The ontological status of persons

Throughout his illustrious career, Roderick Chisholm was concerned with the nature of persons. On his view, persons are what he called ‘entia per se.’ They exist per se, in their own right. I too have developed an account of persons—I call it the ‘Constitution View’—an account that is different in important ways from Chisholm’s. Here, however, I want to focus on a thesis that Chisholm and I agree on: that persons have ontological significance in virtue of being persons. Although I’ll make the notion of ontological significance more precise later, the rough idea is that Fs (persons, or whatever) have ontological significance just in case a new F is a new thing and not just a change in some already-existing thing.
Keywords Metaphysics  Ontology  Person  Status  Chisholm, R
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2002.tb00207.x
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