012)
See also:History/traditions: Persons

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  1. Normativity, Meaning, and the Promise of Phenomenology.Matt Burch & Irene McMullin (eds.) - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
    The aim of this volume is to critically assess the philosophical importance of phenomenology as a method for studying the normativity of meaning and its transcendental conditions. Using the pioneering work of Steven Crowell as a springboard, phenomenologists from all over the world examine the promise of phenomenology for illuminating long-standing problems in epistemology, the philosophy of mind, action theory, the philosophy of religion, and moral psychology. The essays are unique in that they engage with the phenomenological tradition not as (...)
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  2. Thus Spoke Pushpa.Venkata Rayudu Posina - manuscript
    There is a lesson from the woods--Bollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood, and Tollywood--of make-believe, which speaks to the core concern of science: the practice of science. Puspha, an Indian movie that brought the movie industry to its senses, with its global popularity has this to say: Be thyself; keep it real. Situated in a remote region aeons apart from the vast concrete and intimate plastic world we are familiar with, the happenings in the distanct and alien universe of discourse--a hamlet adjacent to (...)
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  3. Humanism for Personhood: Against Human-Racism: A New Fight for Human Rights.James Hughes - 2004 - Free Inquiry 1 (June):36-37.
    In the coming decades humanists and trans-humanists need to wage a global campaign to radicalize the idea of human rights. We need to assert our rights to control our own bodies and brains, whether we choose to change our genders or medicate our brains. We need to assert that the measure of a society’s fairness is how universally available we make the prerequisites for achieving our fullest potential. We need to defend the right to enhance ourselves - whether through education (...)
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  4. Defending the Substance View Against its Critics.Bruce P. Blackshaw - 2021 - The New Bioethics 1 (1):1-14.
    Recently, the substance view of persons has been heavily criticized for the counterintuitive conclusions it seems to imply in scenarios such as embryo rescue cases and embryo loss. These criticisms have obscured the considerable success of the substance view in supporting other intuitions that are widely shared, and that competing accounts such as the psychological view have difficulties accounting for. Here, I examine common intuitions regarding identity, human exceptionalism, the moral equality of children and adults, infanticide, and prenatal injury. I (...)
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  5. A fé como “salto qualitativo” e as três possibilidades existenciais fundamentais em Kierkegaard.Luiz Carlos Mariano da Rosa - 2019 - Revista Ítaca 34:90-123.
    Caracterizando a existência como um processo de escolha e decisão que converge para a constituição do sujeito como tal, Kierkegaard atribui à existência a condição de um projeto em uma construção que encerra três possibilidades existenciais fundamentais, a saber, o estético, o ético e o religioso. Dessa forma, o artigo assinala que, constituindo-se uma dimensão em cujo estádio a procura do sentido ou a busca do absoluto circunscreve-se à imanência, o modo existencial estético caracteriza-se como a fruição da subjetividade consigo (...)
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  6. The Spectricity of Humanness: Spectral Ontology and Being-in-the-World.Zachary Isrow - 2021 - Berlin, Germany: Walter De Gruyter.
    The question of humanness requires a philosophical anthropology and we need a revision of what philosophical anthropology means in light of contemporary efforts in speculative realism and object-oriented ontology. This is the main claim of the book which expands into the smaller supporting claims that 1) contemporary work in speculative realism indicates that Heidegger’s analytic of Dasein needs to be rethought in consideration of certain Kantian values 2) recent philosophical anthropology offers an incomplete look at the central concern of philosophical (...)
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  7. A Solidaristic Approach to the Existence and Persistence of Social Kinds.Benjamin L. S. Nelson - manuscript
    In this paper, I outline a theory of social kinds. A general theory of social kinds has to set out at least three conditions: existence conditions, persistence conditions, and identity conditions. For the sake of expediency, I focus on the existence and persistence conditions. The paper is organized just as life: first with existence, then persistence. I argue that anti-realism is more attractive than realism as an account of the existence conditions, despite the fact that realism has been under-appreciated. Then (...)
