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The Life of a Person

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What Is a Person?

Part of the book series: Contemporary Issues in Biomedicine, Ethics, and Society ((CIBES))

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Abstract

When one reflects on the life of a person, it becomes immediately apparent that this can be done in two very different ways. One way is to look upon the person as a particular organism with a spatiotemporal history of its own; there the identity question is approached from the outside, so to speak, and differs not at all from questions about the identity of material objects through time. The other way is to look upon the person’s life history as the total span of conscious experience that this person has had; here identity is approached from the inside, whether it be your own life you are reflecting on, or that of another person. It was Lucretius’ contention, in Book III of De Rerum Natura, that since good or harm can accrue only to a subject of conscious experiences, the latter is the correct view and the former leads to superstition.

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© 1988 The Humana Press Inc.

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Puccetti, R. (1988). The Life of a Person. In: Goodman, M.F. (eds) What Is a Person?. Contemporary Issues in Biomedicine, Ethics, and Society. Humana Press. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-3950-5_14

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-3950-5_14

  • Publisher Name: Humana Press

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4612-8412-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4612-3950-5

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive

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