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Pagan VirtueAn Essay in Ethics$
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John Casey

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198240037

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240037.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Persons
Pagan Virtue

John Casey

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   person, self-conscious, rational being, emotions, appetites, embodiment, human being, Kant, Hegel

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