2004 年 22 巻 p. 7-15
Although numerous attempts have been made by scholars to show what "person" is, little agreement has been reached. The purpose of this paper is to point out some of problems inherent in the arguments and review how the concept is treated from a Bioethical perspective. First, various arguments involving "person" in the field of Bioethics are surveyed. Most of these arguments pertain to the criterion of "person." These arguments originated in the works of Locke and Kant and are influenced by the characteristics of modern reason: self-consciousness, autonomy. Next, the two most recent arguments made by Beckmann and Secker are illustrated in order to clarify where the criterion of "person" is. Beckmann understands autonomy in terms of "the claim to the rights," whereas Secker rethinks autonomy from a viewpoint of "human's duty." The question now arises as to whether Beckmann concentrates autonomy as human's right to recognize person as "corpus" and if Secker might misunderstand it as autonomy caused by the other without much consideration of its public character. In both cases there must be something more to understanding autonomy as a whole. Therefore it is insufficient to grasp the concept of "person" only from autonomy. In discussing "person," we must avoid reducing it to a definition with a single meaning. We should ponder its difficulty and impossibility. Let us look deeper into "person," tracing the history of the concept of "person" now. For example, according to Sakaguchi, person (persona) once had the character of not only fixation but fluidization. Meaning that "person" has the character of interdependency and interrelationship in any society. In conclusion I will re-formulate the concept of "person" as the "topos" of the possibility of communication. Now "person" is given a new phase of meaning and will open the door to a totally different society which gives a "person" a new standpoint as a real key.