<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Baker (Lynne Rudder) - EmbryosandStemCellResearch (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21327.htm">EmbryosandStemCellResearch</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/B/Author_Baker (Lynne Rudder).htm">Baker (Lynne Rudder)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: UMass Magazine, Spring 2006</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=600><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21327.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PapersToNotes_21327.htm">Notes Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><U>Full Text</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li><b><a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">Embryos</A><SUP>1</SUP> and Stem-Cell Research</b>: Americans are in a quandary about stem cell research. On the one hand, the research promises valuable medical help for people with various debilitating diseases; on the other hand, it destroys pre-implantation <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryos</A><SUP>2</SUP> in pursuit of the hoped-for medical advances. So, it behoves us to consider what kind of beings pre-implantation <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryos</A><SUP>3</SUP> are. </li><li><b>Are <a name="4"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryos</A><SUP>4</SUP> persons?</b> Many today think that biology tells the whole story about what we most fundamentally are. Biologically, human persons are continuous with the rest of the animal kingdom; but, on my view, there is an ontological difference  a difference in kind  between human persons and the (other) Great Apes. </li><li>Although I agree with the <a name="5"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_53.htm">biological view</A><SUP>5</SUP> that human persons have animal natures, I also hold that a person's nature is not exhausted by its biological aspects. On my view, a human person is not identical to a human organism; nor is a human person a combination of a human organism and an immaterial mind or soul. Rather, a human person is constituted by a human organism  just as a marble statue is constituted by a piece of marble. </li><li>Persons and organisms (like statues and pieces of marble) have different identity conditions. The identity of an organism requires biological continuity; the identity of a person requires a first-person perspective. Persons have first-person perspectives essentially. Organisms, by contrast, can exist without first-person perspectives. When an organism develops a rudimentary first-person perspective, a new being  a person  comes into existence. So, human organisms come into existence months before they come to constitute persons. Since no human <a name="6"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryo</A><SUP>6</SUP> is (or constitutes) a human person, the destruction of a human <a name="7"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryo</A><SUP>7</SUP> is not destruction of a human person. </li><li><b>Are <a name="8"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryos</A><SUP>8</SUP> human organisms?</b> Logic provides a reason to deny that a multi-celled pre-implantation <a name="9"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryo</A><SUP>9</SUP> is a human organism. In the first couple of weeks after fertilization, it is possible for a human <a name="10"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryo</A><SUP>10</SUP> to "twin." As long as it is possible for an <a name="11"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryo</A><SUP>11</SUP> to twin (whether it actually does so or not), an <a name="12"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryo</A><SUP>12</SUP> is not a human individual, but only a cell cluster. This is so, because it is logically impossible for an organism (or any individual) to be identical to two. </li><li>To see this, suppose that an <a name="13"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryo</A><SUP>13</SUP> (a cell cluster) divides and <a name="14"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1173.htm">twins</A><SUP>14</SUP> result. Call the <a name="15"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryo</A><SUP>15</SUP> 'A', and one of the <a name="16"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1173.htm">twins</A><SUP>16</SUP> 'B' and the other twin 'C'. Since both B and C stand in exactly the same relation to A, it would be arbitrary to suppose that A was identical to one but not to the other. However, if A were identical to both B and C, then  by the transitivity of identity  B and C would be identical to each other. But B is clearly not identical to C. Therefore, A (the original <a name="17"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryo)</A><SUP>17</SUP> cannot be identical to B or C. A human organism cannot come into existence until there is no further possibility of <a name="18"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1173.htm">twinning</A><SUP>18</SUP>  a week or two after fertilization. A frozen <a name="19"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryo</A><SUP>19</SUP> that is still capable of <a name="20"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1173.htm">twinning</A><SUP>20</SUP> is demonstrably not a human organism. </li><li>So, <a name="21"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryos</A><SUP>21</SUP> used in stem-cell research are not human persons, nor even human organisms. In making a case for cloning <a name="22"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryos</A><SUP>22</SUP> for the purpose of biomedical research, Michael Gazzaniga, a neuroscientist who served on President Bush's Bioethics Council, points out, "After natural sexual intercourse, an estimated 60 to 80 percent of all <a name="23"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryos</A><SUP>23</SUP> generated through the union of egg and sperm spontaneously abort  many without our knowledge. So," he continues, "if we use IVF [in vitro fertilization] to create <a name="24"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryos</A><SUP>24</SUP> and then implant only a select few, aren't we doing what nature does?" </li><li>There are good reasons to be cautious about stem-cell and other biomedical research, but I do not think that stem-cell research should be curtailed because of destruction of pre-implantation <a name="25"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryos</A><SUP>25</SUP>. </li></ol> </FONT><BR><u>Notes</u> <ol type="1"><li>This is a clear, if brief, exposition of various views in this area. </li><li>It is interesting because of Baker s <a name="26"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1136.htm">Christian</A><SUP>26</SUP> sympathies. </li><li>Note, however, that her conclusion  basically, that <a name="27"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryos</A><SUP>27</SUP> are neither human persons, nor even human <a name="28"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_113.htm">organisms</A><SUP>28</SUP>  and that therefore neither IVF nor Stem Cell Research is morally objectionable provided they are conducted with care  differs from those Catholics  such as <a name="35"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/H/Author_Hershenov (David).htm">David Hershenov</A>  with a stronger  pro-life (in the tendentious usage of this term) commitment.</li><li>Significant points:- <ol type="i"><li>While human beings are biologically continuous with the Great Apes, Human Persons are  Baker claims  only <a name="29"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_62.htm">constituted</A><SUP>29</SUP> by <a name="30"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1265.htm">human animals</A><SUP>30</SUP>, and are not identical to them. </li><li>Human Persons make an <a name="31"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_8.htm">ontological</A><SUP>31</SUP> difference.</li><li>Analogy of the  <a name="32"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1171.htm">statue and the clay</A><SUP>32</SUP> .</li><li>An organism cannot come into existence  for <a name="33"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_12.htm">logical</A><SUP>33</SUP> reasons  until the possibility of <a name="34"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1173.htm">twining</A><SUP>34</SUP> is past. </ol> </li></ol><hr><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>Comment: </B><BR><BR>See <a name="W2861W"></a><A HREF = "http://people.umass.edu/lrb/files/bak06areM.pdf" TARGET = "_top">Link</A>.<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T09:35" pubdate>02/08/2018 09:35:36</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>