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Andrew Marr's History: SurvivalSaturday, 25th April 2015 16:00 - YesterdayAndrew Marr sets off on an epic journey through 70,000 years of human history, starting with our earliest beginnings... Read more: OU on the BBC: Andrew Marr's History of the World - Survival
Thinking Allowed: The Ethnography Award winner 2015Monday, 27th April 2015 00:15 - BBC Four
Christopher Plummer on King LearTuesday, 28th April 2015 04:35 - Sky Arts 1
Secret History Of... Camberwell GveTuesday, 28th April 2015 20:00 - BBC Four
Secret History Of... Deptford High StAvailable until Friday, 22nd May 2015 03:00How did the "Oxford Street of South London" come to be one of the poorest shopping streets in modern London? Read more: The Secret History Of Our Streets - Deptford High Street
Secret History Of... Deptford High StAvailable until Friday, 22nd May 2015 03:00
Thinking Allowed: The Ethnography Award 'Shortlist' 2015Available until Friday, 15th April 2016 10:30
A History of Ideas - Descartes Cogito Ergo SumAvailable until Thursday, 14th April 2016 08:30
OU on the BBC: Andrew Marr's History of the World - SurvivalAndrew Marr sets off on an epic journey through 70,000 years of human history, starting with our... Read more: OU on the BBC: Andrew Marr's History of the World - Survival
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Eating to win: Activity, diet and weight controlWhat should we eat before and after exercise? This free course, Eating to win: activity, diet and... Try: Eating to win: Activity, diet and weight control now
Succeed with maths – Part 1[BETA] If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this short 8-week course... Try: Succeed with maths – Part 1 now
Philosophy: The nature of persons
What is a person? This unit examines this philosophical question concerning the nature...
What is a person? This unit examines this philosophical question concerning the nature of personhood. You will examine whether a ‘person’ is the same as a ‘human being’, and look at whether it is our free will that in the end defines us as a ‘person’.
Having studied this unit you should be able to:
- discuss what it means to be a person;
- read and understand arguments discussing this question;
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Introducing the concept of the 'person' and 'persons'
- 2 Determinism and free choice: a brief résumé
- 3 Peter Strawson: ‘Freedom and resentment’
Philosophy: The nature of persons
This unit asks what it is to be a person. You will see that there are several philosophical questions around the nature of personhood. Here we explore what it is that defines the concept. As you work through the unit, you will notice that this area of enquiry has developed its own semi-technical vocabulary. The plural of ‘person’ is, in this area of enquiry, ‘persons’ rather than ‘people’. It is easy to see the reason for this. The question ‘What are people?’ is potentially confusing. It could mean ‘What is it to be a people (as opposed to simply a collection of individuals)?’ This, like the question of what it is to be a state or a nation, falls within the province of political philosophy. This is not the question we want. Instead, we want ‘What is it to be a person (or one of the kind of thing that are persons)?’
This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course