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  8. John McDowell on Worldly Subjectivity: Oxford Kantianism Meets Phenomenology and Cognitive Sciences.Tony Cheng - 2021 - Bloomsbury Academic.
    John McDowell's philosophical ideas are both influential and comprehensive, encompassing philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, epistemology, ethics, metaphysics and the history of philosophy. This book is a much-needed systematic overview of McDowell's thought that offers a clear and accessible route through the main elements of his philosophy. Arguing that the world and minded human subject are constitutively interdependent, the book examines and critically engages with McDowell's views on naturalism of second nature, the inner space model, intentionality, personhood and practical (...)
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  9. Hate: Toward a Four-Types Model.Íngrid Vendrell Ferran - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-19.
    Drawing on insights found in both philosophy and psychology, this paper offers an analysis of hate and distinguishes between its main types. I argue that hate is a sentiment, i.e., a form to regard the other as evil which on certain occasions can be acutely felt. On the basis of this definition, I develop a typology which, unlike the main typologies in philosophy and psychology, does not explain hate in terms of patterns of other affective states. By examining the developmental (...)
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  10. Living Without Microphysical Supervenience.Alex Moran - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):405-428.
    The Doctrine of Microphysical Supervenience states that microphysical duplicates cannot differ in their intrinsic properties. According to Merricks :59–71, 1998a, Objects and persons, Oxford University Press, 2001), however, this thesis is false, since microphysical duplicates can differ with respect to the intrinsic property of consciousness. In my view, Merricks’ argument is plausible, and extant attempts to reject it are problematic. However, the argument also threatens to make consciousness appear mysterious, by implying that consciousness facts fail to be microphysically determined and (...)
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  11. Personal Identity and Its Properties.Eldar Sarajlic - 2021 - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 10 (2):193-233.
    In this paper, I offer a conceptual framework for understanding and evaluating personal identity claims. I analyze ontological and political properties of personal identity separately, arguing that their conceptual (if not practical) separation is necessary for a proper evaluation of different identity claims. I use probability theory to bypass some of the logical difficulties in conceptualizing personal identity and discuss a case of transitional identification. Finally, I outline the guidelines for a justified liberal policy of recognition.
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  12. What’s the Appropriate Target of Allocative Justification?Zara Anwarzai & Ricky Mouser - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 12 (2-3):167-168.
    Building on work by Peterman, Aas, and Wasserman (2021), we modify their prospective benefit analysis to include only medically-relevant information about patients as persons without reference to their broader lives. Because patients (not their lives) must be treated equally, we argue that patients are the appropriate targets of allocative justification. We go on to challenge some of our current data-collection practices on this basis.
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  13. Sul significato ultimo del desiderare: de-Sidera come de-Costellare (2017).Guido Cusinato - 2017 - In G. Cusinato, Periagoge,. Verona VR, Italia: pp. 445.
    il verbo latino «desiderare» deriva dal composto latino della particella de – che può indicare una mancanza oppure un’azione distruttiva – con il termine sidus, sideris, che significa "stella" e il plurale sidera che significa "stelle". Quindi il desiderio non ha a che fare con una singola stella, ma con un insieme di stelle. Perché? Gli antichi collegavano idealmente nel cielo le stelle fino a formare le costellazioni. e queste erano necessarie non solo per orientarsi ad es. nel mare, ma (...)
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  14. O lugar da Inteligência Artificial nas relações entre mente e Direito Penal.Ricardo Tavares Da Silva - 2020 - Anatomia Do Crime 1 (12):51-66.
    Terá sentido proteger e responsabilizar penalmente máquinas tal como se protege e responsabiliza penalmente pessoas? Será a Inteligência Artificial das máquinas uma mentalidade artificial, produzida por entidades mentais naturais? Se sim, a artificialidade é decisiva para negar a sua proteção e responsabilidade penais? Se não há verdadeira mentalidade, estará justificada, ainda assim, a sua proteção e responsabilidade penais? E é necessária a posse de mentalidade para haver proteção e responsabilidade penais? Estas são questões fulcrais relativas à relação entre Inteligência Artificial (...)
