How to Explain the Importance of Persons

The Philosophical Quarterly (2023)
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Abstract

We commonly explain the distinctive prudential and moral status of persons in terms of our mental capacities. I draw from recent work to argue that the common explanation is incomplete. I then develop a new explanation: We are ethically important because we are the object of a pattern of self-concern. I argue that the view solves moral problems posed by permissive ontologies, such as the recent personite problem.

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Christopher Register
Princeton University

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