Recognizing persons

Heikki Ikäheimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In this article a wide range of candidates for features that are defining of personhood are conceived of as interrelated, yet irreducible, layers and dimensions of what it is to be a person in the full-fledged sense of the word. Three layers of personhood - consisting of person-making psychological capacities, person-making interpersonal significances, and person-making institutional or deontic powers - are distinguished. Running through the layers there are then two dimensions - the deontic and the axiological - corresponding to the recognitive attitudes of respect and love. These recognitive attitudes of 'taking something/-one as a person' are responses to the psychological layer and directly constitutive of the interpersonal layer of the respective dimensions of personhood. The multiplicity of ways to understand what 'personhood' means is only apparently chaotic and reveals, on a closer look, a well-ordered and dynamic internal structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-247
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Consciousness Studies
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


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