Essays in Legal Philosophy
Edited By Tomasz Pietrzykowski and Brunello Stancioli
The Constitutive Journey Toward Individual Personhood
1. The human being as a rational agent
Among the various self-conceptions elaborated by the so-called occidental man, the one with Aristotelian origins has surely been the most persistent. Even if not always explicitly labeled Aristotelian, many of its features are still widespread in the contemporaneity.
As with any philosophical thesis, the Aristotelian has been subject to various sorts of criticism and interpretation. What we claim here is only that, in its core elements, it is still influential in the present days, guiding and being used as a reference for other conceptions elaborated by the man about himself, even in law. However, if, on the one hand, these elements reflect a pragmatic dimension that is present in the conception of personhood we take to be the most appropriate; on the other hand, we do not subscribe to certain forms of recourse to Aristotle that can still be found in contemporary literature, committed to his metaphysics or with an instrumental use of his thought for different purposes.
Either way, it seems to be beyond dispute that the Aristotelian conception about the human and its subsequent Latin uptake have forged the vocabulary related to the issue, whose meanings were constituted and delimitated in the perspective of the sociopolitical and cultural realities, respectively, of ancient Greece and Rome. The same holds true for the integrative process of assimilation and appropriation of that conception from the Hebraic-Christian theological and anthropological standpoints. Although not very usual in...
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