The Rational Human Condition 3, Deep Freedom and Real Persons: A Study in Metaphysics, Section 6.1–From Deep Freedom to Real Persons.

“The Human Condition,” by Thomas Whitaker/Prison Arts Coalition

THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION is a five-part, four-book series, including:

PART 1: Preface and General Introduction

PART 2: Cognition, Content, and the A Priori: A Study in the Philosophy of Mind and Knowledge

PART 3:  Deep Freedom and Real Persons: A Study in Metaphysics

PART 4: Kantian Ethics and Human Existence: A Study in Moral Philosophy

PART 5:  Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism: A Theological-Political Treatise

Its author is ROBERT HANNA:


THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 1

PREFACE AND GENERAL INTRODUCTION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section 1.0  What It Is

Section 1.1  Bounded in a Nutshell

Section 1.2  Rational Anthropology vs. Analytic Metaphysics, the Standard Picture, and Scientific Naturalism

Section 1.3  Philosophy and Its History: No Deep Difference

Section 1.4  Works of Philosophy vs. Philosophical Theories: Presentational Hylomorphism and Polymorphism

Section 1.5  Analytic Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, and Rational Anthropology

Section 1.6  What is a Rational Human Animal?

Section 1.7  An Important Worry and a Preliminary Reply

Section 1.8  The Biggest Windmills


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THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 2 

COGNITION, CONTENT, AND THE A PRIORI: A STUDY IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF MIND AND KNOWLEDGE

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THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 3

DEEP FREEDOM AND REAL PERSONS: A STUDY IN METAPHYSICS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A Note on References

1.  Introduction: Freedom, Life, and Persons’ Lives  

1.0 Natural Libertarianism and Minded Animalism

1.1 Incompatibilistic Compatibilism

1.2 Deep Freedom and Principled Authenticity

1.3 The Central Claim of this Book, and Previews                                      

2.  Beyond Mechanism: The Dynamics of Life

2.0 Introduction

2.1 Immanent Structuralism

2.2 Natural Mechanism, Computability, and Anti-Mechanism

2.3 Kant’s Anti-Mechanism, Kantian Anti-Mechanism, Vitalism, and Emergentism

2.4 On the Representation of Life

2.5 Kantian Non-Conceptualism and the Dynamicist Model of Life

2.6 Inverted Life, Suspended Life, and Non-Local Life: How Life Does Not Strongly Supervene on the Physical, and Why

2.7 Conclusion                                                                                                 

3.  From Biology to Agency          

3.0 Introduction

3.1 Two-Dimensional Rational Normativity

3.2 Kant’s Biological Theory of Freedom

3.3 Practical-Freedom-in-Life: Kantian Non-Intellectualism

3.4 The Rationality of the Heart: Principled Authenticity

3.5 Conclusion                                                                                                  

4.  Neither/Nor: The Negative Case for Natural Libertarianism

4.0 Introduction                                                                                                               

4.1 The Intuitive Definition of Free Will

4.2 The Four Metaphysical Horsemen of the Apocalypse

4.3 The Three Standard Options, Natural Mechanism, and The Fourfold Knot of Free Agency

4.4 Three Arguments for Classical Incompatibilism, and In-the-Zone Compatibilism

4.5 Three Arguments for Local Incompatibilism with Respect to Natural Mechanism

4.6 Sympathy for the Devil: Compatibilism Reconsidered

4.7 Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death?

4.8 Too Hard to Live With: Strawson’s Basic Argument, Hard Determinism, and Hard Incompatibilism

4.9 Conclusion                                                                                                       

5.  Either/Or: Deep Freedom and Principled Authenticity          

5.0 Introduction

5.1 The Internal Structure of Deep Freedom

5.2 From Frankfurt Back to Kierkegaard: How to Have a Live Option, or Kierkegaardian Either/Or, Without Alternative Possibilities

