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Personal Identity

Thesis - Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View)

(Text as at 28/09/2022 10:24:58)

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Abstract




Research Methodology


Chapter Introduction6
  1. Like the previous Chapter, there is mostly a 1-1-match between this Chapter and a single Note – in this case Constitution View – Objections7. That’s because Olson’s Master Argument – which is both an argument for Animalism and an objection to the Constitution View – has its own Note but appears in Chapter 7.
  2. The Note on Holes & Smiles8 is relevant because it illustrates how a property – like the Cheshire Cat’s smile – cannot exist in the absence of the infrastructural body that makes it possible, nor can they be transferred from one body to another and remain the same property. So, I would argue, a First Person Perspective is the property of a particular human body, and cannot be transplanted from one body to another.



Note Hierarchy
  1. The Constitution View9. Excluded10
  2. Arguments against the Constitution View11
  3. Holes & Smiles12
  4. The Thinking Animal Argument13. Excluded14



Main Text
  1. Arguments against the Constitution View15
    1. The two obvious issues are:-
      1. The “too many minds” objection (otherwise known as the “thinking animal argument16”), and
      2. The “fetus problem17
    2. Thinking Animals18
      • In saying that an Individual19 is a human animal20 and that also that that Individual is a person21 that is ontologically distinct from, and merely constituted by22, the human animal, Eric Olson argues that we have too many thinkers and therefore the constitution view23 is false.
      • I don’t like this argument, in that the form would prove too much. I see analogies with various mereological24 arguments:-
        Peter Unger’s argument that “there are no ordinary things”,
        → The Sorites25 arguments against the existence of material objects with parts, and maybe with
        Tib/Tibbles26, and
        Dion/Theon27
      • 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 souls28 (again, too many thinkers – if the brain29 thinks, why do we need a soul that thinks as well). However, the degree of ontological30 distinctness between “the self31 and its brain32” is greater than that between the person33 and the human being34 that (maybe temporarily) constitutes35 it. I will reconsider this collection of arguments in due course.
    3. Fetus Problem36
      • This is the question whether I37 was ever a Fetus. According to the Constitution View38, I was not, as the Fetus had no First Person Perspective39 (FPP), not even a rudimentary one, and since the FPP is constitutive / individuative of me.
      • But, if I was not the Fetus, where did I40 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 animal41? Was the fetus a proper part of the mother? See "Kingma (Elselijn) - Were You Part of Your Mother?".
    4. So, should I accept the Constitution View42? I think not. I am an animal43, and objections to Animalism44 can be overcome. The whole idea of Constitution45 as conceived of by the CV is very odd, and the CV was invented to provide the hope of resurrection46. I need to justify these assertions, of course!
  2. Holes & Smiles47
    1. I was unsure whether to title this Note as “Holes” or “Smiles”, so decided on a combination. While only the former is a recognised philosophical topic, the latter is a recognised as a problem for the Constitution View48.
    2. The relevance to my Thesis is somewhat tangential, but the idea is that there are features49 of other things that are – most likely – not separable entities but which still have persistence conditions50. It makes sense to ask whether a particular hole is the same hole as it was a week ago, or a particular smile the same smile as a few seconds ago – smiles “wear thin” if the photographer takes too long. But neither holes nor smiles can exist separately to their host. The Cheshire Cat’s smile is not to be taken at face value.
    3. I see an analogy with this situation and persons51 or First Person Perspectives52. Often, when a non-philosopher doubts whether someone is the same person53 as they had been previously, they are thinking of a radical personality change. A personality54 is like a very complex and enduring smile – a property55 of something else. It cannot exist on its own, disembodied56, or pass from one body57 to another.



Concluding Remarks
  1. Having now discussed the arguments against both Animalism and the Constitution View, we now in our next Chapter58 turn to the question of Thought Experiments in general, and how they bear on this topic in particular.
  2. This is work in progress59.


Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed60
  1. This section attempts to derive the readings lists automatically from those of the underlying Notes, but removing duplicated references. The list is divided into:-
  2. I’ve not been overly careful to segregate the reading-list of this Chapter from that of Chapter 763. I will address the segregation in due course. There will, in any case, be some overlap.
  3. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.



Works on this topic that I’ve actually read64, include the following:-
  1. Arguments against the Constitution View65
  2. Holes & Smiles70


A further reading list might start with:-
  1. Arguments against the Constitution View76
  2. Holes & Smiles78



In-Page Footnotes:

Footnote 6: Footnote 10: Footnote 14: Footnote 60: Footnote 72: Footnote 74: Footnote 75: Footnote 77: Footnote 79:


Table of the Previous 11 Versions of this Note:

Date Length Title
11/05/2022 21:43:12 10956 Thesis - Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View)
11/04/2022 00:01:26 7058 Thesis - Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View)
01/10/2021 13:17:46 6490 Thesis - Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View)
29/03/2021 19:23:31 6052 Thesis - Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View)
22/03/2021 00:28:48 4901 Thesis - Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View)
08/02/2021 16:39:22 3524 Thesis - Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View)
18/04/2019 18:18:43 3510 Thesis - Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View)
05/04/2016 23:19:41 3255 Thesis - Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View)
06/11/2014 10:13:26 3181 Thesis - Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View)
02/10/2014 17:12:29 2914 Thesis - Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View)
22/07/2014 22:23:31 2119 Thesis - Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View)



Note last updated Reading List for this Topic Parent Topic
28/09/2022 10:24:58 None available Thesis - Introduction


Summary of Notes Referenced by This Note

Animalism Animalism - Objections Animals Awaiting Attention (Personal Identity) Baillie - What Am I?
Baker - The Coherence Of the Constitution View of Human Persons Body Brain Constitution Constitution View
Constitution View - Objections Dion and Theon Disembodied Existence Fetuses First-Person Perspective
Garrett - Persons and Bodies - Response Holes & Smiles Human Animals Human Beings I
Individual Jen_080204 (Brandom, Chisholm, Baillie) Jen_080218 (Olson) Jen_080303 (Olson, Baillie) Mereology
Noonan - Persons and Bodies - Response Olson - Persons and Bodies - Response Olson - What Are We? Ontology Persistence Criteria
Person Personality Properties Resurrection Self
Sorites Souls Status: Thesis Dashboard (2022: November) Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It) Thesis - Chapter 07 (The Constitution View and Arguments for It)
Thesis - Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View) Thesis - Chapter 10 (Thought Experiments) Thesis - Method & Form Thinking Animal Argument Tibbles the Cat
Works Read - Explanation        

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.




Summary of Notes Citing This Note

Origins PID Note, Book & Paper Usage, 2 Status: Thesis Dashboard (2022: November), 2 Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It) Thesis - Chapter 07 (The Constitution View and Arguments for It)
Thesis - Chapter 08 (Arguments against Animalism) Thesis - Introduction Thinking Animal Argument Website Generator Documentation - Functors, 2, 3, 4, 5  

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.




Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note

Author Title Medium Extra Links Read?
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It) Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Chapter 07 (The Constitution View and Arguments for It) Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Chapter 08 (Arguments against Animalism) Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Introduction & Chapter Outlines Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Origins Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Thinking Animal Argument Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes



