What is a human person, and what is the relation between a person and his or her body? In her third book on the philosophy of mind, Lynne Rudder Baker investigates what she terms the person/body problem and offers a detailed account of the relation between human persons and their bodies. Baker's argument is based on the "Constitution View" of persons and bodies, which aims to show what distinguishes persons from all other beings and to show how we can be fully material beings without being identical to our bodies. This book will be of interest to professional philosophers and graduate students, and will also appeal to psychologists and cognitive scientists interested in the philosophy of mind.
Preface; Part I. The Metaphysical Background: 1. Persons in the material world; 2. The very idea of constitution; 3. The first-person perspective; Part II. The Constitution View Explained: 4. The constitution view of human persons; 5. Personal identity over time; 6. The importance of being a person; Part III. The Constitution View Defended: 7. The coherence of the idea of material constitution; 8. The coherence of the constitution view; 9. In favor of the constitution view.
"Baker (Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst) develops a sustained argument defending view of persons. Her argument links the body to the mind by means of the constitution view..." Choice
"As usual, Ruddr-Baker provides an extremely clear and subtle defense of a provocative position that goes against much mainstream theorising." firstname.lastname@example.org Dec 2001
"I found it a fascinating read, and so will anyone who is interested in the metaphysics of material objects. Those who take seriously the idea that there might really be such thing as constitution, moreover, may well be convinced that Baker has presented the best, most convincing version of 'constitutionalism.'" The Philosophical Review
"...Persons and Bodies is a fine book, carefully argued throughout as well as elegantly and enjoyably written...the book should not be missed." Philosophical Christi