Persons: The Difference between `Someone and `Something

Hardcover | December 21, 2006

byRobert SpaemannTranslated byOliver ODonovan

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An examination and defence of the concept of personality, long central to Western moral culture but now increasingly under attack, by a leading European philosopher. It takes issue with major contemporary philosophers, especially in the English-speaking world (such as Parfit and Singer), whohave contributed to the eclipse of the idea, and traces the debate back to the foundations of modern philosophy in Descartes and Locke. There are extended discussions of the sources of the idea in Christian theology and its development in Western philosophy. There are also a number of pointeddiscussions of pressing practical questions - for example, our treatment of the severely disabled human and the moral status of intelligent non-human animals. The book covers a great deal of ground before coming to a focused conclusion: all human beings are persons - and perhaps all porpoises, too!

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An examination and defence of the concept of personality, long central to Western moral culture but now increasingly under attack, by a leading European philosopher. It takes issue with major contemporary philosophers, especially in the English-speaking world (such as Parfit and Singer), whohave contributed to the eclipse of the idea, ...

Robert Spaemann is Emeritus Professor, University of Munich; Honorary Professor, University of Salzburg. Oliver O'Donovan is Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, University of Oxford.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.79 inPublished:December 21, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199281815

ISBN - 13:9780199281817

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Why we Speak of Persons2. Why we call Persons `Persons'3. How we Identify Persons4. The Negative5. Intentionality6. Transcendence7. Fiction8. Religion9. Time10. Death and the Future Perfect Tense11. Independence of Context12. Subjects13. Souls14. Conscience15. Recognition16. Freedom17. Promise and Forgiveness18. Are All Human Beings Persons?