jeudi 16 octobre 2014

Pitfalls in the Constitution of Personhood (N.-F. Wagner)

Conférence | Talk

(Mind, Brain and Neuroethics Research Unit, University of Ottawa)

Pitfalls in the Constitution of Personhood

The concept of personhood is bogged down by the entanglement of three closely related questions. In this talk, I disentangle (1) the question of what defines personhood from (2) the question of whether personhood is a feature of the real world. This will then be detached from (3) the question of how personhood is ascribed to others. I argue that ignoring these dimensions conflates ontological and normative considerations as to what constitutes personhood. Particularly, widespread ‘cognitivist’ views are threatened by invalid inferences from normative premises to factual conclusions. I end with some preliminary remarks on how evidence from developmental psychology and social neuroscience may be of use in setting the stage for a more plausible view of personhood.

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Carleton University
River Building

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