5.3 Psychological Freedom, Deep Freedom, and Principled Authenticity

5.4 Conclusion                                                                                          

6.  Minded Animalism I: What Real Persons Really Are

6.0 Introduction

6.1 From Deep Freedom to Real Persons

6.2 Real Persons

6.3 Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Real Personhood

6.4 Conclusion                                                                                                       

7.  Minded Animalism II: From Parfit to Real Personal Identity          

7.0 Introduction

7.1 Parfit’s Theory: Six Basic Claims

7.2 Against and Beyond Parfit 1: Two Reasons, and The Minded Animalist Criterion of Personal Identity

7.3 Against and Beyond Parfit 2: Four More Reasons

7.4 Conclusion                   


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A NOTE ON REFERENCES

For convenience, throughout the five-part four book series, The Rational Human Condition—comprising 1. the Preface and General Introduction, 2. Cognition, Content, and the A Priori, 3. Deep Freedom and Real Persons, 4. Kantian Ethics and Human Existence, and 5. Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism—I refer to Kant’s works infratextually in parentheses. The citations include both an abbreviation of the English title and the corresponding volume and page numbers in the standard “Akademie” edition of Kant’s works: Kants gesammelte Schriften, edited by the Königlich Preussischen (now Deutschen) Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin: G. Reimer [now de Gruyter], 1902-). I generally follow the standard English translations, but have occasionally modified them where appropriate. For references to the first Critique, I follow the common practice of giving page numbers from the A (1781) and B (1787) German editions only. Here is a list of the relevant abbreviations and English translations:

BL       “The Blomberg Logic.” In Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Logic. Trans. J.M. Young. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992. Pp. 5-246.

C         Immanuel Kant: Correspondence, 1759-99. Trans. A. Zweig. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999.

CPJ      Critique of the Power of Judgment. Trans. P. Guyer and E. Matthews. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000.

CPR    Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. P. Guyer and A. Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997.

CPrR   Critique of Practical Reason. Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. Pp. 139-271.

DiS      “Concerning the Ultimate Ground of the Differentiation of Directions in Space.” Trans. D. Walford and R. Meerbote. In Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy: 1755-1770. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992.  Pp. 365-372.

DSS     “Dreams of a Spirit-Seer Elucidated by Dreams of Metaphysics.” Trans. D. Walford and R. Meerbote. In Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy: 1755-1770. Pp. 301-359.

EAT    “The End of All Things.” Trans. A. Wood and G. Di Giovanni. In Immanuel Kant: Religion and Rational Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. Pp. 221-231.

GMM  Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 43-108.

ID        “On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and Intelligible World (Inaugural Dissertation).” Trans. D. Walford and R. Meerbote. In Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy: 1755-1770. Pp. 373-416.

IUH     “Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim.” Trans. A. Wood. In Immanuel Kant: Anthropology, History, and Eduction. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007. Pp. 107-120.

JL         “The Jäsche Logic.” Trans. J.M. Young. In Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Logic. Pp. 519-640.

LE       Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Ethics. Trans. P. Heath. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997.

MFNS Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. Trans. M. Friedman. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004.

MM     Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 365-603.

OP       Immanuel Kant: Opus postumum. Trans.  E. Förster and M. Rosen. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1993.

OT       “What Does It Mean to Orient Oneself in Thinking?” Trans. A. Wood. In Immanuel Kant: Religion and Rational Theology. Pp. 7-18.

Prol     Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. Trans. G. Hatfield. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004.

PP       “Toward Perpetual Peace.” Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 317-351.

Rel       Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. Trans. A. Wood and G. Di Giovanni. In Immanuel Kant: Religion and Rational Theology. Pp. 57-215.

RTL     “On a Supposed Right to Lie from Philanthropy.” Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 611-615.

VL       “The Vienna Logic,” Trans. J.M. Young. In Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Logic. Pp. 251-377.

WE      “An Answer to the Question: ‘What is Enlightenment?’” Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 17-22.


THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 3

DEEP FREEDOM AND REAL PERSONS: A STUDY IN METAPHYSICS

CHAPTER 6  Minded Animalism I: What Real Persons Really Are

Section 6.1  From Deep Freedom to Real Persons

According to the real metaphysics of rational human animals that I am proposing, the fundamental concept and fact of free agency (= free will + practical agency) and the fundamental concept and fact of real personhood, as mediated by the fundamental concept and fact of real personal identity, are all bound together at their very cores, and entail each other with non-logical, essentially non-conceptual, synthetic a priori, “strong metaphysical” necessity. So the internal structure of that metaphysics looks like this simple diagram, when read either from left to right, or right to left, and the double arrows mean: synthetically a priori necessarily.

Free Agency <–> Real Personal Identity <–> Real Personhood

Now free agency, especially including deep freedom and deep (non-)moral responsibility, together with the capacity for principled authenticity, was the special topic of chapters 1 to 5, and it yielded the doctrine of Natural Libertarianism. In this chapter, and in the next and final chapter, I want to work out a unified theory of free agency and real personhood, by way of the mediating concept and irreducible, primitive fact of real personal identity. The four leading ideas of this theory are as follows:

(leading idea 1) that real persons are absolutely, intrinsically, nondenumerably, objectively valuable, that is, real persons have dignity;

(leading idea 2) that a real person is a conscious, intentional, caring, 2D rational animal capable of free agency, and there are two distinct types of real persons, namely,

(2a) non-autonomous, “lower-level,” or Frankfurtian real persons, aka real personsf, and

(2b) autonomous, “higher-level,” or Kantian real persons, aka real personsk;

(leading idea 3) that the three individually necessary, individually insufficient, and jointly sufficient conditions of the identity of a real person are:

(3a) the intrinsically spatiotemporal continuity of that 2D rational animal’s consciousness, intentionality, and caring (biophenomenological continuity), together with

(3b) the intrinsically spatiotemporal continuity of that 2D rational animal’s necessary and complete, hence essential, embodiment (biological and neurobiological continuity), together with

(3c) the further fact that enough of the dual biophenomenological and biological/neurobiological events constituting the continuous life of that essentially embodied 2D rational animal are also deeply free, involving ultimate sourcehood, and up to her (freedom-dominance); and

(leading idea 4) real personal identity is a specification of the mereological relation of metonymous identity between proper (spatio)temporal parts and unified (spatio)temporal wholes, such that a real person is identical to each and all of the stages of her complete, finite, and unique 2D rational animal life.

 Now strictly speaking, in the human species at least, there is also a class of semi-autonomous or “middle level” real persons, falling between the class of non-autonomous, “lower-level,” or Frankfurtian real persons (personsf) and the class of autonomous, “higher-level,” or Kantian  persons (personsk). This is the class of adolescents or teenagers. But this class, at bottom, is really a set of borderline cases between the two fundamental classes of real persons, and does not collect an essentially different kind of real persons. See section 6.3 below for more details.

As to the first leading idea, it is obviously closely historically related to Kant’s ethics; and it also is a central feature of my version of contemporary Kantian ethics, as worked out in Kantian Ethics and Human Existence.

Equally obviously, the second leading idea, in turn, has important similarities with Harry Frankfurt’s hierarchical-desire theory of personhood—with one crucial difference, which is that on my account, as I mentioned just above, there are two importantly different classes of real persons, namely:

(i) non-autonomous, lower-level, or Frankfurtian real persons, real personsf, and

(ii) autonomous, higher-level, or Kantian real persons, real personsk.

The class of lower-level or Frankfurtian real persons is paradigmatically exemplified by most human children, but also by some non-human animals, for example, Great apes (by which, again, I mean non-human members of the biological family Hominidae, including bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans), and perhaps also dolphins. Lower-level or Frankfurtian real persons are, as it were, junior real persons; and in relation to them, the higher-level or Kantian real persons, paradigmatically exemplified by most human adults, are as it were senior persons. Similarly, there can be junior and senior members of the same family, club, team, academic department, college, university, law firm, or other business corporation.

