Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View
Baker (Lynne Rudder)
This Page provides (where held) the Abstract of the above Book and those of all the Papers contained in it.
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Notes


Oxford Scholarship On-Line Abstract
  1. Persons and Bodies develops and defends an account of persons and of the relation between human persons and their bodies. According to the Constitution View of human persons, as I call it, a human person is a person in virtue of having a first-person perspective, and is a human person in virtue of being constituted by a human body (or human animal).
  2. Thus, the Constitution View aims to give our animal natures their due, while recognizing what makes human persons ontologically distinctive. The Constitution View contrasts with two other leading accounts of human persons: Animalism and Immaterialism. Like Animalism but unlike Immaterialism, the Constitution View holds that human persons are material beings; like Immaterialism but unlike Animalism, the Constitution View holds that we are not identical to the animals that constitute us. Of course involve self-reference, but it is self-reference of a distinctive kind.
  3. On the one hand, human persons are constituted by human animals, and hence cannot escape their animal natures; on the other hand, there is more to human persons than their animal natures. What sets human persons apart from other animals has nothing to do with anything immaterial; rather what sets us apart is the ability that underlies our asking, “What am I?” That ability is a first-person perspective. First-person perspectives may well be the result of natural selection; but what is relevant here is not where they came from, but what they are and the difference that they make in what there is.
  4. So, there are two theoretical ideas needed for the Constitution View of human persons: the idea of a first-person perspective, the property in virtue of which a being (human or not) is a person, and the idea of constitution, the relation between a human person and her body.
    • Part I, “The Metaphysical Background” (Chapters 1-3), explores and defends the two theoretical ideas.
    • Part II, “The Constitution View Explained” (Chapters 4-6), uses these two ideas to give an account of human persons.
    • Part III, “The Constitution View Defended” (Chapters 7-9), argues for the coherence of the general idea of constitution-without-identity and the coherence of the application of that idea to the notion of human persons; finally, it argues directly for the Constitution View by contrasting it with its competitors, Animalism and Immaterialism.
  5. Now turn to Persons and Bodies in greater detail.

Preface
BOOK COMMENT:

CUP, Cambridge, 2000.



"Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Replies to Zimmerman, Rea & Pereboom"

Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64.3 (May 2002), pp. 623-635


Note
  1. This paper is part of a symposium on "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View".
  2. It provides Baker’s responses to several problems with her account of material constitution raised by the other members of the symposium.
  3. Other papers in the Symposium are:-


COMMENT:



"Olson (Eric) - Review of Lynne Baker's "Persons And Bodies""

Source: Mind, 110, Number 438, April 2001, pp. 427-430(4)


Author’s Introduction1
  1. Many philosophers believe that constitution is not identity: that the very same matter can make up two or more concrete objects of different kinds at once. "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View" applies this idea to ourselves. Its main thesis is that we are 'constituted by' but not identical with the human organisms that we call our bodies. It provides by far the most detailed exposition and defence of this view to date. The book is written clearly enough to be accessible to some undergraduates. Anyone with an interest in personal identity, or in the metaphysics of material objects in general, will want to read it.
  2. We can see that we are not animals, Baker argues, by reflecting on 'what we are most fundamentally'. Her answer is persons, which, following Locke, she takes to be beings that can 'consider themselves as themselves' that is, beings with a first-person perspective. We persons have such a perspective essentially, whereas animals, even human animals, have it only accidentally. (Consider a human animal in a persistent vegetative state.) This metaphysical essence is also what is ethically most special about us: only a creature with a first-person perspective can be responsible for its actions and evaluate its goals. For good measure, Baker uses familiar Prince-and-Cobbler stories to argue that we have different persistence conditions from those of our bodies – though she stops short of endorsing a psychological-continuity theory of our identity.
  3. If you think that we really do exist and are material things, and that there really are such things as human animals, and that nothing could be both a person and an animal – and if you reject the ontology of temporal parts-you will probably end up with something like Baker's view. She says it has further advantages as well: it is supported by considerations about other concrete objects (pieces of marble constitute statues but are not identical with them). It implies that our identity is always determinate (though I couldn't follow the argument for this). It avoids relativizing identity to times or sorts. It is compatible with intuitive judgments about our identity through time. And it gives a unified account of both what we are metaphysically and of what is special about us ethically.


COMMENT: Review of "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View".




