ISBN : 9780198808480
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. Persons takes issue with major contemporary philosophers, especially in the English-speaking world (such as Parfit and Singer), who have contributed to the eclipse of the idea, and traces the debate back to the foundations of modern philosophy in Descartes and Locke. Robert Spaemann offers extended discussions of the sources of the idea in Christian theology and its development in Western philosophy. He also provides a number of pointed discussions 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.
1 Why we Speak of Persons
2 Why we call Persons `Persons'
3 How we Identify Persons
4 The Negative
10 Death and the Future Perfect Tense
11 Independence of Context
17 Promise and Forgiveness
18 Are All Human Beings Persons?