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Who Count as Persons? : Human Identity and the Ethics of Killing - John F. Kavanaugh

Who Count as Persons?

Human Identity and the Ethics of Killing

Paperback Published: 23rd May 2001
ISBN: 9780878408375
Number Of Pages: 240
For Ages: 22+ years old

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Just what is a human being? Who counts? The answers to these questions are crucial when one is faced with the ethical issue of taking human life. In this affirmation of the intrinsic personal dignity and inviolability of every human individual, John Kavanaugh, S. J., denies that it can ever be moral to intentionally kill another.

Today in every corner of the world men and women are willing to kill others in the name of "realism" and under the guise of race, class, quality of life, sex, property, nationalism, security, or religion. We justify these killings by either excluding certain humans from our definition of personhood or by invoking a greater good or more pressing value.

Kavanaugh contends that neither alternative is acceptable. He formulates an ethics that opposes the intentional killing not only of medically "marginal" humans but also of depersonalized or criminalized enemies. Offering a philosophy of the person that embraces the undeveloped, the wounded, and the dying, he proposes ways to recover a personal ethical stance in a global society that increasingly devalues the individual.

Kavanaugh discusses the work of a range of philosophers, artists, and activists from Richard Rorty and Soren Kierkegaard to Albert Camus and Woody Allen, from Mother Teresa to Jack Kevorkian. His approach is in stark contrast to that of writer Peter Singer and others who believe that not all human life has intrinsic moral worth. It will challenge philosophers, students of ethics, and anyone concerned about the depersonalization of contemporary life.

This book offers a powerful, challenging view of the human person for the modern world as a basis for ethical decision making, especially on life-and-death issues... We have much to learn from Father John Kavanaugh. He is insightful and learned, and his passionate concern for the dignity of human beings flows from every page. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly [Offers] a compelling critique of contemporary society. Theological Studies A richly insightful and provocative exploration of the diverse ideologies invented to justify degrading or taking human life. Choice All college and seminary libraries need this prophetic book in their collections. Ethics

Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Personal Lossesp. 10
Traces of Lost Personsp. 11
The Fear and Call of Personal Realityp. 14
Social and Political Depersonalizationp. 17
Impersonal Theory, De-Personed Philosophyp. 20
The Texture of Personal Reality and Ethical Experiencep. 24
Personal Bodiesp. 28
On the Matter and Spirit of Mapsp. 29
On the Matter and Spirit of Personsp. 31
Personal Embodimentp. 33
Body as Object, Body as Subjectp. 34
Ambiguities of Embodimentp. 37
The "My-Ness" and "Me-Ness" of a Personal Bodyp. 39
Personal Consciousnessp. 42
Personalized Worldp. 44
Endowments of Embodied Personsp. 48
Personal Foundationsp. 49
Awareness of Awareness, Selves, and Personsp. 53
The Endowment of Freedomp. 56
The Endowment of Love in Self-Conscious Affirmationp. 60
Endowed Human Personsp. 62
Personal Naturep. 66
Personal Entries Into Ethicsp. 71
Inescapable Perspectives of Personsp. 71
Achieving the Moral Good and Doing the Right Thingp. 73
Kant and the Pull to the Interiorp. 77
Mill and the Pull Outwardp. 80
The Personal Centerp. 82
The Intrinsic Turnp. 84
Killing, Autonomy, and Intrinsic Valuesp. 90
Before Good and Evilp. 95
The Field of Moral Experiencep. 96
The Dynamics of Personal Moral Judgmentp. 98
The Subjective Internal Dimensionp. 100
The Objective External Dimensionp. 102
Context, Culture, and Personal Challengep. 105
Negation of Truth and the Beginning of Evilp. 107
Falls and Crimesp. 109
Killing Persons and Ethicsp. 113
The Logic of Terrorp. 115
The Moral Inviolability of Personsp. 119
Defending Life by Intending Deathp. 122
Killing Incomplete Personsp. 125
Killing Defective or Dying Personsp. 132
Reviving Personal Lifep. 138
The Choice of Realitiesp. 139
The "Reality" of Consumer Capitalismp. 142
Reviving Personal Solitudep. 146
Recovering Personal Relationshipsp. 150
Revealing Human Vulnerabilityp. 153
Notesp. 161
Bibliographyp. 213
Indexp. 227
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780878408375
ISBN-10: 0878408371
Series: Moral Traditions series
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 23rd May 2001
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.34