The Human Person: Animal and Spirit
Braine (David)
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Cover Blurb

  1. This original and provocative book addresses one of the perennial problems of philosophy: the mind-body relationship in human beings. Eschewing the approaches of both materialism and dualism in their classic and contemporary modes, it argues for the unity of the human being in a way that allows for understanding him as an animal first. It then focuses on language as the differentiating intellectual element that belongs only to humans.
  2. The flaws in arguments that lead to the reconstruction of materialism are systematically exposed; it is shown how the materialists repeat the mistakes of the dualists by reducing animals and humans to their parts and their interrelations. The arguments of recent analytical philosophers are refuted in detail, and the resulting holism is set in a positive light. The upshot is a tour de force that presents a non-dualistic account of the human person. From within this setting language, in its complex structure and flexibility, is revealed as the specific defining feature of human nature, pivotal for the spiritual/intellectual dimension of human life.
  3. The approach has important implications for relating the human to physical nature as a whole, while demanding recognition of human transcendence. It is the human being, the animal, that is a ‘spirit', an intellectual being or substance. If anything human is open to God, it is the human being as such that is open — the animal, not simply the human soul.
  4. David Braine is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen.
    Preface – xvii
    Prologue: What It Is For The Human Being To Be An Animal And For This Animal To Be A Spirit
  1. Part One: The Human Being As An Animal: The Nature Of Psychophysical Unity
    1. Overview Of Part One: The Sameness Of Materialism And Dualism And The Need For A Holistic View Opposed To Both – 19
    2. Perception (I): The Shape Of A Holistic View – 69
    3. Perception (II): Clarifying The Notion Of Real Cognitive Relation And Assessing Contemporary Discussion – 94
    4. Action, Emotion, And Sensation – 131
    5. A Non-Dualistic Account Of The Meaning Of Mind-Involving Statements – 171
    6. The Primacy Of The Agent Over The Event In Causation – 201
    7. No Presumption In Favour Of Mechanism: The Possible Autonomy Of Teleological Explanation – 228
    8. The First Refutation Of Mechanism: Psychophysical Unity At The Level Of Explanation And Reality – 249
    9. The Community Of Human Beings With Other Animals: Five Aspects – 290
  2. Part Two: The Human Being As Spirit: Human Transcendence Revealed In Language
      Introduction – 345
    1. Language And The Understanding Of Language – 351
    2. The 'Objects' Of The Mind In Speaking And Thinking – 398
    3. The Second Refutation Of Mechanism: Linguistic Understanding And Thinking Have No Bodily Organ – 447
    4. Animal And Human Souls: Two Non-Dualistic Conceptions – 480
    5. How Human Beings Transcend The Body: First Explanation — The Transcendence Of The Human Soul – 512
    6. How Human Beings Transcend The Body: Second Explanation — The Transcendence Of The Human Being As Such – 532
    Index Of Names – 553


Duckworth, London, 1993. From a Catholic perspective; Gifford Fellow at University of Aberdeen; acknowledges help of Alvin Plantinga

"Braine (David) - The Human Person: Preface"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Preface

"Braine (David) - The Human Person: Prologue - What It Is for the Human Being to be an Animal and for this Animal to be a Spirit"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Prologue

  1. Our meaning in saying that human beings are animals: animals are not physical mechanisms, 1
  2. Language as the animal form of intellectuality, 5
  3. The question of the transcendence of human existence, 9
  4. Observations on the wider context of our enquiries, 11

"Braine (David) - The Human Being as an Animal: The Nature of Psychophysical Unity: Overview - The Sameness of Materialism and Dualism and the Need for a Holistic View Opposed to Both"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 1

  1. The sameness of structure of materialism and dualism: the inner/outer divide, 23
  2. The psychophysical integration of the human being, 29
  3. Hybrid facts and propositions: the logical aspect of holism, 34
  4. The effects of the inner/outer divide: (I) the false chasm between the knower and the known, 42
    … (a) The predicament of explaining knowledge of the external world, 42
    … (b) How to get from knowledge of the external world to knowledge of other minds, 47
    … (c) The problem of how words referring to the mental have meaning, 49
    … (d) The problem of personal identity and knowledge by memory, 51
    … (e) The causal theory of knowledge generalized, 55
  5. The effects of the inner/outer divide: (II) the false chasm between the agent and the world, 57
  6. The hybrid nature of the human being: mechanistic explanation not fundamental, 60
  7. Recovering the vision of the human being as a unity: the scale of the task, 64
    Conclusion, 67

"Braine (David) - Perception (I): The Shape of a Holistic View"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 2

  1. The inseparability of perception and behaviour, 69
    … (a) Perception as in internal retrospective and prospective relation to behavioural disposition, 69
    … (b) The depth and contours of our rejection of atomism in respect of perception, 72
    … (c) The mistaken ‘cinematograph' model of perception, 75
    … (d) The proper description of ‘what is seen as it is seen', 78
  2. The privilege of the normal case, 81
    … (a) Mistakes arising from misconception of the ‘standard' case: the need for a ‘critical realist' account of perception, 82
    … (b) The pre-requisites of ‘critical realism' as an account of perception, 86

