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Monday, April 22, 2013

"What Is a Person?"

On Friday, at Notre Dame Law School, I had the pleasure of participating in a really interesting interdisciplinary roundtable-conference, which was generously organized by Prof. David Opderbeck of Seton Hall (and, this semester, of Notre Dame).  One of the presentations was by (and several of the discussion-sessions were about) Christian Smith, who presented the basic argument of his fascinating book, What is a PersonRethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good from the Person Up (Chicago 2010).  How cool, to write -- and (it seems to me, so far) to pull off! -- a book with that title!  (Not to give too much away, but . . . a person is "a conscious, reflexive, embodied, self-transcending center of subjective experience, durable identity, moral commitment, and social communication who -- as the efficient cause of his or her own responsible actions and interactions -- exercises complex capacities for agency and intersubjectivity in order to sustain his or her own incommunicable self in loving relationships with other personal selves and with the nonpersonal world.")

Posted by Rick Garnett on April 22, 2013 at 02:08 PM in Rick Garnett | Permalink

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"a conscious, reflexive, embodied, self-transcending center of subjective experience, durable identity, moral commitment, and social communication who -- as the efficient cause of his or her own responsible actions and interactions -- exercises complex capacities for agency and intersubjectivity in order to sustain his or her own incommunicable self in loving relationships with other personal selves and with the nonpersonal world."

I'm sorry, this is not one sentence.

Posted by: anon | Apr 22, 2013 5:14:03 PM

It is in the pre-hypertexting and pre-twitter world...or in passages of German philosophy translated into English...or in a world without "monkey mind."*

*"[F]rom Chinese xinyuan and Sino-Japanese shin'en 心猿 (lit. 'heart-/mind-monkey'), [this] is a Buddhist term meaning 'unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable.' In addition to Buddhist writings, including Chan or Zen, Consciousness-only, Pure Land, and Shingon, this 'mind-monkey' psychological metaphor was adopted in Daoism, Neo-Confucianism, poetry, drama, and literature."

Posted by: Patrick S. O'Donnell | Apr 22, 2013 6:50:25 PM

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