I do not want to push this analogy too hard, however, because of the various kinds of metaphysically irrelevant and sometimes also quite invidious, rationally-unjustified, and immoral social-status and social-power values assigned to roles within families, clubs, teams, academic departments, universities, etc. The crucial point I want to make is just that the two types of persons have ranked equality of moral status. They are both equally real persons, and correspondingly they are both equal in absolute, nondenumerably infinite, intrinsic, objective moral value, or dignity. This means that, like transfinite cardinal quantities, the value of each real person cannot be compared with, made equivalent to, or exceeded by, any denumerable economic value quantity. Nevertheless, even though no real person is more or less valuable than any other real person, and even though a real person has no economic value equivalent, or price, again like the series of transfinite cardinals, more real persons are still more valuable than fewer real persons. So, other things being equal, it is morally better to help more people than it is to help fewer people, and it is also morally worse to harm more people than it is to harm fewer people. In any case, as possessors of dignity, all real persons must be treated with respect, and morally considered equally, although not always treated equally. What respect for human dignity requires by way of treatment, is that, other things being equal, people never be treated like mere means or mere things, and also that they always be provided with what is sufficient for their basic human needs. But people have different specific needs at different times and in different places, even while having the same generic basic human needs. Hence respect for human dignity, and moral equality, are importantly different.[i] Moreover, the basic capacities of real personsf and real personsk are, respectively, somewhat differently configured and disposed; and correspondingly their moral duties, moral responsibilities, their moral consideration and treatment of each other, and their ideal moral aims or goals, both with respect to themselves and to one another, are also somewhat differently specified.

More specifically, only autonomous, higher-level, or Kantian real persons are capable of the kind of mutually recognizing, self-conscious respect, and deep (non-)moral responsibility for their choices and acts, that is characteristic of any degree of principled authenticity. Infants, other young children, and real persons that are non-human animals, are simply not capable of this. It would be madness, for example, to expect any five year-old child, or a chimpanzee, to be able to take on the exceptionally demanding moral-political role of the President of the USA.[ii]

The third leading idea, as I mentioned above, is a significant extension of Olson’s Biological Approach to the metaphysics of personal identity, or what I will call standard Animalism. Standard Animalism says that biological continuity is necessary and sufficient for the identity of persons, who contingently have mental properties.[iii] Or otherwise put, standard Animalism says that I am literally identical with an individual human living organism, my human animal, which, for some portion of its life, is also capable of thinking. My view, Minded Animalism, shares with standard Animalism the thesis that biological continuity, and thus continued individual animal life, is a necessary condition of personal identity. So I am literally identical with (any and all of the parts of the life-process of) a creature that is also an individual human animal. But virtually all contemporary versions of standard Animalism are also committed to reductive or non-reductive materialism about conscious minds and persons, whereas Minded Animalism, in view of its basic commitment to the essential embodiment theory of the mind-body relation and its neo-Aristotelian hylomorphism, rejects both of these. Moreover, by a significant extension of standard Animalism, according to Minded Animalism, although biophenomenological continuity is indeed necessary, it is also individually insufficient, and only when it is taken together with essentially embodied biological/neurobiological continuity and also together with something I call freedom-dominance, are these three factors jointly sufficient for personal identity.

Finally, the fourth leading idea is a formal interpretation of the classical Existentialist conception of a real person’s life, as applied to the metaphysics of personal identity. In Sartre’s apt words, this says that:

[the human being] is nothing other than his plan; he exists only to the extent that he fulfills himself; he is therefore nothing other than the ensemble of his acts, nothing other than his life.[iv]

So according to specifically Minded Animalism, as opposed to standard Animalism, I am not literally identical with any individual living human animal in and of itself, in the sense of that animal’s either being taken apart from its having mental properties; or being taken apart from each and all the stages of its essentially embodied conscious, intentional, caring, 2D rational life-process; and or being taken apart from its free agency. According to Minded Animalism, those separations are non-logically, essentially non-conceptually, synthetic a priori, or “strongly metaphysically” impossible. So according to Minded Animalism, I am not identical with the non-minded first or second trimester human fetus that later became me. I am not identical with a non-minded individual human animal that lives on after my upper brain has been destroyed in an accident or removed by surgery, despite the fact that this creature conventionally bears my proper name. I am not identical with any minded individual human animal that has had its mental life wiped clean by some brain-washing process, and then replaced by someone else’s mental life. I am not identical with my corpse, again despite the fact that it conventionally bears my proper name—even if it were resurrected as a flesh-eating zombie in some future George Romero-imagined “night of the living dead.” And above all, I am not identical with any physical counterpart of me that is really a natural automaton.

