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Who Are You, Really? A Philosopher’s Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Persons

ISBN: 9781514003954


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What does it mean to be human? What is a person? Where did we come from?

Many answers have been offered throughout history in response to these perennial questions, including those from biological, anthropological, sociological, political, and theological approaches. And yet the questions remain.

Philosopher Joshua Rasmussen offers his own step-by-step examination into the fundamental nature and ultimate origin of persons. Using accessible language and clear logic, he argues that the answer to the question of what it means to be a person sheds light not only on our own nature but also on the existence of the one who gave us life.

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  • Offers a step-by-step examination into the fundamental nature and ultimate origin of persons
  • Uses accessible language and clear logic
  • Explores philosophical problems related to the meaning and nature of personhood
  • Preface
  • Introducing the Inquiry
  • Part 1: The Nature of You

  • Your Feelings
  • Your Thoughts
  • Your Power to See
  • Your Power to Choose
  • Your Value
  • Your Body
  • Your Self
  • Part 2: The Origin of You

  • The Construction Problem
  • The Binding Problem
  • The Identity Problem
  • How Consciousness Can Emerge
  • Your Ultimate Origin
  • Conclusion
Joshua Rasmussen is a treasured friend and esteemed colleague. Based on the quality of his work, he is regarded as an elite philosopher among secular and Christian scholars alike. But he is much more than that. Joshua is a warm-hearted Jesus follower with a passion to help thoughtful believers and with the skills to take difficult topics and make them accessible. Who Are You, Really? is the fruit of these abilities. With fresh, original, perceptive insight, this book addresses the central question that underlies most of the issues debated in contemporary culture and the academy. Having specialized in philosophy of mind and theological anthropology for decades, I can confidently say that there is nothing like this book. With fairness and rigor, Rasmussen carefully works through all the issues and arguments fundamental to his topic. Happily, he does all of this while making the book marvelously accessible. This should be a required text in all Christian colleges and seminaries, and it is must-read for all who care about this crucial subject.

—J. P. Moreland, distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and author of The Soul: How We Know It Is Real and Why It Matters

In Who Are You, Really?, Joshua Rasmussen probes vexing philosophical problems related to the meaning and nature of personhood. He considers issues we take completely for granted—concerns like thinking, feeling, willing, and personal identity—and lays bare many problems that the casual thinker would never have known were there. He then does a masterful job of engaging these problems using the light of critical introspection. Though he leans heavily on the power of such introspection, I think his results justify the weight he has placed on it. All in all, it is an excellent work that I heartily recommend.

—Rick Langer, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

The question, What does it take to be conscious? has two senses. What does consciousness involve? Where does consciousness come from? In this stimulating book, Joshua Rasmussen addresses both. As with How Reason Can Lead to God, he again shows his considerable skill in delving deep into philosophy in an inviting and engaging manner. Rasmussen takes the reader on a journey into some of the central topics in philosophy to help us understand something of great importance: ourselves.

—Kevin Timpe, William H. Jellema Chair in Christian Philosophy at Calvin University

  • Title: Who Are You, Really? A Philosopher’s Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Persons
  • Author: Joshua Rasmussen
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Print Publication Date: 2023
  • Logos Release Date: 2023
  • Pages: 287
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Reader Edition
  • Subjects: Consciousness › Religious aspects; Humanity › Religious aspects
  • ISBNs: 9781514003954, 9781514003947, 1514003953, 1514003945
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2023-02-27T16:25:03Z

In the Logos Reader Edition, this volume is enhanced to best fit the content. Scripture references are hand-tagged to integrate with powerful functionality in Logos Bible Software. Page milestones and internal citation tagging provide accurate points of reference. Search important words across resources to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive tools for reading digital content are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Joshua Rasmussen (PhD, Notre Dame) is associate professor of philosophy at Azusa Pacific University. He is the author of Defending the Correspondence Theory of Truth and Necessary Existence. He lives in Azusa, California, with his wife, Rachel, and their four children.


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    Digital list price: $30.00
    Save $6.01 (20%)