In-Page Footnotes ("Olson (Eric) - Review of Lynne Baker's "Persons And Bodies"")

Footnote 1:
  • Therre is no introduction as such, ad this is, basically, the first page. There’s no obvious place to cut off, other than after the first paragraph.
  • Olson’s conclusion is
      "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View" illustrates well how hard it is to maintain that we are material things but not animals.



"Pereboom (Derek) - On Baker's Persons and Bodies"

Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64.3 (May 2002), pp. 615-622


Notes
  1. This paper is part of a symposium on "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View".
  2. It focuses on several problems with Baker’s account of material constitution.
  3. Other papers in the Symposium are:-


COMMENT:



"Rea (Michael) - Lynne Baker on Material Constitution"

Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64.3 (May 2002), pp. 607-614


Note
  1. This paper is part of a symposium on "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View".
  2. It focuses on several problems with Baker’s account of material constitution.
  3. Other papers in the Symposium are:-


COMMENT:



"Sider (Ted) - Review of Lynne Rudder Baker, Persons and Bodies"

Source: Journal of Philosophy 99 (2002): 45-48


Introduction (Start)
  1. Locke’s view that continuants are numerically distinct from their constituting hunks of matter is popular enough to be called the “standard1 account”. It was given its definitive contemporary statement by David Wiggins in "Wiggins (David) - Sameness and Substance", and has been defended by many since. Baker’s interesting book contributes new arguments for this view, a new definition of ‘constitution’, and a sustained application to persons and human animals. Much of what she says develops this view in new and important ways. But in some cases she does not advance the position, and in others she takes steps backwards.
  2. According to Baker, a person is numerically distinct from her constituting animal. One of Baker’s leading arguments is surprisingly unconvincing2. Persons differ in important ways from non-human animals. Only persons are moral agents, modify their goals, have wars, culture, etc. If persons were identical to animals — if we were “nothing but animals”, as she puts it — then the manifest discontinuity between humans and non-human animals would be located “within the domain of biology”. “But from a biological point of view, human animals…are biologically continuous with non-human animals.” (p. 17) The argument fails: why should identifying persons with animals preclude saying that these particular animals have radically distinctive features that are of little interest to biologists3?
  3. The traditional case for non-identity (which Baker accepts) is more powerful: a person and her constituting animal differ by having different persistence conditions. If my memories were transferred to a new body and my old body destroyed, I4 the person might survive, but the human animal who constituted me would perish. Therefore, before the transfer, I and the animal that constituted me would be numerically distinct but extremely similar things located in exactly the same place.
  4. This consequence — the central thesis of the Wiggins view — is surprising: so surprising that some reject the Wiggins view on that basis. The usual response, that the consequence is unremarkable because the animal constitutes the person, only invites the question: what is constitution? Baker’s definition, greatly simplified, is this: x constitutes y iff
    1. x and y are spatially coincident, and
    2. necessarily, anything of x’s sort is spatially coincident with something of y’s sort (pp. 42-43).
    But constitution, thus understood, cannot explain away the oddness of spatial coincidence, since spatial coincidence is built into the definition. We all know Wigginsians think that certain objects (bodies, animals, lumps of clay, and so on) are, when in appropriate circumstances, necessarily co-located with distinct things; the question is how this can be. Labelling the relation of necessitated co-location ‘constitution’ is no answer. This issue is obscured by Baker’s tendentious descriptions of constitution …

