Are we essentially persons? Olson, Baker, and a reply
DeGrazia (David)
Source: Philosophical Forum; Winter2002, Vol. 33 Issue 1, p101, 20p
Paper - Abstract

Paper SummaryNotes Citing this PaperLink to Latest Write-Up NoteText Colour-Conventions


Philosophers Index Abstract

  1. Recently, Eric Olson and Lynne Rudder Baker have vigorously debated the question of our essence: What are we, most fundamentally: human animals, persons, or something else?
  2. After reconstructing Olson's critique of the standard view – according to which we are essentially persons and our identity over time consists in psychological continuity – I argue that Baker goes some distance towards meeting his challenge to account plausibly for the relationship between persons and human animals.
  3. Then I contend that her version of the standard view has major difficulties: a "newborn problem"; a dubious ontology; and a problematic account of personal identity.

Philosophers Index Abstract
  1. Discusses the fundamental essence of a person.
  2. Comments on the Standard View;
  3. Theories that define persons in terms of psychological capacities;
  4. Reply of Lynne Rudder Baker on the comments of Eric Olson to the Standard View;
  5. Criticism to Baker's view.

For my thoughts, Click here for Note.

Write-up1 (as at 18/12/2010 19:58:05): DeGrazia - Are We Essentially Persons?

This write-up is a review of "DeGrazia (David) - Are we essentially persons? Olson, Baker, and a reply". The Philosophers’ Index Abstract is “Recently, Eric Olson and Lynne Rudder Baker have vigorously debated the question of our essence: What are we, most fundamentally: human animals, persons, or something else? After reconstructing Olson's critique of the standard view--according to which we are essentially persons and our identity over time consists in psychological continuity--I argue that Baker goes some distance towards meeting his challenge to account plausibly for the relationship between persons and human animals. Then I contend that her version of the standard view has major difficulties: a "newborn problem"; a dubious ontology; and a problematic account of personal identity.”.

Sections
  1. Introduction
  2. Olson’s Challenge to the Standard View
    • The Fetus Problem
    • The problematic relation between the person and the early human organism
    • The problematic relation between the person and your PVS successor
    • The problem of implying that we are not animals.
  3. Baker’s Reply to Olson’s Challenge
  4. A Critique of Baker’s View
    • The Newborn Problem
    • A Dubious Ontology
    • A Problematic View of Personal Identity
  5. Concluding Reflections

1. Introduction


2. Olson’s Challenge to the Standard View

2.1 The Fetus Problem

2.2 The problematic relation between the person and the early human organism

2.3 The problematic relation between the person and your PVS successor

2.4 The problem of implying that we are not animals


3. Baker’s Reply to Olson’s Challenge


4. A Critique of Baker’s View

4.1 The Newborn Problem

4.2 A Dubious Ontology

4.3 A Problematic View of Personal Identity


5. Concluding Reflections




… Further details to be supplied2


In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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