© 2017

Legal Personhood: Animals, Artificial Intelligence and the Unborn

  • Visa A.J. Kurki
  • Tomasz Pietrzykowski


  • Explores the concept of legal personality, drawing on legal philosophy and other traditions

  • Provides theoretical background for topical issues in medical law, animal law etc.

  • Represents a wide number of international jurisdictions, from Finland to Brazil

  • Offers a comprehensive view of an issue neglected by contemporary jurisprudence


Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 119)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Identifying the Legal Person

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Bartosz Brożek
      Pages 3-13
    3. Susanna Lindroos-Hovinheimo
      Pages 29-46
  3. Persons, Animals and Machines

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 47-47
    2. Tomasz Pietrzykowski
      Pages 49-67
    3. Rafał Michalczak
      Pages 91-101
  4. Humanity, Personhood and Bioethics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 103-103
    2. Laura Palazzani
      Pages 105-112
    3. Ana Paula Barbosa-Fohrmann, Gustavo Augusto Ferreira Barreto
      Pages 127-140

About this book


This edited work collates novel contributions on contemporary topics that are related to human rights. The essays address analytic-descriptive questions, such as what legal personality actually means, and normative questions, such as who or what should be recognised as a legal person. As is well-known among jurists, the law has a special conception of personhood: corporations are persons, whereas slaves have traditionally been considered property rather than persons. This odd state of affairs has not garnered the interest of legal theorists for a while and the theory of legal personhood has been a relatively peripheral topic in jurisprudence for at least 50 years. 

As readers will see, there have recently been many developments and debates that justify a theoretical investigation of this topic. Animal rights activists have been demanding that some animals be recognized as legal persons. The field of robotics has prompted questions about driverless cars: should they be granted a limited legal personality, so that the car itself would be responsible for damages?

This book explores such concepts and touches on matters of bioethics, animal law and medical law. It includes matters of legal history and appeals to both legal scholars and philosophers, especially those with an interest in theories of law and the philosophy of law.  


Legal Philosophy Legal Personality Animal Law Bioethics Medical Law Legal Persons as Abstractions Reconceptualizing the Legal Person Person and Human Being in Bioethics and Law Legal Individualism

Editors and affiliations

  • Visa A.J. Kurki
    • 1
  • Tomasz Pietrzykowski
    • 2
  1. 1.Clare HallUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Faculty of Law and AdministrationUniversity of Silesia in KatowiceKatowicePoland

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Legal Personhood: Animals, Artificial Intelligence and the Unborn
  • Editors Visa A.J. Kurki
    Tomasz Pietrzykowski
  • Series Title Law and Philosophy Library
  • Series Abbreviated Title Law,Philosophy Library
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Law and Criminology Law and Criminology (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-53461-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-85159-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-53462-6
  • Series ISSN 1572-4395
  • Series E-ISSN 2215-0315
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages IX, 158
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Theories of Law, Philosophy of Law, Legal History
    Philosophy of Law
    Human Rights
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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