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Philosophia Christi

Volume 20, Issue 1, 2018

Symposium on Dualism and Physicalism

Angus Menuge
Pages 67-72

The First-Person Perspective Is Not a Mere Mental Property

Lynne Rudder Baker maintained that persons are essentially constituted by a first-person perspective. But she argued that this perspective is only an emergent property: it does not require a mental substance. In this paper, I argue that the first-person perspective cannot be a mere mental property, because it presupposes the existence of a mental substance. This makes it incoherent to claim that possession of a first-person perspective is what makes an individual a person. And, intentionality, which is required to have a first-person perspective, also presupposes a mental subject. So the constitution view is not successful in avoiding substance dualism.

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