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Can Animals Be Persons?$
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Mark Rowlands

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190846039

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190846039.001.0001

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Animals as Persons

Animals as Persons

The Very Idea

(p.1) 1 Animals as Persons
Can Animals Be Persons?

Mark Rowlands

Oxford University Press

Far from being contrary to common sense, the idea that some nonhuman animals can be persons conforms to a certain prominent strand in common sense. Three conceptions of personhood are distinguished: legal, moral, and metaphysical. The subject of this book is the metaphysical sense of person. Four essential conditions of metaphysical personhood are identified: consciousness, cognition, self-awareness, and other-awareness. These conditions are advanced as individually necessary and collectively sufficient for an individual to qualify as a person. A person is an individual that is conscious, in the sense that there is something it is like to be that individual; it is a cognitive agent capable of engaging in reasoning; it is aware of itself; and it is aware of others precisely as other persons.

Keywords:   cognition, consciousness, other-awareness, self-awareness, person

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