"Braine (David) - Perception (II): Clarifying the Notion of Real Cognitive Relation and Assessing Contemporary Discussion"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 3

  1. Contemporary accounts of perception remain bankrupt because they still sever it from behaviour, 94
    … (a) State of the problem: the revival of a non-realist conception of perceptual experience despite standing objections, 94
    … (b) The incoherence of the conception of experience as inner, 96
    … (c) The sameness in the epistemological impasse, 100
  2. The value of the notion of intentional object, 106
    … (a) The need for the notion of ‘intentional object', 107
    … (b) Fallacious arguments drawing on the ambiguity of the term "object", 109
    … (c) Rejecting any explanation of perception in terms of inner objects, and clarifying the contrast between perception and sensation, 114
    … (d) Looking as parasitic on the intentionality of seeing, 116
    … (e) The fundamental mistake in contemporary treatments of intentionality, 120
    Note on the vocabulary of intentionality, 125
  3. Perception as a real cognitive relation: the flouting of logical atomism, 127

"Braine (David) - Action, Emotion, and Sensation"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 4

  1. The unitary character of intentional action, 135 Note on the privilege of the normal case in the description of action, 145
  2. The attempt to break up the holistic picture, 151 Note on some recent views, 159
  3. Emotion and sensation, 163
    … (a) The character of pain, 164
    … (b) The emotions in general, 167

"Braine (David) - A Non-Dualist Account of the Meaning of Mind-Involving Statements"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 5

  1. Charting a way which avoids both introspectionism and behaviourism, 171
    … (a) Strawson's attempt at systematization, 172
    … (b) The sharing of states of knowledge and belief: the character of testimony, 180
    … (c) The treatment of memory and identity over time, 182
  2. Our knowledge of others from their behaviour, 185
    … (a) The quasi-autonomous or truly mental character
    of mental states ascribed on the basis of
    behaviour, 188
    … (b) How we know mental states from behaviour: the presumption of normality and the stratification of criteria, 189
    … (c) Incipient behaviourism: the mistake of identifying mental states with behavioural capacities or practical abilities, 192
  3. Avoiding the conception of inner sense, 195

"Braine (David) - The Primacy of the Agent Over the Event in Causation"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 6

  1. The mythology of events and states as objects, 204
    Note on the relation of adjectives and adverbs: counting and describing actions, 213
  2. The deceptiveness of logic: the limited logicians' sense in which events count as objects, 215
    … (a) The significance of objecthood in logic, 215
    … (b) The significance of identity statements about events, 216
    … (c) Summary of the logical situation, 219
    … (d) Rescuing the theory of explanation from the idea of events as objects, 220
  3. The role of agency within explanation, 223

"Braine (David) - No Presumption in Favour of Mechanism: the Possible Autonomy of Teleological Explanation"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 7

  1. The nature of teleological explanation, 230
    … (a) The structure of teleological explanations and their possible empirical backing; two notions of dispositions and natures, 230
    … (b) Teleology in the description of ends, and in the description of the conditions of the attainment of ends, 233
    … (c) The shape of causal explanation: dispositions and natures are not causes but marks of distinction between different modes of causal agency, 235
  2. Misplaced methodological reasons for rejecting teleological elements in explanation, 236
  3. Exorcising mechanism: its deceptive roots in the theory of meaning, 243

"Braine (David) - The First Refutation of Mechanism: Psychophysical Unity at the Level of Explanation and Reality"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 8

  1. The significance of the role of identity statements in explanation, 251
    … (a) The limits to the role of convention in deciding questions of identity are set by considerations of explanation, 251
    … (b) Note on the concept of substance, 256
  2. Wholes and parts: the Aristotelian conception of a natural whole or non-accidental unity, 259
    … (a) The interdependence of wholes and parts: the Aristotelian conception of a natural whole or non-accidental unity introduced, 259
    … (b) The aspectual character of scientific laws, 263
    … (c) The status of human beings and other animals as substances, 265
  3. The incoherence of the theory that determinism and freewill are compatible, 267
    … (a) The form and strengths of the ‘common-sense' position, 267
    … (b) The coulter-claims made by physicalism, 270
    … (c) The incoherence of compatibilism demonstrated, 273
    … (d) The source of the beguiling plausibility of determinism and compatibilism, 280
  4. No need to contrast appearance and reality when considerations of explanation give us access to reality, 283
  5. The theory of explanation as disproving physicalism, 286
    Conclusion, 289

"Braine (David) - The Community of Human Beings with Other Animals: Five Aspects"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 9

