What Is a Person?
The idea for an anthology on personhood grew out of two things, viz. , the work I did with Martin Benjamin during the Summer of 1982 at Michigan State University on the question, What is a person?, and the amount of time, effort, and expense required for serious research on the topic itself. The former experience taught me the importance of, among other things, attempting to get clear about what we are to mean by 'person,' while the latter experience suggested a possible course of action whereby getting clear might be made more manage able simply by having relatively convenient access to some of the most insightful and stimulating writings on the topic. The problems of personhood addressed in this book are central to issues in ethics ranging from the treatment or termination of infants with birth defects to the question whether there can be rational suicide. But before questions on such issues as the morality of abortion, genetic engineering, infanticide, and so on, can be settled, the prob lems of personhood must be clarified and analyzed. Hence What Is a Person? has as its primary theme the examination of various proposed conditions of personhood.
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Abortion and Infanticide action actual adult human animals anti-abortionist argue argument Baruch Brody becomes a living becoming/being boundary begin behavior believe birth brain brain death capacity Carl Sagan cells claim concept concern consciousness consider criteria criterion cultural death Defense of Abortion distinction duties embryo entity essential Ethics euthanasia example fact fetal fetus fetus becomes fetuses first-order desires freedom function genetic Homo sapiens human biological human person individual infanticide infants Intentional stance Intentional system interest issue Joel Feinberg killing kitten least living human means Michael Tooley moral person morally relevant natural kind nonhuman nonpersons normal notion objects organism ovum personhood persons strictly philosophers plausible position possess possible potential person potentiality principle problem properties question rational reason responsible Roe vs Wade second-order desires second-order volitions seems self-conscious seriously wrong someone species stage sufficient condition theory things tion Tooley wants zygote