What is a Human Being: Does It Matter?
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In this paper I will argue that man as defined, at least in part, by the concept of hu-man nature within an essentialist understanding remains a philosophically and anthropo-logically defensible way for understanding what it means to be a human being (person). That is, an understanding of human being includes, but is not limited to, the actuality of the non-material or non-extended substance commonly referred to as soul. The argu-ment turns on the notion that persons are essentially persons. It seems intuitive to say that I cannot imagine myself as a “not-a-person” while it is quite easy to imagine myself as “not-a-professor.” To say I am a person seems not identical to saying I am a profesor—the former seems impossible while the latter possible. Although it might be argued that I could not verbalize I am a person without having a body it seems that would not permit one to conclude the two are identical.
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