Comments
  1. I could have reproduced the whole four pages, rather than just the first page and a bit, and continued adding footnotes, but have not done so.
  2. In support of the “tendentiousness” claim, Sider gives five glosses that Baker provides concerning her definition of constitution. Three are from p. 46, one from p. 55 and the last one from p. 114, which I find the most important:-
      “…it is not as if there were two separate things — my body and myself. There is a single constituted thing — me …”
    Sider claims that all Baker’s definitions of constitution reduce to (unmotivated and unexplained) necessary co-location, but Baker denies that there is any co-location because (she claims) there is only one thing present.
  3. Sider also considers a couple of formal objections to Baker’s account of constitution based on fanciful TEs5, based on possible worlds with different laws of physics, neither of which I could be bothered with6.
  4. Sider does note that Baker’s view of constitution has nothing to do with mereology, contrary to the standard Wigginsian view. She rejects (pp. 179-185) the view (says Sider) that if x and y have all the same parts, that x=y.
  5. Sider thinks Baker makes progress over Wiggins in her discussion of property-possession, in particular the distinction – in her metaphysics – between “having a property independently” and “having a property derivatively”. While this is superficially like Wiggins’s distinction between “is F predicatively” and “is F constitutively”, Baker advances by accounting for which properties fall into which categories.
  6. According to Baker, the nature, identity and essential properties of a thing may be determined by relational features. A statue is essentially a statue, but only because it relates to an art-world7. Sider thinks Baker’s claims are less radical than she thinks, and that most would agree that statues are essentially so, yet that statuehood is extrinsic.
  7. Baker thinks (says Sider) that what exists depends on human interests, whereas (and I agree) Sider thinks that whatever exists does so independently of us and our interests, though we may express more or less interest for some things than others.
  8. Sider doesn’t bring Baker’s theism into the discussion – but seems to think it’s either a “cosmic coincidence” that reality contains just those objects our concepts trace, or otherwise Baker must think that “we create the world”. I imagine that Baker thinks that God has it all sewn up, from our concepts to the world. We’re referred to "Sider (Ted) - In Favour of Four-Dimensionalism, Part 2: The Best Unified Theory of the Paradoxes of Coincidence", Section 3 for a discussion.
  9. Baker claims that what grounds the difference between the statue and the clay is that they have different essential properties, and that what might ground this is the global supervenience of essential properties on non-modal properties, since no-one has shown that she’s committed to worlds alike non-modally but differing modally. I’m not sure of the import of all this, and Sider claims to have explained an important distinction in the formulation of global supervenience in "Sider (Ted) - Global Supervenience and Identity Across Times and Worlds".


COMMENT:




In-Page Footnotes ("Sider (Ted) - Review of Lynne Rudder Baker, Persons and Bodies")

Footnote 1: Footnote 2: Yes – I agree. Baker’s “Nothing but animals” argument partly trades on a low view of animals, despite the fact that (as she agrees) we are animals, albeit very special ones.

Footnote 3: Also, the cognitive capacities of non-human animals is now of great interest to cognitive ethologists (Web Link and "Griffin (Donald) - Animal Minds") and others, and the cognitive continuity between the higher animals and ourselves is ignored by Baker and her ilk.

Footnote 4: This is a very tendentious suggestion. It is doubtful that the counterpart-I would be numerically identical to me. So, I – whether labelled “the person” or not – would not survive. There is, of course, much more to be said; it all depends on the coherence of the psychological view of personal identity (Click here for Note).

Footnote 6: Follow these up later when I’ve more time.

Footnote 7: This may be so, but artefacts may be subject to different rules than are things falling under natural-kind concepts.



"Zimmerman (Dean) - Persons and Bodies: Constitution Without Mereology?"

Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64.3 (May 2002), pp. 599-606


Philosophers Index Abstract
  1. In "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View", Lynne Rudder Baker develops a theory of material constitution that makes no appeal to mereology.
  2. Its details are examined, some puzzles and problems are found, and ways to resolve them are suggested.
  3. Finally, counterexamples are raised that seem to require the addition of a clause about the sharing of parts.
  4. Constitution appears to be, at least in part, a mereological relation.
  5. Other papers in the Symposium are:-


COMMENT: Part of Book Symposium on "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View".



"Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons in the Material World"