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  15. Recomposing Persons: Scavenging and Storytelling in a Birth Cohort Archive.Penny Tinkler, Resto Cruz & Laura Fenton - 2021 - History of the Human Sciences 34 (3-4):266-289.
    Birth cohort studies can be used not only to generate population-level quantitative data, but also to recompose persons. The crux is how we understand data and persons. Recomposition entails scavenging for various data. It foregrounds the perspective and subjectivity of survey participants, but without forgetting the partiality and incompleteness of the accounts that it may generate. Although interested in the singularity of individuals, it attends to the historical and relational embeddedness of personhood. It examines the multiple and complex temporalities that (...)
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  16. The Essence of Authenticity.Olaf Dammann, Katja M. Friederichs, Sabine Lebedinski & Kerstin M. Liesenfeld - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    In this paper, we build upon the model of authenticity proposed by Lehman and colleagues, which includes the dimensions consistency, conformity, and connection. We expand this “3C-view” by adding a fourth dimension, continuity, which results in what we have come to call “4C-view of authenticity.” We discuss our proposal from a process perspective and emphasize that congruence might be a reasonable candidate for a concept that unifies the four dimensions of authenticity.
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  17. Sacredness and Aesthetics: Kearney and Desmond on Prayer.Dennis Vanden Auweele - 2021 - Modern Theology 37 (1):3-22.
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  18. Debate: What is Personhood in the Age of AI?David J. Gunkel & Jordan Joseph Wales - 2021 - AI and Society 36:473–486.
    In a friendly interdisciplinary debate, we interrogate from several vantage points the question of “personhood” in light of contemporary and near-future forms of social AI. David J. Gunkel approaches the matter from a philosophical and legal standpoint, while Jordan Wales offers reflections theological and psychological. Attending to metaphysical, moral, social, and legal understandings of personhood, we ask about the position of apparently personal artificial intelligences in our society and individual lives. Re-examining the “person” and questioning prominent construals of that category, (...)
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  19. Empathy and Instrumentalization: Late Ancient Cultural Critique and the Challenge of Apparently Personal Robots.Jordan Joseph Wales - 2020 - In Marco Nørskov, Johanna Seibt & Oliver Santiago Quick (eds.), Culturally Sustainable Social Robotics: Proceedings of Robophilosophy 2020. Amsterdam: IOS Press. pp. 114-124.
    According to a tradition that we hold variously today, the relational person lives most personally in affective and cognitive empathy, whereby we enter subjective communion with another person. Near future social AIs, including social robots, will give us this experience without possessing any subjectivity of their own. They will also be consumer products, designed to be subservient instruments of their users’ satisfaction. This would seem inevitable. Yet we cannot live as personal when caught between instrumentalizing apparent persons (slaveholding) or numbly (...)
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  20. Are Personites a Problem for Endurantists?Harold Noonan - 2020 - Philosophical Forum 51 (4):399-409.
    Personites are shorter lived, very person‐like things that extend across part but not the whole of a person's life. That there are such things is a consequence of the standard perdurance view championed by Lewis and Quine; it is also a consequence of liberal endurantist views which allow such things coinciding with persons during part of their lives, though not themselves parts of the persons. Johnston and Olson argue that the existence of personites has bizarre moral consequences and renders what (...)
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  21. The Situational Mental File Account of the False Belief Tasks: A New Solution of the Paradox of False Belief Understanding.Albert Newen & Julia Wolf - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (4):717-744.
    How can we solve the paradox of false-belief understanding: if infants pass the implicit false belief task by nonverbal behavioural responses why do they nonetheless typically fail the explicit FBT till they are 4 years old? Starting with the divide between situational and cognitive accounts of the development of false-belief understanding, we argue that we need to consider both situational and internal cognitive factors together and describe their interaction to adequately explain the development of children’s Theory of Mind ability. We (...)
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  22. Review of Weizman (2008): Positioning in Media Dialogue: Negotiating Roles in the News Interview. [REVIEW]Michal Hamo - 2011 - Pragmatics and Cognition 19 (3):591-595.
