Philosophy and Person

Author(s): James Murphy

Edition: 1

Copyright: 2019

Pages: 96

Details: Electronic Delivery EBOOK | 180 days |


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In ordinary commonsense discourse, we usually take the notions of human being and person to mean much the same thing. But once we probe a little further, matters become more complex.

Three considerations bear on this. First, when human beings wonder if certain other higher animals or artificial intelligence might qualify as persons, it reflects their sense that the concept of human being (i.e., member of the species Homo Sapiens ) and the concept of person or personhood are rather different. Second, such monotheist religions as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam take God to be personal in some sense, though not in the way human beings are. Third, if one takes it that persons are nothing but living human beings, the concept of personhood becomes redundant, and we have no reason to continue to use it. Historically, the concept of person has strongly emerged only in certain cultures for culture-specific reasons. Perhaps there are no persons, just human beings. I think there are persons, but the notion is complex and multifaceted: A definition of personhood that is on the one hand precise and informative and on the other hand comprehensive is not easy to come by.

James Murphy's Philosophy & Person

  • Contains six chapters on personhood: specifically, a range of philosophical perspectives on personhood. This title does not attempt definition; instead, it lets anthropology and the other sciences define what it is to be a human being.
  • Discusses issues of epistemology, value theory, language, agency, and religion while not losing focus of the main concept.
  • Is flexible! Each chapter is relatively self-contained. Adopting instructors may dispense with some of the later chapters, though the first three chapters are necessary to retain in order to keep the main focus of the publication.
  • Promotes learning! Exercises, further reading and viewing examples, and footnotes are sprinkled through most of the chapters to increase and assess comprehension of concepts presented.


Chapter 1 What Is a Person?

Chapter 2 Person as a Knower

Chapter 3 Person and Value

Chapter 4 Person as Relational

Chapter 5 Person: Agency and History

 Chapter 6 Person: Self-Transcending

James Murphy

James G. Murphy SJ is associate professor of philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. He is a Catholic priest and a Jesuit. He is the author of War's Ends: Human Rights, International Order, and the Ethics of Peace (Georgetown University Press 2014).

Related ISBN's: 9781792401039




ISBN 9781792401039

Details Electronic Delivery EBOOK 180 days