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Thesis - Chapter 03 (What is a Person?)
(Text as at 14/07/2019 18:05:46)
(For other versions of this Note, see the tables at the end)
- This chapter will canvass the various views of what Persons are and consider how important issues in this area are to my main concern of our identity.
- Follow this Link1 for a generic statement of how I intend to pursue each Chapter.
- The method is broken down into 12, possibly iterative, stages.
- Follow this Link2 for my progress dashboard on these tasks.
Links to Notes
- The primary Notes are:-
- No doubt there are others:-
- The main philosophical argument about Persons is whether PERSON is a substance10-concept in its own right, or whether it is parasitic on other substance-concept(s).
- My own view is that Human Persons are phase sortals11 of human animals, but other philosophers have more robust views of persons and think of them as substances in their own right.
- Famously, Locke12 held this view, and Lynne Rudder Baker13 was a contemporary exponent – her view being that human persons are constituted by14, but are not identical to, human animals15.
- In this thesis, I’m only concerned with human persons, and – like most philosophers – allow that there can be non-human persons (God, gods, angels, aliens, robots, etc.)
- All this is predicated on deciding just what PERSONS are, which in turn depends somewhat on whether we take PERSON to be a natural kind16 concept, or something that is socially constructed and so not something the correct definition of we can discover.
- Further text to be supplied17.
- To be supplied18.
- In our next Chapter19, now that we have determined what we are – and what persons are – we consider various metaphysical issues that bear on the arguments for and against the various positions on Personal Identity.
- This is work in progress20.
Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed21
- In this Chapter I will consider the following papers or book chapters (together with some others referenced by these). There are doubtless many more that are relevant and which will be addressed in the course of the thesis, but these are probably sufficient to get us going.
- "Ayer (A.J.) - The Concept of a Person", Ayer
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Brief Reply to Rosenkrantz's Comments on my 'The Ontological Status of Persons'", Baker
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View", especially (in this context), … Baker
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and the Natural Order", Baker
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons in Metaphysical Perspective", Baker
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - The Ontological Status of Persons", Baker
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - When Does a Person Begin?", Baker
- "Brennan (Andrew) - Concepts of a Person", Brennan
- "DeGrazia (David) - Are we essentially persons? Olson, Baker, and a reply", DeGrazia
- "DeGrazia (David) - Great Apes, Dolphins, and the Concept of Personhood", DeGrazia
- "Dennett (Daniel) - Conditions of Personhood", Dennett
- "Forrester (Mary) - Persons, Animals, and Fetuses: An Essay in Practical Ethics", Forrester
- "Frankfurt (Harry) - Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person", Frankfurt
- "Garrett (Brian) - Persons", Garrett
- "Goodenough (Jerry) - The Achievement of Personhood", Goodenough
- "Hornsby (Jennifer) - Mind, Causation and Explanation - Introduction: Personal and Subpersonal Levels", Hornsby
- "Hornsby (Jennifer) - Ontological Questions - Introduction: Persons and Their States, and Events", Hornsby
- "Hudson (Hud) - A Materialist Metaphysics of the Human Person", Hudson
- "Hudson (Hud) - Temporal Parts and Moral Personhood", Hudson
- "Ishiguro (Hide) - The Primitiveness of the Concept of a Person", Ishiguro
- "JCS - Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 14, Issue 05-06 (2007)", JCS “Dimensions of Personhood”
- "Leiber (Justin) - Can Animals and Machines Be Persons? : A Dialogue", Leiber22
- "Longuenesse (Beatrice) - Kant on the identity of persons", Longuenesse
- "Margolis (Joseph) - Persons: Notes on Their Nature, Identity and Rationality", Margolis
- "Margolis (Joseph) - Persons and Minds: Prospects of Nonreductive Materialism", Margolis
- "McCall (Catherine) - Concepts of Person: An Analysis of Concepts of Person, Self and Human Being", McCall
- "McInerney (Peter K.) - Conceptions of Persons and Persons through Time", McInerney
- "Midgley (Mary) - Persons and Non-Persons", Midgley23
- "Olson (Eric) - The Nature of People", Olson
- "Parfit (Derek) - Divided Minds and the Nature of Persons", Parfit24
- "Parfit (Derek) - Reasons and Persons", Parfit25
