Our Bodies, Our Selves
Carter (William)
Source: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 66 No. 3,1988, 308-319
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    Many contemporary theorists argue that the relation between a person and his or her body is not one of "identity" but one of "constitution". This appeal of constitution is twofold: (1) allowing a materialist1 conception of a person, and (2) allowing the possibility that a person might survive, or continue to exist, even in circumstances wherein his body has perished. When we look closely at the constitutional model, however, difficulties emerge. One problem lies with the fact that psychological states supervene2 upon physical states. Given supervenience3, and the fact that my body and I presently are in all and only the same physical states, it follows that my body presently is in all and only the psychological states I am in. But there aren't two psychological beings located where I presently am located. So my body and I are one. This conflicts with the constitutional account of the matter.

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