On being one's own person

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the paper is to provide a philosophical account of our sense that some people are more their own person than others. I begin by exposing the weaknesses in three possible accounts, which I label the "interventionist", the "existentialist" and the "ideal" accounts. I then go on to argue that the distinguishing feature of those who are their own person is that their natural inclinations are accurately expressed in their behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-466
Number of pages20
JournalEthical Theory and Moral Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • authenticity
  • Berlin
  • character-formation
  • existentialism
  • Frankfurt
  • individual nature
  • Mill
  • Nietzsche
  • real desires
  • Sartre


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