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Introduction

  • Michael Quante
Chapter
  • 324 Downloads
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 126)

Abstract

If one were to look for the specific property of human beings, the following definition would be a promising candidate: human beings differ from other living creatures through their endeavor to lead a personal life. The aspiration to lead one’s own life and go one’s own way, to give one’s actions a “personal” touch or develop a “personal” style, are two of the numerous ways in which the fundamental aim of human life, to have one’s own personality and develop one’s own character, is articulated. The central value attributed to personal life in our culture is moreover expressed in diverse terms, which either themselves represent widely accepted values, or are lined up as ethical claims, because they are the conditions on which a personal life can be led: self-fulfillment and originality are examples of the former; freedom, autonomy or integrity of the latter. Not only as far as articulation, legitimation and defense of individuality – one of the characteristic features of modernity – are concerned, but also in such contexts as those in which the exceptional moral status of human beings in comparison to other Lebensformen is to be specified or justified, this usually occurs with recourse to the human personality:

Keywords

Personal Identity Personal Life Biomedical Ethic Descriptive Usage Voluntary Euthanasia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Quante
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MünsterMünsterGermany

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