Richard Taylor

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22 Apr 2012
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Taylor
“What Am I?” most important/hardest question to answer
o All morals, religion, metaphysics and law turn upon it.
Knows he exists, may also have only the vaguest conception or even a totally
erroneous one of the relationship between self and body. No more doubt the
reality of the one than the other.
Connection between self and body
o Having a body might consist simply in the identity of myself with the
body or my being of a body. Or, it might amount to possession, such
that having a body consists essentially in this body’s being among the
various other things that I own or possess it being at the same time in
some way unique among these.
o There may be some special as a person, perhaps highly metaphysical
relationship between the two, such as that I as a person am one thing,
my body another quite different thing, the two being somehow
connected to each other in a special way, appropriately expressed by
the assertion that the one has the other.
Materialism
o If my having a body consists simply in the identity of myself with my
body, then it follows that I am this body and nothing more.
o Identity: materialist must mean a strict and total identity of himself
and his body, nothing less. X and Y example.
o Reality just is the world that we see, hear, smell, touch, and taste, as
well as the more imperceptible components (e.g., molecules, atoms,
and the sub-atomic) of which modern science informs us.
o Minds, mental events, mental predicates, etc are really just
properties of bodies and especially of minds. Minds would not
survive bodily death.
o Four bastions against a materialist explanation: life itself, reasoning,
purposive behavior, consciousness itself.
o an ontological position, that is, it answers the
question "What is there?" - materialism answers
"matter, i.e. physical objects".
o
Platonic Dualism
o
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