  1. The radical rejection of physicalism implied by our
    treatment of animal and human behaviour, 290
  2. The psychophysical structures shared by human beings with other animals, 297
    … (a) The character of our knowledge of other animals, 297
    … (b) The character of psychophysical structures in animals other than human beings, 301
  3. The focalized subjecthood involved by perception and judgement, 312
  4. The human standpoint in perceiving and judging as a standpoint from inside the world: avoiding the Cartesian mistake, 320
    … (a) The way the perceiver is both over against and in the world: some contrasts with understanding, 320
    … (b) The way the judger is in the world as a background for considering how he ‘stands above' the world: false models suggested by the consideration of seeing, 323
  5. The intimacy of the unity between body and mind in human being and animal, 326
    … (a) The question of the nature of mind-body unity, 326
    … (b) The key position of the question of the character of perception, emotion and sensation, 330
    … (c) The human body as a ‘body with organs': the importance of a material underpinning of animal function, 336

"Braine (David) - The Human Being as an Animal: Conclusion of Part I"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Conclusion of Part I

"Braine (David) - Part II - The Human Being as Spirit: Human Transcendence Revealed in Language - Introduction"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Part II Introduction

"Braine (David) - Language and the Understanding of Language"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 10

  1. Language as what differentiates human beings from other animals, 351
    … (a) The peculiarity of human language, 352
    … (b) Why we pick on language as the differentiating feature of human beings: answers to objections, 355
    … … (i) Objection that thinking can be in images, not words, 358
    … … (ii) Objection that there are many unverbalizable forms of intellectual experience and activity, 360
    … … (iii) Objection that it is the giving of reasons in deliberation which is the key differentiating feature of man, 364
  2. Words as expressing, not identifying, meanings, 367
  3. The integrated structure of language, 377
  4. No calculation of meanings, 384
  5. Linguistic understanding is not a mystery: the systematic mistakes shared by Dummett and by cognitive scientists, 391

"Braine (David) - The 'Objects' of the Mind In Speaking and Thinking"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 11

  1. Language and thought do not represent the world: sentences, senses, and facts are not ‘objects' to be in relation with one another, 400
    … (a) Preliminary critique of representational theories of meaning and thinking, 401
    … (b) Sentences, senses, and facts as ‘cognates', not objects, 405
    … (c) Force internal to sense and to thought: no thought without attitude, 409
  2. Abstraction and judgement: the capacity to use general concepts cannot be explained in terms of abstract ideas as objects to the mind, 412
  3. The misconception that images are objects and the way the imagination enters into thinking and understanding, 420
  4. The nature of thinking compared with speaking: words are not images in thinking, 434
    … (a) Words do not figure as images in thinking, 435
    … (b) The unity of the thought, 440
    … (c) The ‘allusiveness' or intentionality of thought, 445

"Braine (David) - The Second Refutation of Mechanism: Linguistic Understanding and Thinking Have No Bodily Organ"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 12

  1. Summary statement of four main lines of proof, 448
  2. Subsidiary comment on these four lines of argument, 455
    … (a) Key to first proof: thinking in the medium of words is material in its expression, not in its operation, 455
    … (b) Key to second proof: the ‘principles' of intellectual operation in speaking and thinking can have no material embodiment or realization, 458
    … (c) Key to third proof: the understanding of langue and the understanding of parole can have no material or neural correlate or element internal to it, 461
    … (d) Key to fourth proof: the structures of self-reflectivity internal to language, and implicit in every utterance, cannot be exercised through a material organ, 466
    Note: The acceptability of speaking about thinking and understanding as ‘operations' or ‘states', 472
  3. Notes on the roles of neurological subsystems and computer simulation in cognitive science, 474

"Braine (David) - Animals and Human Souls: Two Non-Dualistic Conceptions"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 13

  1. The phenomenological conception of soul, 481
    … (a) The sense in which the body ‘does not obtrude' in operations of soul, 482
    … (b) From ‘operations of soul' to ‘soul', 486
    … (c) The non-Cartesian character of this conception of soul, 492
    … (d) Conclusion, 495
  2. The Aristotelian conception of soul as the form of the living bodily thing, 496
  3. The relation of the Aristotelian and the phenomenological conceptions, 499
    … (a) Background of the question, 499
    … (b) The objection that the identification of the phenomenological soul with the soul as form constitutes a category-mistake, 504
    … (c) Response to this objection, 506

"Braine (David) - How Human Beings Transcend the Body: First Explanation - the Transcendence of the Human Soul"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 14

  1. No a priori argument to the existence of souls as subsistent, 513
  2. The human soul in the phenomenological conception as subsistent, 516
    … (a) The existence of non-bodily operations of soul as the basis for argument to its subsistence, 516
    … (b) The idea of the human soul as the ‘least amongst intellectual substances', 519
    … (c) Recovery of the phenomenological sense of the ‘doctrine' of soul: the soul as ‘laid bare' to whatever language lays it bare, 522
  3. The explanation of human unity, 523
  4. The objection that this view re-erects a false contrast between human beings and the other animals, 528

"Braine (David) - How Human Beings Transcend the Body: Second Explanation - the Transcendence of the Human Being As Such"

Source: Braine (David) - The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, 1993, Chapter 15

  1. Introductory Remarks: reasons for seeking an alternative approach which explains human transcendence without reference to soul, 532
  2. Existence, activity, and actuality, 533
  3. The existence of human beings, and its transcendence of matter, 537
  4. The human situation and human nature as co-ordinate, and both as revealed by language: the question raised by death, 542

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