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Leiblichkeit und personale Identität in der Demenz

Thomas Fuchs


Theories of personal identity in the tradition of John Locke and Derek Parfit emphasize the importance of psychological continuity and the abilities to think, to remember and to make rational choices as a basic criterion for personhood. These concepts, however, are situated within a dualistic framework, in which the body is regarded as a mere vehicle of the person, or a carrier of the brain as the organ of mental faculties. Based on the phenomenology of embodiment, this paper elaborates a different approach to personal identity. In this perspective, selfhood is primarily constituted by pre-reflective self-awareness and the body memory of an individual, which consists in the embodiment and enactment of familiar habits, practices and preferences. As can be shown, this understanding of personhood still applies to dementia patients even in the later stages of the disease.


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Published Online: 2018-3-20
Published in Print: 2018-3-26

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