- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Constitution View - Objections1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 06/02/2018 23:35:31): Constitution View - Objections
- The two obvious issues are:-
- The “too many minds” objection (otherwise known as the “thinking animal argument4”), and
- The “fetus problem5”
- Thinking Animals
- In saying that Theo is a human animal6 and that also that Theo is a person7 that is ontologically distinct from, and merely constituted by8, the human animal, Eric Olson argues that we have too many thinkers and therefore the constitution view9 is false.
- I don’t like this argument, in that the form would prove too much. I see analogies with various mereological10 arguments:-
→ Peter Unger’s argument that “there are no ordinary things”,
→ The Sorites11 arguments against the existence of material objects with parts, and maybe with
→ Tib/Tibbles12, and
All these arguments seem to have the same form – there are alleged to be too many co-located items, leading to the denial of some seemingly obvious premise.
- Yet maybe I accept a version of this in disliking immaterial souls (again, too many thinkers – if the brain thinks, why do we need a soul that thinks as well). However, the degree of ontological distinctness between “the self and its brain” is greater than that between the person and the human being that (maybe temporarily) constitutes it. I will reconsider this collection of arguments in due course.
- Fetus Problem
- This is the question whether I was ever a Fetus. According to the Constitution View, I was not, as the Fetus had no First Person Perspective14 (FPP), not even a rudimentary one and since the FPP is constitutive / individuative of me.
- But, if I was not the Fetus, where did I come from?
- I’m not hugely impressed by this argument either. It’s also a problem for Animalism (it is said) – is the early fetus an animal? Was the fetus a proper part of the mother?
- So, should I accept the CV? I think not. I am an animal, and objections to Animalism15 can be overcome. The whole idea of Constitution as conceived of by the CV is very odd, and the CV was invented to provide the hope of resurrection16. I need to justify these assertions, of course!
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read17, include18 the following:-
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder), Etc. - E-Symposium on 'Persons & Bodies: A Constitution View'", Baker Etc
→ "Garrett (Brian) - The Story of I: Some Comments on L.R.Baker 'Persons & Bodies'", Garrett
→ "Noonan (Harold) - Arguments Against Animalism: Comments on L.R.Baker 'Persons & Bodies'", Noonan
→ "Olson (Eric) - Thinking Animals and the Constitution View", Olson
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Brief Reply to Rosenkrantz's Comments on my 'The Ontological Status of Persons'", Baker
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - The Coherence Of the Constitution View of Human Persons", Baker
- "Olson (Eric) - Thinking Animals and the Reference of 'I'", Olson
- "Rosenkrantz (Gary) - Reflections on the Ontological Status of Persons", Rosenkrantz
- "Sider (Ted) - Review of Lynne Rudder Baker, Persons and Bodies", Sider
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Replies to Zimmerman, Rea & Pereboom", Baker
→ "Zimmerman (Dean) - Persons and Bodies: Constitution Without Mereology?", Zimmerman
→ "Rea (Michael) - Lynne Baker on Material Constitution", Rea
→ "Pereboom (Derek) - On Baker's Persons and Bodies", Peerboom
- "Burke (Michael) - Persons and Bodies: How to Avoid the New Dualism", Burke
- "De Waal (Frans) - The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections of a Primatologist", De Waal19
- "Olson (Eric) - Review of Lynne Baker's 'Persons And Bodies'", Olson
- "Olson (Eric) - Thinking Animals and the Constitution View", Olson
- "Olson (Eric) - What Are We? Constitution", Olson
- This is mostly a place-holder20.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (06/02/2018 23:35:31).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
- Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
- In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
- In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
- My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
- I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
- Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.
- Argues against human uniqueness.
- No doubt there are a number of other books of this ilk.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018