Perhaps most importantly, Minded Animalism is designed to close the gap opened up by Locke’s famous distinction between “the identity of the person” and “the identity of the human being.” Locke’s distinction leads to a seemingly unresolvable dichotomy between the classical Psychological Approach to personal identity, according to which some psychological relation is necessary and sufficient for personal identity, and what Olson calls the classical Somatic Approach, according to which, on the contrary, no psychological relation is necessary or sufficient for personal identity and some fundamentally physical relation is necessary and sufficient for personal identity.

On the one hand, the basic worry about the classical Psychological Approach is that it allows for the following three problematic possibilities:

(i) many different persons can simultaneously or successively occupy one body (for example, multiple personality disorder cases, Locke’s Prince and Pauper case, split brains, etc.),

(ii) one person can simultaneously or successively occupy many bodies (for example, Parfit’s Transporter cases, fission cases or split brain transplants, etc.), and

(iii) there can be a discontinuity of persons over time (for example, disappearance of the person during unconsciousness, amnesia, temporary insanity, etc.).

On the other hand, however, the basic worry about the classical Somatic Approach, including standard Animalism, is that it allows for the following three sharply different, but equally problematic, possibilities:

(i) there must be a strict identity between the human person and a non-minded human fetus in the first and second trimesters,

(ii) there must be a strict identity between the human person and an individual human animal that lives on after its higher brain has been destroyed in an accident or has been removed by surgery, or that has had its mental life has been wiped clean by some brain-washing process and replaced by someone else’s mental life, and

(iii) there must be a strict identity between the human person and either its corpse or its resurrected flesh-eating zombie, or any physical counterpart of it that is also really a natural automaton.

Here are two quick follow-up comments on these possibilities, in order to remove possible misunderstandings.

First, when I say it is “problematic” that according to standard Animalism there must be a strict identity between the human person and a non-minded human fetus in the first and second trimesters, I do not, in this philosophical context, mean that this is morally problematic because of its implications for the morality of abortion and infanticide.[v] I mean merely that it is metaphysically problematic to hold that I, a real person who is inherently a minded animal, am strictly identical with a non-minded animal.

Second, strictly speaking, standard Animalism does not officially require that I be identical with my corpse or resurrected flesh-eating zombie, and as a consequence, standard Animalists have made serious attempts to solve The Corpse Problem.[vi] But even if standard Animalism can solve The Corpse Problem, it (namely, standard Animalism) still does quite implausibly require that I be strictly identical with my unthinking first and second trimester fetus, strictly identical with the individual human creature that lives on after my upper brain has been destroyed by an accident or removed by surgery, and also strictly identical with my naturally mechanized physical counterpart. So in addition to solving The Corpse Problem, standard Animalism also needs to be able to give a non-ad hoc explanation of why personal identity fails to survive the difference between:

(ia) being a living material composite, and

(ib) being a non-living material composite,                          

when at the same time by a standard Animalist hypothesis it does survive what seems to be the equally important difference between:

(iia) being a minded material composite, and

(iib) being a non-minded material composite,

and also when at the same time by a standard Animalist hypothesis it again does survive the equally important difference between:

(iiia) being a natural automaton, a biochemical puppet or moist robot, and

(iiib) being a real living animal.

In any case, now having very briefly surveyed the negative arguments against the Psychological Approach, the Somatic Approach, and standard Animalism, I want to present a positive argument for Minded Animalism. In his insightful paper, “Animalism,” Andrew Bailey offers an evidential argument—that is, an argument for believing some proposition P, as opposed to a direct argument for the truth of P per se—for (more or less) standard Animalism, from what he calls the “association” of myself with my animal body, in response to various criticisms of the standard Animalist doctrine.[vii] I do fully agree with Bailey that his pro-Animalist argument-strategy is generally effective against those criticisms. I also think that he provides some good prima facie positive reasons for believing (more or less) standard Animalism. And I also fully agree with him that although either reductive or non-reductive physicalism is a shared assumption of virtually all contemporary versions of Animalism, nevertheless, when we historically consider classical versions of Animalism—in, for example, the Aristotelian hylomorphic tradition—this clearly shows that Animalists need not be committed to any version of physicalism, whether reductive or non-reductive.

