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What can philosophy contribute to the study of personhood - Essay Example


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What can philosophy contribute to the study of personhood

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.”...
a “person.” Thus, a definite consensus amongst philosophers has not been attained with regard

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to the definition of a “person.” (Canton 17,18). The study of philosophy and more advanced research can help in reaching to a consensual definition of a “person” and provide for differentiating between a “person” and other beings. Philosophers should seek to provide the necessary and sufficient conditions for applying the concept of personhood. This is because the concept of personhood is an important one in philosophy and it has evolved over the years. The study of personhood has become clearer and philosophers have started to understand and explain its concept. From the point that even women were not considered to be a “person” the definition has now reached to a point where philosophers have started to classify a person as a rational and sensible being. Controversies still exist like the issue of abortion. This is because philosophers claim that a fetus is a not a “person” as it does not have sense of judgment and the ability to take decisions. Thus pro-abortionists use the claim of the philosophers to justify the act of abortion as they argue that a fetus is not a “person.” (Kittay 101,104). The analysis of personhood should be done by the philosophers rather than by us as this would assist in setting a universal criterion for the recognition of a “person.” This would lead to resolve several conflicts that exist in the society. The example of the mentally challenged individuals is perfect. The definition of personhood excludes the mentally disabled people. This exclusion means that they do not exist as “persons” but there are arguments that despite of the fact that they have a low intellectual level, these mentally challenged people


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?…
Author : carolyn01
What can philosophy contribute to the study of personhood essay example
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