Minimal Personhood

In the following article I present a basic proposal that is intended to provide the ground for a broader program in which I attempt to explain and characterize the foundations of the normativity generally regarded as implicit in the notion of a "person." I intend to argue that these foundations are natural in the sense that they are derived from basic behavioral and cognitive patterns which are particularly characteristic of human beings especially during their infancy. Among these basic patterns I take that known as dyadic engagement to be merely the foundational stage at which embryonic personhood emerges. Dyadic engagement is a very primitive and special form of social competence which has been identified by some cognitive developmentalists and comparative psychologists as a particular kind of sensitivity for contingencies which are experienced from the very beginning in the various processes of communicative interaction
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