But as against Bailey’s account, according to Minded Animalism, the relation between real human persons and their essentially embodied minded animal lives is profoundly more intimate than mere “association,” or Humean constant conjunction.

So, following up on that critical thought, here is an evidential argument for Minded Animalism that I call The Ecce Homo Argument. This argument is so-named for two reasons:

(i) Pontius Pilate’s scornful words, “ecce homo!,” usually translated as “behold the man!,” as he presents a bound, scourged Jesus Christ, crowned with thorns, to angry mob, just prior to the Crucifixion, as reported in the Bible at John 19:5, and

(ii) Nietzsche’s classic Existentialist text, Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is.

In other words, the evidential content I am drawing upon has significant religious, Existential, and literary echoes. More specifically, however, the argument is two-step. The single premise is a conjunction of sentences derived from Shylock’s amazing speech in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, act 3, scene 1, lines 58-68, by substituting “human minded animal” for “Jew,” “real human person” for “Christian,” and “be identical to” for “resemble.” In turn, the inferential strategy I am using is a direct appeal to phenomenological self-evidence. And finally, the conclusion is intended to express an authoritative rational intuitive justification for belief.[viii] So, projected onto that backdrop, here is the argument.

The Ecce Homo Argument for Minded Animalism

1. I am [a human minded animal]. Hath not [a human minded animal] eyes? Hath not [a human minded animal] hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a [real human person] is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will [be identical to] you in that.

2. Therefore, I have authoritative rational intuitive justification for believing that, by living the life of a human minded animal, I am identical to a real human person.

In my opinion, Shylock’s amazing words present a self-evident Shakespearian phenomenology of our “human, all too human” existence in less than ten sentences. So, in view of the modal fact that classical identity is a necessary reflexive and symmetrical relation, and then reversing the direction of the conclusion in step 2, The Ecce Homo Argument provides authoritative rational intuitive justification for the belief that, as real human persons, we are necessarily human minded animal lives.

In opposition to both the classical Psychological Approach and also the classical Somatic Approach, including standard Animalism, and also by positively appealing to the evidential Ecce Homo Argument, what I want to argue is that the only view that captures all our authoritative philosophical rational intuitions about real personal identity is a three-factor approach, combining

not only (i) biophenomenologically-based psychological elements,

and also (ii) biologically/neurobiologically-based, somatic elements,

but also a third factor, (iii) “freedom-dominance” (which I will describe in more detail immediately below),

as individually necessary, individually insufficient, and jointly sufficient conditions of real personal identity.

Now, let us think back to the first five chapters of this book, and its Natural Libertarian metaphysics of free agency. Minded Animalism directly ties the Natural Libertarian metaphysics of free agency to the metaphysics of real personal identity, via the notion of freedom-dominance. Freedom-dominance says that only an animal life that is sufficiently deeply free (hence sufficiently filled with “ultimate sourcehood” and “up-to-me-ness”) and deeply (non-)morally responsible, insofar as it is metaphysically embedded in the larger free-agency-structure that includes the capacities for veridical psychological freedom and principled authenticity, can be really my own life. So, in addition to the dual “Lockean” or two-factored biophenomenological-and-biological/neurobiological structure of personal identity, which combines both psychological and somatic elements, the third factor that imposes a further substantive necessary condition on the continuing life of real persons, is this:

that enough of the dual biophenomenological and biological/neurobiological events in my conscious, intentional, caring, rational animal life must be also deeply free and deeply (non-)morally responsible, when embedded in the larger free-agency-structure that includes the capacities for veridical psychological freedom, and principled authenticity.