  23. Philosophical Letters of David K. Lewis: Volume 1: Causation, Modality, Ontology.Helen Beebee & A. R. J. Fisher (eds.) - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
    The life-long correspondence of David K. Lewis, one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, reveals the development, breadth, and depth of his philosophy in its historical context. The first of this two volume collection of letters focuses on his contributions to metaphysics, arguably where he made his greatest impact.
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  24. Persoonuudesta, sen tilasta ja tulevaisuudesta.Heikki Ikäheimo - 2006 - Niin and Näin 2006 (4):97-101.
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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. Fichte and Recognition (Handbuch Anerkennung).Heikki Ikäheimo - 2020 - Handbuch Anerkennung.
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  28. Humans with Reduced Person-Making Capacities (Handbuch Anerkennung).Heikki Ikäheimo - 2020 - Handbuch Anerkennung.
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  29. Personhood and Recognition (Handbuch Anerkennung).Heikki Ikäheimo - 2020 - Handbuch Anerkennung.
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  30. God, Personhood, and Infinity: Against a Hickian Argument.Mohammad Saleh Zarepour - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (1):61.
    Criticizing Richard Swinburne’s conception of God, John Hick argues that God cannot be personal because infinity and personhood are mutually incompatible. An essential characteristic of a person, Hick claims, is having a boundary which distinguishes that person from other persons. But having a boundary is incompatible with being infinite. Infinite beings are unbounded. Hence God cannot be thought of as an infinite person. In this paper, I argue that the Hickian argument is flawed because boundedness is an equivocal notion: in (...)
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  31. Augustine on Beatific Enjoyment.David Worsley - 2020 - Heythrop Journal 61 (2):234-240.
  32. Isolating the Individual: Theology, the Evolution of Religion, and the Problem of Abstract Individualism.Léon Turner - 2020 - Zygon 55 (1):207-228.
    Debates about the theological implications of recent research in the cognitive and evolutionary study of religion have tended to focus on the question of theism. The question of whether there is any disagreement about the conceptualization of the individual human being has been largely overlooked. In this article, I argue that evolutionary and cognitive accounts of religion typically depend upon a view of cognition that conceptually isolates the mind from its particular social and physical environmental contexts. By embracing this view (...)
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  33. 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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  34. Spinoza on the Conditions That Nominally Define the Human Condition.Daniel Schneider - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (5):753-773.
    ABSTRACTIn ‘Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person,’ Harry Frankfurt argues that a successful analysis of the concept ‘human’ must reveal something that distinguishes humans from non-human...
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  35. Social Types and Sociological Analysis.Charles Turner - 2019 - History of the Human Sciences 32 (3):3-23.
    Social types, or types of persons, occupy a curious place in the history of sociology. There has never been any agreement on how they should be used, or what their import is. Yet the problems surrounding their use are instructive, symptomatic of key ambivalences at the heart of the sociological enterprise. These include a tension between theories of social order that privilege the division of labour and those that focus on large-scale cultural complexes; a tension between the analysis of society (...)
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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. The Curious Case of Ronald McDonald’s Claim to Rights: An Ontological Account of Differences in Group and Individual Person Rights: Winner of the 2016 Essay Competition of the International Social Ontology Society.Leonie Smith - 2018 - Journal of Social Ontology 4 (1):1-28.
    Performative accounts of personhood argue that group agents are persons, fit to be held responsible within the social sphere. Nonetheless, these accounts want to retain a moral distinction between group and individual persons. That: Group-persons can be responsible for their actions qua persons, but that group-persons might nonetheless not have rights equivalent to those of human persons. I present an argument which makes sense of this disanalogy, without recourse to normative claims or additional ontological commitments. I instead ground rights in (...)
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  45. 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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  46. 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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  47. Men and Machines.Thomas S. Szasz - 1957 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 8 (29):310.
  48. The Real Distinction Between Mind and Body.Stephen Yablo - 1990 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 16:149.
  49. Toward An Anatomy of Human Nature. [REVIEW]Charles Echelbarger - 1987 - Behavior and Philosophy 15 (2):175.
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  50. 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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