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Essay example - What can philosophy contribute to the study of personhood?

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What can philosophy contribute to the study of personhood? Should philosophers seek to provide the necessary and sufficient conditions for applying the concept of personhood, or should we seek to provide a descriptive analysis of the attitudes adopted when we treat someone as a person in practice?…

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Why so? Philosophy plays a great role in the study of personhood and this study of personhood is labeled to be extremely important because it assists in the identification of a “person”. It also allows the differentiation of a “person” from other living beings. Various definitions of personhood have been laid down in philosophy and the concept of personhood has also evolved and changed over the years. The initial definition of personhood did not classify females, slaves as well as certain underprivileged populations as “persons”. The analysis and work of the philosophers led to the eradication of such misconceptions and led to explain the meaning of what a “person” is. Certain controversies still exists over the definition and understanding of personhood (Merrill 51; Kittay 101). Philosophy can contribute to the study of personhood by providing a unanimous and understandable definition of a “person” and provide for concepts which are accepted by the medical, legal and the religious community. The definition of a “person” has been a matter of debate but a large group of philosophers agree to the fact that not all human beings can be classified as a “person.” Thus, they explain that only being born as a human does not identify an individual as a “person.” Not only this, a human being cannot be classified as a “person” if he possesses only the ability to feel the sensations of “pain or pleasure.” ...
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