Source: Baker (Lynne) - Persons and Bodies, Chapter 1
Write-up Note1

Oxford Scholarship Online Abstract2
  1. Persons and Bodies develops and defends an account of persons and of the relation between human persons and their bodies. According to the Constitution View of human persons, as I call it, a human person is a person in virtue of having a first-person perspective, and is a human person in virtue of being constituted by a human body (or human animal).
  2. Thus, the Constitution View aims to give our animal natures their due, while recognizing what makes human persons ontologically distinctive. The Constitution View contrasts with two other leading accounts of human persons: Animalism and Immaterialism. Like Animalism but unlike Immaterialism, the Constitution View holds that human persons are material beings; like Immaterialism but unlike Animalism, the Constitution View holds that we are not identical to the animals that constitute us. Of course, this involves self-reference, but it is self-reference of a distinctive kind.
  3. On the one hand, human persons are constituted by human animals, and hence cannot escape their animal natures; on the other hand, there is more to human persons than their animal natures. What sets human persons apart from other animals has nothing to do with anything immaterial; rather what sets us apart is the ability that underlies our asking, “What am I?” That ability is a first-person perspective. First-person perspectives may well be the result of natural selection; but what is relevant here is not where they came from, but what they are and the difference that they make in what there is.
  4. So, there are two theoretical ideas needed for the Constitution View of human persons: the idea of a first-person perspective, the property in virtue of which a being (human or not) is a person, and the idea of constitution, the relation between a human person and her body.
  5. Parts:-
    1. “The Metaphysical Background” (Chapters 1-3), explores and defends the two theoretical ideas.
    2. “The Constitution View Explained” (Chapters 4-6), uses these two ideas to give an account of human persons.
    3. “The Constitution View Defended” (Chapters 7-9), argues for the coherence of the general idea of constitution-without-identity and the coherence of the application of that idea to the notion of human persons; finally, it argues directly for the Constitution View by contrasting it with its competitors, Animalism and Immaterialism.
  6. Chapter 1 sets out the task. Persons and Bodies will answer three questions:
    1. What am I most fundamentally?
    2. What is a person?
    3. How are human persons related to their bodies?

Sections
  1. Three Questions
  2. Beyond Biology
  3. An Overview
  4. A Philosophical Stance




In-Page Footnotes ("Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons in the Material World")

Footnote 2: Introduction to the book as a whole.



"Baker (Lynne Rudder) - The Very Idea of Constitution"

Source: Baker (Lynne) - Persons and Bodies, Chapter 2
Write-up Note1

Oxford Scholarship Online Abstract
  1. Provides a technical account of the idea of constitution. The basic idea of constitution is this: when certain kinds of things are in certain kinds of circumstances, things of new kinds, with new kinds of causal powers, come into existence. For example, when a certain combination of chemicals is in a certain environments, a thing of a new kind—an organism—comes into existence. A world without organisms, even if it contained the “right” combination of chemicals but in the “wrong” environment, would not have the same things in it as a world with organisms. So, constitution makes an ontological difference. It guarantees ontological plurality.
  2. The relationship of constitution is ubiquitous. It is not peculiar to human persons and their bodies. It holds between rivers and aggregates of water molecules, between statues and pieces of marble, between genes and groups of DNA molecules, between stop signs and octagonal pieces of metal. If x constitutes y at t, then x and y are spatially coincident at t, but they not identical. If x constitutes y at t, then x and y have different persistence conditions. Identity is a necessary relation; constitution is contingent. (Indeed, I use the notion of constitution to solve problems that others try to solve by notions of contingent identity, temporal identity, relative identity and so on. The idea of constitution has an advantage over these other views in that the idea of constitution does not compromise the classical notion of identity in its strict Leibnizian form.) I provide a definition of ‘x constitutes y at t’ in order to show that the idea of constitution-without-identity does not suffer from obvious incoherence.
  3. If x constitutes y at t, then x and y share many of their properties: x weighs 100 lbs. at t if and only if y weighs 100 lbs. at t; x is worth $10,000 at t if and only if y is worth $12,000 at t. Each of these properties has its source in either x or y. If a piece of bronze constitutes a statue at t, then what exists at t is a statue-constituted-by-a-piece-of-bronze, whose weight has its source in its being (constituted by) a piece of bronze, and whose value (usually) has its source in its being a statue. This observation leads to the notion of ‘having properties derivatively.’ The piece of bronze has its weight nonderivatively; the statue has its weight derivatively. The statue has its value nonderivatively; the piece of bronze has its weight derivatively. To have a property derivatively is to constitute, or be constituted by, something that has the property independently of its constitution-relations. Only some properties are subject to being had derivatively. All this is spelled out in two definitions. The notion of having a property derivatively explains why if x and y both weigh 100 lbs. at t, and x and y are not identical, it does not follow that there is an object that weighs 200 lbs. where x is at t.
  4. The idea of constitution is decidedly nonreductive. As long as x constitutes y, x has no independent existence. If x continues to exist after the demise of y, then x comes into its own, existing independently. But during the period that x constitutes y, “what the thing really is”—y, constituted by x—is determined by the identity of y. So, what is in front of you when you go to a museum is a statue (constituted, perhaps, by a piece of bronze). What the thing most fundamentally is a statue; but it is constituted by a piece of bronze.
Sections
  1. A Description of Constitution
  2. The Road to Essentialism
  3. A Definition of ‘Constitution’
  4. Having Properties Derivatively
  5. Conclusion



