Persons: Key Notes Development

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What are the characteristics of personhood?

  • Strawson argues that the concept of a person is 'primitive', not analysable as the mind and body. To understand a person as mind and body makes it impossible to say how we ascribe mental chacteristics to other persons. We do not have experience of 'minds' alone. We must therefore ascribe mental characteristics to one and the same thing that also has physical characteristics.
  • We experience persons in this sense naturally, and can think of them as a mind category.
  • While many characteristics associated with personhood are a matter of disagree, this does not imply that being a person is also a matter of degree. it is possible for one characteristic to be necessary and sufficient for personhood.
  • The view that the concept of a person is primitive is not undermind by talk of potential or ex-persons, complex or diminished persons. Potential and ex-persons are defined in terms of what it takes to be a person; being complex or diminshed are attributes of persons.

What is a person?

  • We can argue that potential and ex-persons count as persons count as persons. However, some humans will not qualify as persons.
  • We can argue that all humans and non-humans are persons because to be a person is to have a soul, and only and all humans have souls.
  • Some religions think that a soul can be a


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