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New Approaches to the Personhood in Law

Essays in Legal Philosophy

Edited By Tomasz Pietrzykowski and Brunello Stancioli

The concept of personhood becomes increasingly controversial in modern legal debates. The advancements in the contemporary science and technology entail the need for reconsideration of who should count as a person in law and why. Animals, cyborgs, artificial agents and the like may pose the most important challenge for the legal orders in the 21 st century. The volume collects essays addressing various aspects of this challenge and provide an overview of what may become the most interesting and far-reaching dilemma for the law in the years to come.
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An Adequate Concept of Human Body: Debunking Mind-Body Dualism

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Carolina Nasser, Nara Carvalho, Brunello Stancioli and Laís Lopes

An Adequate Concept of Human Body: Debunking Mind-Body Dualism

1. Introduction

Mental processes are key to virtually everything that is important in Law. In examples such as rom states of raw emotions, deep rationality, autonomy and decision-making, behaviours and selves are constructed along with mental processes.

Traditionally, mental processes and bodily states are individually analysed. Boundaries between bodily phenomena and mental phenomena are often perceived as being sharp and clearly distinctive. Mental processes are usually associated with pure rationality and bodies are regarded as receptacles of advanced mental cognition. In short, this is the notion of mind-body dualism.

This essay brings together Law, Philosophy of Mind and contemporary Neuroscience, to debunk mind-body dualism because this dualism leads legal approaches to mystifying personhood and legal subjects. Therefore, the following sections will be empirically oriented to offer an alternative view of the mind-body problem, which is strongly connected to contemporary studies on minds, bodies and environments.

2. An Overview on the mind-body problem and a possible way out

The relationship between mind and body has been a target of investigation in many diverse niches of Western Philosophy. Inquiries regarding the exact complexity and attributes of the possible connection between these entities are often treated as one philosophical problem, which contains an array of other scientific and practical problems.

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