A Theory of Legal Personhood

ISBN : 9780198844037

Visa AJ Kurki
240 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Aug 2019
Oxford Library of Psychology
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Who, or what, is a 'person' according to the law? How did this understanding of personhood come about? In the twenty-first century, environmentalism, animal rights, artificial intelligence, and corporate personhood have compelled us to consider these questions once again. Legal personhood is a foundational concept of Western legal thought and A Theory of Legal Personhood seeks to go beyond contemporary debates, challenging our very understanding of legal personhood itself. Drawing on extensive research, scholarship, legislation, and court cases from around the globe, this book offers readers - with or without previous knowledge - new insights into legal personhood. It scrutinizes how personhood came to be understood synonymously with the holding of legal rights. It then posits that a better understanding of legal personhood is as a cluster property. Finally, it applies this new theory to explain and structure the numerous debates surrounding legal personhood.


Part 1: The Orthodox View
1 A Short History of the Right-holding Person
2 Rights and Persons - Hohfeldian Analysis
Part 2: The Bundle Theory
3 The Incidents of Legal Personhood
4 Who or What Can Be a Legal Person?
Part 3: Applying the Theory
5 Collectivities as Legal Persons
6 The Legal Personhood of Artificial Intelligences
7 Legal Personhood in Normative Reasoning

About the author: 

Dr Visa AJ Kurki is a fellow of the Collegium for Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki. He received his PhD in 2017 from the University of Cambridge. Kurki has published on legal personhood, rights theory, and animal law. He is also vice president of the Finnish Society for Legal Philosophy.

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