Excavating Foundations of Legal Personhood: Fichte on Autonomy and Self-Consciousness

Law functions on the basis of some presuppositions of what a person is. The purposes and tasks that are projected on a legal system depend on an understanding of personhood. Also, courts continuously find themselves in situations where they have to define the person or the legal subject, at times with surprising consequences. However, legal theory lacks clear criteria for personhood. We do not know who or what a legal person is, nor do we know what kind of being we want her to be. There is clearly a need for critical examination of the concept of legal personhood. This article takes its inspiration from a historical theory, which sheds light on the complex logics of subjectivity. Reflecting on the thought of Johann Gottlieb Fichte we can contemplate fundamental aspects of personhood, especially in its politico-legal dimensions. It is claimed in this article that even though the legal subject has to be autonomous to some degree, acknowledging otherness inside the self is a compelling way of understanding legal personhood
Keywords Legal subject  Fichte  Autonomy  Rights  Personhood  Žižek
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DOI 10.1007/s11196-015-9420-2
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Giving an Account of Oneself.Judith Butler - 2005 - Fordham University Press.
Totality and Infinity.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961/1969 - Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.
The Morality of Law.Lon L. Fuller - 1964 - Yale University Press.

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