Personhood and ensoulment

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  • Personhood
    • Jack Mahoney
      • Sets out criteria for personhood including the ability to make free choices and having emotions
    • Michael Tooley
      • Not a person if you lack awareness of self
    • Mary Anne Warren
      • True moral status from birth. Viability
      • Sentience, emotionality, reason, the capacity to communicate, self-awareness, moral agency
    • John Gallagher
      • Impractical to draw lines such as person/not a person
    • Relational factors
      • A human being only becomes a person when accepted as such by others.
        • Personhood can therefore be a matter of social convention eg. Parents naming a child
    • Ensoulement
      • Augustine
        • The soul is implanted after 46 days
      • Aquinas
        • Girls souls implanted after 90 days and boys souls are implanted after 40 days
      • Catholic Church
        • Ensoulment takes place from conception
      • Gilbert Ryle
        • Talk of soul rest on a category mistake. The soul is not separate from the body
    • Jonathan Glover
      • To call a foetus a person from conception stretches the term beyond normal boundaries


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