Personhood as a Foundation of the Western Legal Order – Gerard Quinn, Inaugural Lecture: University of Leeds, 14 November 2018

In this talk Professor Quinn will lay out the history of the idea in ethics and in law. He will reveal how it has changed both function as well content over the years. He will link the evolution of the idea to the phenomenon of human essentialism (abstracting certain criteria said to be ‘essential’ to be seen as a human and a person like cognition) whilst stressing that one does not have to be a human to be a person in law. He will range over certain inevitable boundary issues that plague human essentialism (eg, why not ascribe personhood to animals that possess a higher level of cognition?). And he will look to future challenges including the legal status (?) of enhanced humans as well as the merger of artificial intelligence with machines. His talk is not aimed at specialists. Rather it is aimed at opening up the contours of an emerging field with manifold applications throughout the law … (more)

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