Persons as proper parts of organisms

Theoria 71 (1):29-37 (2005)
Abstract
Defenders of the Psychological Approach to Personal Identity (PAPI) insist that the possession of some kind of mind is essential to us. We are essentially thinking beings, not living creatures. We would cease to exist if our capacity for thought was irreversibly lost due to a coma or permanent vegetative state. However, the onset of such conditions would not mean the death of an organism. It would survive in a mindless state. But this would appear to mean that before the loss of cognition and the destruction of the person, the organism and the person were spatially coincident entities – two beings composed of the same matter at the same time and place. Perhaps the most problematic aspect of positing spatially coincident material entities is that it would seem to result in there being one too many thinkers. Since the person can obviously think, the organism should also have such a capacity as a result of possessing the same brain as well as every other atom of the person. This means that there now exist two thinking beings under the reader’s clothes!
Keywords Coincidence  Metaphysics  Organism  Part  Person  Mcmahan, Jeff  Persson, Ingmar
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