"Baker (Lynne Rudder) - The First-Person Perspective"

Source: Baker (Lynne) - Persons and Bodies, Chapter 3
Write-up Note1

Oxford Scholarship Online Abstract
  1. Develops the notion of a first-person perspective. A first-person perspective is the ability to think of—to conceive of—oneself in the first-person without recourse to any name or description or demonstrative. A first-person perspective is necessary for any form of self-consciousness, and is sufficient for some forms of self-consciousness. Evidence that a being has a first-person perspective comes from the person’s ability to think a thought expressible as, e.g., “I wonder how I shall die.” The second occurrence of ‘I’ in a first-person sentence, with a psychological or linguistic verb and an embedded first-person sentence indicates that the being has a first-person perspective.
  2. Nonhuman animals are conscious (some chimpanzees may even be able to refer to themselves), but as far as we can tell, they do not have first-person perspectives in the sense. They don’t wonder how they will die, or hope that they have a painless death or any other such thing. I argue for the irreducibility of the first-person perspective, and argue that other views of self-consciousness (e.g., Rosenthal’s, Armstrong’s, Dennett’s) are inadequate.
Sections
  1. First-Person Phenomena
  2. Features of the First-Person Perspective
  3. Indispensability of the First-Person Perspective
  4. A Look at Other Views
  5. Conclusion



"Baker (Lynne Rudder) - The Constitution View of Human Persons"

Source: Baker (Lynne) - Persons and Bodies, Chapter 4
Write-up Note1

Oxford Scholarship Online Abstract
  1. Applies the notions of constitution and of a first-person perspective to the issue of human persons. A person is a being with a first-person perspective; a human person (at t) is a person constituted by a human body (at t). Human persons are essentially embodied; they can never exist without some body or other, but they do not necessarily have the bodies that in fact constitute them. E.g., it is possible that parts of a person’s human body are replaced by bionic parts until the person is no longer human; still the same person would continue to exist (now constituted by a bionic body) as long as the first-person perspective stayed intact.
  2. So, although a human person cannot exist unembodied, she may come to be constituted by a different body from the one that actually constitutes her. If she came to be constituted by a bionic body, she would no longer be a human person. But she would still be a person as long as she existed. A human person is most fundamentally a person, not an animal—just as a bronze statue is most fundamentally a statue, not a piece of bronze. Two separate human persons that exist at the same time are individuated by their bodies. A human person’s body at a time distinguishes her from all other separate persons at that time.
  3. A human person and the body that constitutes her are a unity, in the same way that a bronze statue and the piece of bronze that constitutes it are a unity. Unlike the statue, however, I have a first-person relation to my body. Properties that my body has nonderivatively are my properties derivatively. E.g., I have the property of being left-handed and of having brown eyes derivatively; the nonderivative bearer of these properties is my body. When I attribute to myself such properties, I am thinking of myself-as-my-body. On the other hand, I have the property of being employed or of having asked a question nonderivatively; my body is the derivative bearer of these properties. When I attribute to my body properties that I have nonderivatively, I am thinking of my-body-as-myself.
Sections
  1. What a Human Person Is
  2. Mental Properties
  3. Theses about Human Persons
  4. My Body / Myself
  5. Conclusion



"Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Personal Identity Over Time"

Source: Baker (Lynne) - Persons and Bodies, Chapter 5
Write-up Note1

Oxford Scholarship Online Abstract
  1. Discusses the vexing problem of personal identity over time. In virtue of what is a person P1 at t1 the same person as a person P2 at t2? I canvass candidate answers to this question, and show that each fails:
    1. Sameness of person consists in sameness of body,
    2. Sameness of person consists in sameness of living organism (Animalism),
    3. Sameness of person consists in sameness of brain,
    4. Sameness of person consists in psychological continuity,
    5. Sameness of person consists in sameness of immaterial soul.
  2. Then, I discuss my own view: sameness of person consists in sameness of first-person perspective. Alas, my own view does not provide an informative criterion either. Although I can characterize noncircularly what it is to have a first-person perspective at a time, I know of no noncircular characterization of sameness of first-person perspective over time. Since nobody has an adequate and informative criterion of personal identity over time, I conclude that there is no adequate and informative criterion of personal identity over time: Sameness of person is not reducible to sameness of anything nonpersonal.
  3. Nevertheless, construing personal identity in terms of sameness of first-person perspective has its advantages.
    1. First, it avoids problems besetting the other views (e.g., species chauvinism, the duplication problem).
    2. Second, it accords well with our self-understanding: there is a fact of the matter whether some future individual is I, and that fact of the matter does not depend on the nonexistence of someone else.
    3. Finally, the idea of sameness of first-person perspective ties what it is to be a person over time with what it is to be a person in the first place.

