Authors
Jens Ohlin
Cornell University
Abstract
The concept of the person is widely assumed to be indispensable for making a rights claim. But a survey of the concept's appearance in legal discourse reveals that the concept is stretched to the breaking point. Personhood stands at the center of debates as diverse as the legal status of embryos and animals to the rights and responsibilities of corporations and nations. This Note argues that personhood is a cluster concept with distinct components: the biological concept of the human being, the notion of a rational agent, and unity of consciousness. Use of these component concepts (in lieu of the concept of the person) in legal reasoning would promote greater systematicity and coherence.
Keywords persons  person  personal identity  cluster concept  collective agency  rational agency  human rights
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References found in this work BETA

Aping Persons–Pro and Con.Steve F. Sapontzis - 1993 - In Peter Singer & Paola Cavalieri (eds.), The Great Ape Project. St. Martin's Griffin. pp. 269--279.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Human, Human Rights, and DNA Identity Tests.Noa Vaisman - 2018 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 43 (1):3-20.
Legal Personhood and the Firm: Avoiding Anthropomorphism and Equivocation.David Gindis - 2016 - Journal of Institutional Economics 12 (3):499-513..

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