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A Theory of Legal Personhood

Visa AJ Kurki


Legal personhood is a foundational concept of Western legal thought. It has recently become highly topical, underpinning contemporary debates over the legal status of animals, corporations, foetuses, natural objects, and artificial intelligences. The notion is furthermore crucial in explaining the historical legal statuses of women and slaves. Rather than addressing who or what should be a legal person, this book examines the concept itself. The book consists of an Introduction and three parts. The Introduction presents the Western doctrine of legal personhood, the relevant terms and concepts, ... More

Keywords: legal personhood, legal personality, legal person, subject of law, legal subject, natural person, artificial person, animal rights, rights of nature, artificial intelligence

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780198844037
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198844037.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Visa AJ Kurki, author
Fellow, University of Helsinki