Non Individualist View Of Personhood

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This essay will discuss the correct nature of the non-individualist view of person hood and the objections to that argument. The non-individualistic argument will be presented and following that there will be a discussion of the objections to the non-individualistic view of personhood. I will then address any flaws or possible replies to the objections presented. And finally, drawing on all the arguments and objections made, the essay will conclude that the non-individualists have the correct view of personhood. Non-individualists, such as Menkiti, believe that a human being cannot be a person as a lone individual. A person is only a person through other persons and because of other people. This belief has some of its roots in the word ‘Ubuntu’.…show more content…
Argument Non-individualist argue with five main premises, some that then are broken down into smaller parts, to prove that a ‘person is only a person through other persons’. The first premise of non-individualism is that a person is a participatory community, meaning that all members participate in all aspects of the community and share a conjoined responsibility. The second premise is that a person has to be a moral being to be considered a person. Morals are learned, not innate, so individual wouldn’t be able to form functional morals on their own. To become a person, a human will learn fundamental morals and values from the community they exist in. Without the community, there will be no morals. Without morals, there will be no ‘person’. Therefore without community, there will be no person. The third premise of non-individualism is that in order to be a person, a person must have an existence that is not necessarily limited by natural birth and death or by other human beings. Within Mentikis discussion of Africans and their views within non-individualism, he shares that when a human being dies, they just move into the stage of ancestral existence. They still exist in memory and can be reached through actions such as sacrifice. A person does not cease to exist at death because they are still ‘living’ within the community they existed in in their previous life stage. This continual existence after death is in existence because of the community of other…show more content…
Birth occurs because of other human’s interactions. A human being would then need to be raised and taught moral reasoning and basic knowledge. These crucial aspects of what makes a person would have to be learned from the surrounding environment, community, and other people. Society would have to teach the human the qualities that make them a person; these qualities cannot be learned in life long isolation. Any thoughts produced by a human being, with or without the assistance from another person would have to be formed using basic knowledge and reasoning which could only be learned from another being. Therefore a person exists only because of other people. A person is only a person because of other people. As John Donne writes “No man is a island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the

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