References & Reading List

Author Title Medium Source Read?
Baker (Lynne Rudder) Brief Reply to Rosenkrantz's Comments on my 'The Ontological Status of Persons' Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65, September 2002, pp. 394-395 Yes
Baker (Lynne Rudder) Christians Should Reject Mind-Body Dualism Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Peterson (Michael) & Van Arragon (Raymond) - Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion, 2004 Yes
Baker (Lynne Rudder) Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Medium Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied Yes
Baker (Lynne Rudder) Replies to Zimmerman, Rea & Pereboom Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64.3 (May 2002), pp. 623-635 No
Baker (Lynne Rudder) Reply to Zimmerman’s 'Christians Should Affirm Mind-Body Dualism' Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Peterson (Michael) & Van Arragon (Raymond) - Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion, 2004 Yes
Baker (Lynne Rudder) The Coherence Of the Constitution View of Human Persons Paper - Cited Baker (Lynne) - Persons and Bodies, Chapter 8 Yes
Baker (Lynne Rudder), Etc. E-Symposium on 'Persons & Bodies: A Constitution View' Book - Cited Low Quality Abstract Baker (Lynne Rudder), Etc. - E-Symposium on 'Persons & Bodies: A Constitution View' Yes
Burke (Michael) Persons and Bodies: How to Avoid the New Dualism Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract American Philosophical Quarterly, 34 (4), 1997: 457-467 No
Casati (Roberto) & Varzi (Achille) Holes Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, 1996-2014 Yes
De Waal (Frans) The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections of a Primatologist Book - Cited High Quality Abstract De Waal (Frans) - The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections of a Primatologist 7%
Finn (Suki) Is a hole a real thing, or just a place where something isn’t? Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Aeon, 29 June, 2018 Yes
Garrett (Brian) The Story of I: Some Comments on L.R.Baker 'Persons & Bodies' Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Field Guide to the Philosophy of Mind, 2001, e-Symposium on "Persons & Bodies: A Constitution View" Yes
Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) Aeon: C-F Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 51%
Kingma (Elselijn) Were You Part of Your Mother? Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Mind, Volume 128, Issue 511, July 2019, Pages 609–646 Yes
Lewis (David) Philosophical Papers Volume I Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied Yes
Lewis (David) & Lewis (Stephanie) Holes Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Lewis - Philosophical Papers Volume I, Part 1: Ontology, Chapter 1 Yes
Noller (Jorg) Beyond Animalism and Constitutionalism: The Person as A Form of Life Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Retrieved from Academia.edu 17%
Noonan (Harold) Arguments Against Animalism: Comments on L.R.Baker 'Persons & Bodies' Paper - Cited Field Guide to the Philosophy of Mind, 2001, e-Symposium on "Persons & Bodies: A Constitution View" Yes
Olson (Eric) Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 13 (Olson) Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 16%
Olson (Eric) Review of Lynne Baker's 'Persons And Bodies' Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Mind, 110, Number 438, April 2001, pp. 427-430(4) No
Olson (Eric) Thinking Animals and the Constitution View Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Field Guide to the Philosophy of Mind, 2001, e-Symposium on "Persons & Bodies: A Constitution View" Yes
Olson (Eric) Thinking Animals and the Reference of 'I' Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Philosophical Topics 30: 189-208. 2002 Yes
Olson (Eric) What are We? A Study of Personal Ontology Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Medium Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 68%
Olson (Eric) What Are We? Constitution Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract What Are We? A Study in Personal Ontology, Chapter 3 (November 2007: Oxford University Press.) 33%
Pereboom (Derek) On Baker's Persons and Bodies Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64.3 (May 2002), pp. 615-622 No
Peterson (Michael) & VanArragon (Raymond) Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) High Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 13%
Rosenkrantz (Gary) Reflections on the Ontological Status of Persons Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65, September 2002, pp. 389-393 Yes
Sider (Ted) Review of Lynne Rudder Baker, Persons and Bodies Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Journal of Philosophy 99 (2002): 45-48 Yes
Thomas (Janice L.) Mind and Person in the Philosophy of Religion Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Medium Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied Yes
Thomas (Janice L.) Plato's Phaedo Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Thomas (Janice L.) - Mind and Person in the Philosophy of Religion Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It) Paper - Referencing   Yes
Zimmerman (Dean) Christians Should Affirm Mind-Body Dualism Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Peterson (Michael) & Van Arragon (Raymond) - Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion, 2004 Yes
Zimmerman (Dean) Reply to Baker's 'Christians Should Reject Mind-Body Dualism' Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Peterson (Michael) & Van Arragon (Raymond) - Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion, 2004 Yes



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