- The leading questions of my contribution are
- Whether “person” is a sortal term in a technical sense, and
- Why this is relevant for the discussion of personal identity, especially regarding the opposition between simplicity and complexity.
- In the first parts of the chapter I discuss (standard) no answers: “person” is not sortal; then yes answers: “person” is a sortal in a strict and technical sense, exactly like “car,” “sheep” or “Homo sapiens”; finally, views which seem to be inconsistent concerning the semantic character of “person.”
- Then I try to present an alternative: “person” is a semantically unique term. This uniqueness consists in a kind of incompleteness, which I intend to spell out.
- I discuss this view in the context of a theory of personal identity. There I start with considerations about persons as a kind, and continue by focusing on individual persons. In my center of interest lie specific personal individual forms as the founding instances of personal identity.
- In conclusion I borrow an argument from the philosophy of mind to strengthen my thesis of personal individual forms as simple units.
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