A philosophical defense of the idea that we can hold each other in personhood: intercorporeal personhood in dementia care [Book Review]

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (1):131-141 (2014)
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Since John Locke, regnant conceptions of personhood in Western philosophy have focused on individual capabilities for complex forms of consciousness that involve cognition such as the capability to remember past events and one’s own past actions, to think about and identify oneself as oneself, and/or to reason. Conceptions of personhood such as Locke's qualify as cognition-oriented, and they often fail to acknowledge the role of embodiment for personhood. This article offers an alternative conception of personhood from within the tradition of phenomenology of the body. The article presents a phenomenological analysis of joint musical activity in dementia care and outlines an intercorporeal conception of personhood based on this analysis. It also provides a philosophical basis for the idea that others can hold us in personhood, and it questions a strict one-body-one-person logic that has pertained in much personhood debate



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