This chapter provides an abstract notion of a person as a self-conscious rational being, and explores a more concrete picture of what it is to be such a being. Human emotions, appetites, and embodiment, and human social existence can all be seen as expressions of rational agency, rather than as adventitious additions, or even obstacles to it. The chapter suggests that the best, and perhaps the only, way of giving a concrete picture of what it is to be a person and to apprehend others as persons is to say something about human beings. Some philosophers — including Kant and Hegel — have sought to base an ethical doctrine upon what it is to be a person, which in turn greatly influences this book.
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