Topic: Personhood. Philosophical conceptions of personhood have traditionally focused on internal traits like rationality and self-awareness over time, but a number of feminist moral theorists have recently proposed relational notions of personhood. We’ll look at the debates over social and relational conceptions of personhood and their significance for the moral status of non-human animals, individuals with cognitive disabilities, and fetuses and infants. A key text will be Hilde Lindemann’s recent book Holding and Letting Go, and we’ll read a variety of related literature from McMahan, Jaworska, Kittay, and others. Students will be expected to write a term paper on a topic of their choice (presented to the class in a 10 page draft version), comment on a peer's paper, and prepare critical discussion questions in advance of each class.
TEXT: Holding and Letting Go: The Social Practice of Personal Identities, Hilde Lindemann.