- "Peacocke (Arthur) & Gillett (Grant) - Persons and Personality: A Contemporary Inquiry", Peacocke&Gillett
- "Perry (John) - Personal Identity and the Concept of a Person", Perry
- "Petrus (Klaus), Ed. - On Human Persons", Petrus
- "Plantinga (Alvin) - Things and Persons", Plantinga26
- "Pollock (John L.) - How to Build a Person: The Physical Basis of Mentality", Pollock
- "Pollock (John L.) - How to Build a Person: A Prolegomenon", Pollock
- "Poole (Ross) - On Being a Person", Poole
- "Puccetti (Roland) - Persons: A Study of Possible Moral Agents in the Universe", Puccetti
- "Russell (Robert John), Murphy (Nancey), Meyering (Theo C.), Arbib (Michael A.) - Neuroscience and the Person", Russell etc
- "Sapontzis (S.F.) - A Critique of Personhood", Sapontzis
- "Selling (Joseph) - The Human Person", Selling
- "Shaffer (Jerome) - Persons and Their Bodies", Shaffer
- "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity and Ethics - Introduction", Shoemaker_D
- "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Persons and Personal Identity", Shoemaker_S
- "Smart (Brian) - How can Persons be Ascribed M-Predicates?", Smart
- "Sprague (Elmer) - Persons and Their Minds: A Philosophical Investigation", Sprague
- "Stanley (Jason) - Persons And Their Properties", Stanley27
- "Stone (Jim) - Why there are still no people", Stone
- "Strawson (Peter) - Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics", Strawson28, especially
→ "Strawson (Peter) - Persons", Strawson
- "Strawson (Peter) - Persons", Strawson
- "Taylor (Charles) - Responsibility For Self", Taylor_C
- "Taylor (Richard), Chisholm (Roderick) - Chisholm's Idea of a Person", Taylor_R
- "Teichman (Jenny) - The Definition of Person", Teichman
- "Trendelenberg (Adolf) - A Contribution to the History of the Word Person", Trendelenberg
- "Van Inwagen (Peter) & Zimmerman (Dean) - Persons: Human and Divine", Van Inwagen&Zimmerman
→ "Olson (Eric) - Review of 'Persons: Human and Divine'", Olson
- "Wiggins (David) - The Person as Object of Science, as Subject of Experience, and as Locus of Value", Wiggins
- "Wilkerson (T.E.) - Minds, Brains and People", Wilkerson
- "Wilkes (Kathleen) - Real People: Preface", Wilkes
- "Williams (Bernard) - Persons, Character and Morality", Williams_B
- "Wilson (Edgar) - Two Incompatible Models of Persons", Wilson
- Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
- The motivation for these works is as follows:-
- There had already been a lot of cutting in the various selections of the original reading list – the reading lists attached to the Notes run on and on – and these items just represent the works in my possession (though I have sought out all that I’ve heard of that look relevant).
- However, the items in the lists following were given some attention, and have been culled – at least temporarily – from the lists above, where they originally appeared. I’ve not always given a reason as I’ve not studied them sufficiently closely. But, you have to draw a line somewhere.
- I’m well aware that the cut has not been sufficiently rigorous. Further items beyond the items below are likely to be culled when I come to process them.
- "Bourgeois (Warren) - Persons: What Philosophers Say about You", Bourgeois29
- "Burge (Tyler) - Memory and Persons", Burge30
- "Carrithers (Michael), Collins (Steven) & Lukes (Steven) - The Category of the Person: Anthropology, philosophy, history", Carrithers
- "Lowe (E.J.) - Real Selves: Persons as a Substantial Kind", Lowe31
- "Mitchell (Robert) - Humans, Nonhumans and Personhood", Mitchell
- "Park (Desiree) - Persons", Park
In-Page FootnotesFootnote 21:
Footnote 22: This is very elementary, but short and maybe entertaining.
- See the section on Research Methodology for what is to be done with these.
- The author’s surname is repeated in the text to make it easier for me to see what’s going on in the encoded text I work on.
Footnote 23: Read this as an example from the Animal Liberation movement.
Footnote 24: This is rather introductory to Parfit’s ideas, so read it quickly for that purpose.
Footnote 25: Restrict a close reading to Part 3 (Personal Identity).
Footnote 26: May be useful both as a take on Strawson, and for Plantinga’s own views.
Footnote 27: Stanley got into a debate with Jen Hornsby, though not on this topic, so it’ll be interesting to see how he argues.
Footnote 28: This is a difficult book with which I expect to have little sympathy, but one that has to be read.
Footnote 29: This is rather elementary, and ought to have been reviewed in Chapter 1.
Footnote 30: This paper may be important, but is too long (and difficult) for a first pass through the literature
Footnote 31: Too similar to "Lowe (E.J.) - Substance and Selfhood", which was read for Chapter 2.
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