The Ontological Status of Persons
Baker (Lynne Rudder)
Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65, September 2002, pp. 370-388
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Chisholm held that persons are essentially persons. The Constitution View1 affords a non-Chisholmian way to defend the thesis that persons are essentially persons. The Constitution View2 shows how persons are constituted by – but not identical – human animals3. On the Constitution View4, being a person determines a person's persistence conditions5. On the Animalist6 View, being an animal determines a person's persistence conditions7.
  2. Things of kind K have ontological significance if their persistence conditions8 are determined by their being members of K. On Chisholm's view, persons have ontological significance, but animals do not. On Animalism9, animals have ontological significance, but persons do not. After explaining the notion of ontological significance, this article argues that persons do have ontological significance, and hence that Animalism10 is not true.

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