Personhood

Personhood - Personhood: The Psychological Theory 11/28/06...

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Personhood: The Psychological Theory 11/28/06 John Locke (1632-1704) o The first modern empiricist o Physician and philosopher o Friends with Isaac Newton and read Descartes o Political theories influential on Jefferson, Hamilton, and others o Speculated about the “state of nature.” Two questions about identity o Synchronic: What is it for a hunk of matter to be a person at a given moment? Can a computer be a person? A non-human animal? Alien life form? o Diachronic: What is it for a “person stage” at time t to be the same person as a “person stage” at time t+n? Identity of animals and vegetables o “an oak growing from a plant to a great tree, and then lopped, is still the same oak; and a colt grown up to a hoarse, sometimes fat, sometimes lean, is all the while the same horse: thought, in both these cases, there may be a manifest change of parts; so that truly they are not either of them the same masses of matter, though they be truly one of them the same oak, and the other the same horse.” o Even if the matter changes over time, they are still the same thing. They are the same living thing Identity of artifacts o An artifact (ship, pair of shoes, building) seems to have its diachronic identity secured by its being treated as one and the same object over time, more specifically by its having the same function.
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course PHIL 100 taught by Professor Green during the Fall '06 term at UVA.

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Personhood - Personhood: The Psychological Theory 11/28/06...

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