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Person, Personhood and Individual Rights in Menkiti’s African Communitarian Thinking

Dennis Masaka

In this article, I argue that individuals could be entitled to rights, outside those that are communally conferred, as part of the primary requirement of being ‘persons’ in the African communitarian set-up if the terms ‘person’ and ‘personhood’ are understood differently from the way they are currently deployed in the communitarian discourse. The distinction between these two terms is the basis of my thesis where clarity on their meanings could be helpful in establishing the possibility of ascribing rights outside those that are communally conferred. I argue that ontologically, a ‘person’ is prior to ‘personhood’ (understood in the normative sense) which is considered to find its fuller expression in a community and by virtue of this, I think that he or she is entitled to some rights outside those that are defined and conferred by the community. This is my point of departure in this article.

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Rights and Duties in Menkiti

A Response to Masaka's Objection of Menkiti

Vitumbiko Nyirenda

Ifeanyi Menkiti's (1984) , ‘Person and Community in African Traditional Thought’, articulates a conception of personhood that he believes is found in African tradition thought. He believes that it is a conception of personhood shared among most

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Sentimentalising Persons and Things

Creating Normative Arrangements of Bodies through Courtroom Talk

Jonas Bens

The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi was the first case to be tried before the International Criminal Court (ICC) that dealt with not the killing of persons but the destruction of things. When Islamist insurgent troops from the north of

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Perspectives of (and on) a Comedic Self

A Semiotics of Subjectivity in Stand-up Comedy

Marianna Keisalo

.” In this article, I take the relation between stage persona and material—the jokes, more commonly referred to as bits or routines—as a starting point for developing a semiotic analysis of self and person in stand-up comedy. I distinguish between self

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Liminality and Missing Persons

Encountering the Missing in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina

Laura Huttunen

political framing of their deaths. Of course, there are many other places beyond Bosnia and ex-Yugoslavia that have struggled with the issue of missing persons or continue to do so. There is also a growing body of research addressing the issue of missing

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‘Every Person Counts’

The Problem of Scale in Everyday Humanitarianism

Anne-Meike Fechter

: making ‘every person count’ also points to those receiving support extending charity to others, into the future, or effecting change in wider society, thus unsettling entrenched notions of what ‘small-scale’ humanitarianism means. The term ‘everyday

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Epistemic Reasonableness and Respect for Persons

Zhuoyao Li

2011: 3–45 ). If Nussbaum's interpretation is correct, then the antiperfectionist appeal of political liberalism and its argument that perfectionist liberalism cannot provide a convincing account of respect for persons, which is a key norm that

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The dynamism of plurals

An essay on equivocal compatibility1

João De Pina‐Cabral

In ethnographic accounts equivocation is often read as error. To the contrary, in this paper I give an example of a situation of equivocal compatibility from fieldwork among Eurasians in Macao (southern China) during the early 1990s. In the course of intersubjective interaction, a creative process occurs of successive transformation of the pertinent angles of identification and differentiation. The use of the first person plural is a constant mode of producing and altering identification and differentiation in such a way that what is singular and what is plural is constantly being re‐assessed. This dynamism of plurals both elicits response from the persons involved in the interaction and marks the world that surrounds them. The aim of the paper is to explore how belief relates with identity in a dynamic way that is mutually constitutive.

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Koryak Personal Names

Valentina R. Dedyk

This article analyzes the morphological and semantic patterns of personal names found among Koryak-speaking people in the village of Middle Pakhachi (Oliutor Raion, Koryak Autonomous Okrug) in northern Kamchatka. Names are connected to the essence of a person, and are thus connected with beliefs about personhood, reincarnation, spirit attack, and sickness. Names are typically from nouns, but can also come from verbs or modifiers. They are often nominalized. Many names come from compounding roots, which is common to distinguish two individuals with the same name in the same village. Most names are gendered. Feminine gender is overtly marked, but masculine is not. Not all names have analyzable meanings apparent to ordinary speakers of the language, but names are thought to reflect the inner essence or character of a person.

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Âmes sexuées et idées de procréation chez les Alawites/Nousairites (en Turquie)

Laila Prager

The concept of nafs is frequently mentioned in the Qur'an and in post-Qur'anic literature, where it is identified with the idea of the soul and individual moral behaviour. Accordingly, this concept appears in a number of Islamised societies, although it is usually associated with a wide range of different, localised socio-cultural meanings and understandings. In the Alawi-Nusairy society of south-eastern Turkey, the notion of nafs is a polysemic focal concept that encompasses ideas and practices simultaneously relating to the person, the society and the cosmos as a whole. To understand these notions and values, this article analyses the way in which the Alawites/Nusairies conceptualise the emergence of the nafs within the overall process of procreation and examines local beliefs in rebirth, 'metempsychosis' and 'gendered' souls.