Sections
  1. Other Views of Personal Identity over Time
  2. The Constitution View of Personal Identity over Time
  3. Is Bodily Transfer Possible?
  4. Conclusion



"Baker (Lynne Rudder) - The Importance Of Being a Person"

Source: Baker (Lynne) - Persons and Bodies, Chapter 6
Write-up Note1

Oxford Scholarship Online Abstract
    Discusses the importance of personhood. Only persons can be moral agents or rational agents. Persons have many cognitive and practical abilities that beings lacking first-person perspectives lack. Only beings with first-person perspectives can know that they are going to die; only such beings can envisage alternative possibilities for their own futures, or seek self-understanding. Only beings with first-person perspectives can have ideals or can try to change themselves to conform better to their ideals. Human persons are not only the products of evolution, but (unlike any other finite beings) only human persons can deliberately change the course of evolution—not only by artificial breeding, but more directly by genetic engineering.
Sections
  1. Moral Agency
  2. Rational Agency
  3. Some Cognitive and Practical Capacities
  4. Unity of Consciousness
  5. Conclusion



"Baker (Lynne Rudder) - The Coherence Of the Idea of Material Constitution"

Source: Baker (Lynne) - Persons and Bodies, Chapter 7
Write-up Note1

Oxford Scholarship Online Abstract
    Defends the coherence of the general idea of constitution (without identity) from a number of published criticisms. Here are two examples. First is the criticism that two things consisting of the same atoms (e.g., a statue and a piece of bronze) cannot differ in kind; this criticism is answered by a discussion of essential properties. Second is the criticism from counting: that if x is spatially coincident with y, and x not= y, and x is a statue and y is a statue, then where x is there are two statues. The second criticism is answered by a discussion of the distinction between having a property derivatively and having a property nonderivatively. Also, Chapter 7 discusses criticisms stemming from mereology and supervenience.
Sections
  1. Constitution and Incoherence
  2. Constitution and Mereology
  3. Constitution and Supervenience
  4. Conclusion



"Baker (Lynne Rudder) - The Coherence Of the Constitution View of Human Persons"

Source: Baker (Lynne) - Persons and Bodies, Chapter 8
Write-up Note1

Oxford Scholarship Online Abstract
    Defends the coherence of the application of the idea of constitution to human persons. I discuss the misleading conception of constitution (which I have spelled out in detail) as mere coincidence of two different thing, another version of the “how many” problem, a charge of linguistic incoherence stemming from the reference of ‘I’. I show at length that the Constitution View has a coherent account of the relation between an early-term fetus and the person that it comes to constitute later. Finally, I reply to a counterexample concerning ghosts made of ectoplasm.
Sections
  1. Constitution is Not Mere ‘Coincidence’
  2. The “How Many” Problem and Linguistic Coherence
  3. Is There a “Fetus Problem”?
  4. A Counterexample on Offer
  5. Conclusion



"Baker (Lynne Rudder) - In Favour Of the Constitution View"

Source: Baker (Lynne) - Persons and Bodies, Chapter 9
Write-up Note1

Oxford Scholarship Online
  1. Concludes the book with reasons to accept the Constitution View. It really is a materialistic view. It can accomplish almost everything that a dualist wants without the burden of dualism. It takes persons seriously in a specified sense: Being a person is relevant to the fundamental kind of individual that one is; elimination of any person would be elimination of an individual; having mental states is relevant to what a person is. No other materialist view takes persons seriously in all three of these respects.
  2. The Constitution View explains how it is that, although we are set apart by our first-person perspectives, we are still animals. Hence, the Constitution View locates human persons in the material world. The general idea of constitution (without identity) allows for a metaphysics that is both materialistic and nonreductive. This general conception of constitution supports an ontological pluralism that honors the genuine variety of kinds of individuals in the world.
Contents
  1. Yes, Materialism
  2. Dualism and its Desiderata
  3. Taking Persons Seriously
  4. Materialistic Competitors
  5. Conclusion



Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
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