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- Ah!Good! You know, I was getting a bit tired of so much attention to Verbs and Concepts, so much language. Glad to see some real people on the horizon.
- Well, don't forget that verbs indicate what persons do and concepts help them do it. But you sense correctly. LearnLiberally.org aims to help us as persons, forming our personal capacities for living autonomously, by our own judgment. We better concentrate on persons as experiencing agents.
- And you'll be happy to know that I been just that as I've poked around the worksite on my own, and I have some questions. I found your essay on Formative Justice and read some in the main part, which is pretty clear and interesting. I even looked a little at the "Annotations" which glimmer here and there, but mostly seem dense, covering your academic butt! One caught my attention a bit—"Persons, Not Individuals," at least the beginning paragraphs.
Persons live, or have lived, or will live; they have inner lives, they feel appetites and drives, they have emotions, they perceive, act, and direct themselves as best they can, coping imperfectly with real constraints; persons think and reason, they experience their world, they suffer, enjoy, fear, and hope. We can understand them because they and us, because we, all of us, are living or have lived concrete personal lives. A person lives in a historical, existential actuality as an “I” that inextricably includes both her “I” and her “circumstances.” I cannot abstract my life from the circumstances in which my living takes place.
- Your description of the person is pretty clear, but I don't really get why you think the person differs so sharply form the individual.
- Both refer to one human. The person indicates more specifically this or that human; the individual signifies a human in the abstract. We can of course use the two terms interchangeably, but that muddies a useful distinction. Several years ago, my wife had a serious stroke with devastating effects: her balance is shot, she walks with great difficulty, and her left arm and hand are useless. Prior to the stroke, as an individual she was in the lowest category of risk for having a stroke: her relevant indicators, compared to those of other individuals, put her in the cohort with the fewest strokes per 100,000 individuals. Yet she had the stroke and as a person it was devastating. Her low risk rating as an individual wasn't wrong, but it meant nothing to her as a person.