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Life Sciences

Animal Sentience

Personhood

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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Is Human Uniqueness Fake News?, Sean Hermanson Jan 2019

Is Human Uniqueness Fake News?, Sean Hermanson

Animal Sentience

The world and its troubles don't need unfounded denials of human uniqueness.


The Psychological Concept Of “Person”, Kristin Andrews Nov 2016

The Psychological Concept Of “Person”, Kristin Andrews

Animal Sentience

Reluctance to overextend personhood seems to drive many of the skeptical responses in the first round of commentaries on Rowlands's target article. Despite Rowlands’s straightforward Response that we already accept some nonhumans as persons, there is still hesitation to accept that other nonhuman animals are persons. Rowlands's argument is sound but the skeptics don’t accept the Lockean notion of person. The metaphysical sense of person is a psychological one, however, and psychological properties grant one moral status according to many ethical theories.


Evolutionary Continuity Of Personhood, Anne Benvenuti Sep 2016

Evolutionary Continuity Of Personhood, Anne Benvenuti

Animal Sentience

Rowlands applies the two organizing ideas of the Lockean concept of personhood — mental life and unity — to animals as potential persons. Especially valuable in this context is his descriptive phenomenology of pre-reflective self-awareness as a fundamental form of mental life that necessarily entails unity. Rowland describes certain fundamentals of mental experience that exist across species boundaries, challenging assumptions of early modern philosophers regarding the definition of human personhood and affirming the principle of evolutionary continuity. This opens the door to a broader and deeper set of questions, related to whether we should continue to attempt to apply to other animals ...


From Thinking Selves To Social Selves, Judith Benz-Schwarzburg Aug 2016

From Thinking Selves To Social Selves, Judith Benz-Schwarzburg

Animal Sentience

I argue that Rowlands’s concept of pre-reflective self-awareness offers a way to understand animals as Social Selves. It does so because it departs from the orthodox conception of self-awareness, which is both egocentric and logocentric. Instead, its focus is on the relation between consciousness and a person’s lived body, her actions and goals. Characterizing persons as pre-reflectively self-aware beings in Rowlands’s sense offers a much more useful conceptual tool to interpret social behaviour in animals.


Who Is A Person? Whoever You Want It To Be, Gwen J. Broude Aug 2016

Who Is A Person? Whoever You Want It To Be, Gwen J. Broude

Animal Sentience

Rowlands provides an expanded definition of personhood that preserves the requirement of unity of mental life from the orthodox definition but argues that implicit unity of mind is sufficient for conferring personhood. This allows more or all animals to be considered persons. Implicit unity of mind may be a bridge too far for those who endorse the orthodox account of personhood, and for good reasons. More fundamentally, who gets to decide what personhood entails or that personhood per se matters to such other issues as who receives legal or moral status and consideration? Perhaps we should worry less about definitions ...