I am overwhelmingly unconvinced by an argument in Lynne Rudder Baker's book Persons and Bodies, to the effect that we are not just animals. She writes--
The argument seems to be: (1) A human organism is just a survival machine. In fact, all organisms are mere survival machines, "if evolutionary biology is correct" (p. 12). But (2) a person is more than a survival machine. Most importantly, a person has a first-person perspective--a capacity for self-awareness (etc.). So, (C) persons are not identical to human organisms. She proposes the relationship is not identity but constitution. I am a person constituted by an animal, like a statue is constituted by a lump of clay. Biology, then, is demoted--
Update 5:20 pm--Having now reread chapter 1 three times, I'm increasingly uncertain what the argument is. Baker says human organisms are "merely 'survival machines'" and persons are "more". What's this "more" that persons have and organisms lack? I thought it was a first person perspective. But on second and third reading, it's not so clear what contrast she has in mind and peeking ahead in the book, I see my first interpretation may not hold up. To be continued, after I've read more of the book....
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