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I need to research for a theoretical framework about definition of "person"* by different authors. I'm struggling to find any kind of outline to make the research, so I am wondering if I'm trying to search using a wrong concept. I'm constantly stumbling against "Personal Identity", but is not what I'm looking for. I was thinking that I could research about classical ontological dilemmas like monism vs dualism, but I'm also not quite sure if it will help me into compare definitions.

My first idea was to explain about different epochs, something like: what did greeks philosophers think? in medieval times? in renaissance? in the modern era? in the post modern era? ecc.

* in case is useful to answer the question. I'm asking because we are analyzing a text that speaks about a "person centered approach" in health, so we ask ourselves: ok, what/who is a person then?

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  • Thanks! though I said before that I don't want to speak about the problem of "Personal Identity", since it's outside of the scope of my research. Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 14:35
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    The words person and personhood have several different meanings depending on the context. It would really help if you made your context clearer. If the question is "what did they think it took to be a person", then the "personal identity" concept you are eschewing is correct to use.
    – virmaior
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 14:55
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    See plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-personal Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 19:06
  • And philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/33966/… Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 19:06
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    @RamTobolski my best guess without the edits is that the author is studying either approaches to medical care, approaches to medical/professional ethics, or counseling models. But the term would have distinct meanings in all of those areas.
    – virmaior
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 5:40

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Oftentimes when doing research and I need a specific term, I use a dictionary definition to "set the groundwork" for the entire paper. Google "what is a person" (with or without quotation marks) comes up with some results. Filter for your use.

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  • Thanks, it seems that I'm looking into definitions of "personhood", as a non-native english speaker, it's a completely new concept. I'll look a bit more, but for the time being I'll upvote your answe. Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 14:34

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