Otherwise, if not enough of the dual biophenomenological and biological/ neurobiological events in my life were deeply free and deeply (non-)morally responsible, then that life would belong ultimately either to an impersonal mechanistic nature, as the Conservation-laws-driven, Turing-computable movements of a natural automaton and/or to some external agency, as its mere causal effect and tool, namely, to The Big Bang, and therefore in neither of these cases would my life really belong to me. A naturally mechanized life and/or a Big-Bang-caused and Big-Bang-manipulated life, a life completely filled with non-veridical psychological freedom, would be nothing but my so-called life and not my own life.

To summarize. Minded Animalism is the combination of the four leading ideas listed above, into a single metaphysical doctrine of real personhood and real personal identity, namely:

(1) the absolute, non-denumerably infinite, intrinsic, objective value of 2D rational animals or real persons,

(2) the distinction between non-autonomous/lower-level/Frankfurtian real persons and autonomous/higher-level/Kantian real persons,

(3) the tripartite criterion of real personal identity, composed of three individually necessary, individually insufficient, and jointly sufficient partial factors, namely:

(3a) a biophenomenological factor,

(3b) a biological/neurobiological factor, and

(3c) a freedom-dominance factor, and

(4) the Kantian/Existentialist thesis that a real person is identical to each and all of the proper parts or stages of her complete, finite, and unique 2D rational animal life-process.

This fourfold real-metaphysical menu makes it possible to showcase Minded Animalism’s special theoretical virtues by critically comparing and contrasting it with Derek Parfit’s influential reductionist theory of personhood and personal identity in Reasons and Persons, which I will do, step-by-step, in chapter 7.

NOTES

[i] Indeed, there is very good reason to believe that an obsession with the moral-political goal of equal treatment, and with reducing relatively minor inequalities between classes of relatively well-off people, is deeply morally misguided, For it is in fact a violation of respect for the human dignity of the poorest members of society, and more generally a violation of respect for the human dignity of oppressed people of all kinds, everywhere, to whom we always morally owe enough to satisfy the moral requirements of respect for their human dignity. See, e.g., H. Frankfurt, On Inequality (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 2015).

[ii] Nevertheless, a real-life 20th century American president, Ronald Reagan, did actually star in a movie about a chimpanzee, called Bedtime for Bonzo.

If, however, I am right that the very idea of the State is rationally unjustified and immoral (see Hanna, Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism, esp. part 2), then it is not altogether surprising that a former second-rate Hollywood actor, a president of the Screen Actors’ Guild during the McCarthy era, and an assiduous informant for HUAC, would eventually get to be both Governor of California and also a two-term US President. As for the current US President, Donald Trump, I’ll leave the relevant extension of the Bedtime for Bonzo analogy to the imagination of the reader.

[iii] See also, e.g., P. Snowdon, “Persons, Animals, and Ourselves,” in C. Gill (ed.), The Person and the Human Mind (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1990), pp. 83-108.

[iv] J.-P. Sartre, “Existentialism is a Humanism,” in Cahn and Markie (eds), Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues, pp. 406-412, at p. 412.

[v] Nevertheless, in another philosophical context, i.e., the context of moral philosophy, this is indeed a problematic implication. See Hanna, Kantian Ethics and Human Existence, ch. 3.

[vi] See, e.g., E. Olson, “Animalism and the Corpse Problem,”Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2004): 265-274, also available at URL = http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/718/1/olsonet3.pdf; D. Hershenov, “Do Dead Bodies Pose a Problem for Biological Approaches to Personal Identity?,” Mind 114 (2005): 31-59; J. LaPorte, “On Two Reasons for Denying that Bodies Can Outlast Life,” Mind 118 (2009): 795-801; and D. Hershenov, “Organisms and their Bodies: A Reply to LaPorte,” Mind 118 (2009): 803-809.

[vii] A. Bailey, “Animalism,” Philosophy Compass 10 (2015): 867-883.

[viii] For a detailed theory of rational intuitions, a priori justification, and a priori knowledge, see Hanna, Cognition, Content, and the A Priori, chs. 6-8.


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