|Materialism with a Human Face|
|Baker (Lynne Rudder)|
|Source: Corcoran - Soul, Body and Survival, Chapter 10|
|Paper - Abstract|
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A relatively new view to appear in the philosophical literature is one according to which human persons are wholly physical, non-simple entities that are neither identical with nor reducible to physical organisms. The view's most eloquent defender, Lynne Baker, argues in "Materialism with a Human Face" that what makes an entity a human person is its possessing a "first-person perspective2." What makes an entity a human person is its being "constituted by" a human organism. Baker argues that a thing x "constitutes" a thing y just in case x and y are co-located and stand in a genuine relation of unity. Persons and bodies, Baker argues, stand in the constitution relation. What is perhaps most interesting is that according to Baker's constitution view3 a person could start out as a human person and survive through changes which would render him or her nonhuman. Although this last claim appears to make way for the possibility of a human person surviving the death of his or her body it also entails that human persons are not essentially human. Many will regard that as a high price to pay for the view. Moreover, the view seems to leave such a cleavage between human persons and the human bodies that "constitute" them that it warrants the charge of being a version of dualism after all. And this brings us to the final part of the volume4.
Philosophers Index Abstract
This is a succinct statement and defense of the constitution view5 of persons. Persons are constituted by bodies with which they are not identical. The metaphysical difference between persons and their bodies is that persons have first-person perspectives6 essentially. I reply to some objections and give reasons to accept the constitution view7.
Footnote 1: Taken from "Corcoran (Kevin) - Soul, Body and Survival: Introduction - Soul or Body?", p. 8.
Footnote 4: Ie. Of "Corcoran (Kevin), Ed. - Soul, Body and Survival: Essays on the Metaphysics of Human Persons".
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