Rationality and Persons

Carol Rovane

in The Oxford Handbook of Rationality

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195145397
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:
 Rationality and Persons

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This article explores eight related claims: persons are not merely rational, but possess full reflective rationality; the single overarching normative requirement that rationality places on persons is to achieve overall rational unity within themselves; beings who possess full reflective rationality can enter into distinctively interpersonal relations, which involve efforts at rational influence from within the space of reasons; a significant number of moral considerations speak in favor of defining the person as a reflective rational agent; this definition of the person has helped to distinguish personal identity from animal identity; although it is a platitude that a person has special reason to be concerned for its own well-being, it is not obvious how best to account for that platitude; groups of human beings and parts of human beings might qualify as individual persons in their own right; there is a sense in which the normative requirements of rationality are hypothetical.

Keywords: reflective rationality; rational unity; interpersonal relations; personal identity; animal identity; normative requirements

Article.  10883 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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