Ethics, personhood, human nature


What is a person? The answer to this foundational question may seem intuitive at the first glance. Many would respond, without much thought, that a person is a human being. However, proponents of empirical functionalist philosophy contend that personhood is based on the ability to perform certain actions in actual, not potential, form. They would therefore claim that some members of species homo sapiens may not actually be persons (Singer, 1985). To understand when personhood begins, it is first necessary to understand what a person is. This paper will apply the Aristotelian concepts of substance and nature to define person, and then argue for the ontological personalist view that personhood begins at conception (Palazzani, 1994).



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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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