Personhood is a foundational concept for legal order. Who counts as a person in law, is to a large extent conventional. At the same time, such legal determinations rely on deep philosophical underpinnings of the arrangements of positive law. For centuries, such meta-legal assumptions have been including a form of juridical humanism making human interests the sole and ultimate good that the law serves. Contemporary developments in natural science, however, undermine ever more the crucial beliefs on which such humanism has been based and compel imminent revision of some core philosophical and ethical foundations of the law. This paper examines this phenomenon and its potential solutions. It outlines the idea of the modest naturalisation of the legal approach to personhood, as opposed to its more extreme versions, as the optimal way to reconcile scientific advancements with the ethical and pragmatic concerns that jurisprudence must also address.
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