Personhood
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12-02-2014, 07:55 AM
RE: Personhood
(12-02-2014 05:17 AM)LostandInsecure Wrote:  The problem with this, Chippy, is that you are talking about a dead person. Adrian specified being alive as a criteria for being a person. Where I live someone who is brain dead is considered legally dead and is issued a death certificate.
IMO any alive human individual who has been born is a person, but that's just my opinion.

But the point is that a brain-dead human can be kept "alive" with artificial respiration so appealing to "aliveness" doesn't get you anywhere. The problem of personhood is in defining what being "alive" means. It is a facile truism to say, "alive humans are persons".
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12-02-2014, 08:10 AM
RE: Personhood
(12-02-2014 05:19 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  
Dictionary.com Wrote:per·son [pur-suhn]
noun
1.
a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons.
2.
a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.
3.
Sociology . an individual human being, especially with reference to his or her social relationships and behavioral patterns as conditioned by the culture.
4.
Philosophy . a self-conscious or rational being.
5.
the actual self or individual personality of a human being: You ought not to generalize, but to consider the person you are dealing with.

If you accept definitions 1. and 2. than yes; functional brain or not, it (no idea of the gender, can't watch the video) is still a person by virtue of it being a human.

4. however might be a bit difficult; I do not know the extent at which the child lacks brain as you so put it; it must have something of a brain otherwise it would simply not be alive, but my lack of knowledge prevents me from saying if it is able to reason or if it is conscious of its own existence.

3. and 5. present challenges: They both refer to things which explicitly require a even slightly functional brain (personality and social relationships), but they also both refer to the fact of being human (An individual being, the actual self).

Sorry, but looking in the dictionary to resolve a complex neurological and bioethical problem is itself brain-dead. Who do you think writes dictionaries? Omniscient beings from another galaxy? Lexicographers compile dictionaries based on vernacular--they don't have a privileged conceptual insight.

So in your bizarre little lexicographically-oriented universe the peak body of neurologists in the USA should have just looked up the word "dead" in a general dictionary of American-English to resolve the initial problem of defining death?

Dead = not alive Problem solved!

Really? That is the extent of your analytical ability.

Rolleyes

None of the senses of the word (1-5) resolve the issue and sense 4 is false.
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12-02-2014, 09:42 AM
RE: Personhood
(12-02-2014 07:02 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(11-02-2014 07:50 AM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  He has a brain stem. There is a form of function and sentience carried out by the subcortical structures of the brain of which the brain stem is a member.

There is no "sentience" located in the brain stem. "Reflexes" are located there, (also called "involuntary" responses). Cognition occurs in the neocortex, which they lack.
http://science.education.nih.gov/supplem...esson3.htm
Anencephalics probably do not feel pain, and if they do, it is not "experienced" in the same way infants with an intact neocortex experience pain, as they have no memories, and do not "process" anything.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neocortex

Edit : In medical circles, this "child" would never be referred to as an "it".
When "something" is delivered or removed that is not identifiable, (or looks like something that is very "uncommon") it's called "(the) products of conception", (by OB-GYN professionals).

According to his family, he does respond subjectively to stimuli. I've also read a family's account of raising an adopted daughter who was also only born with a brain stem. She lived for 7 years and did appear to have a personality and respond subjectively to stimuli. Given these observations and the other things we know about the brain, that
1) No brain function is possible without the brain stem, and
2) When a half of the brain is missing, the other half eventually can compensate for a great deal,
It appears that there is much more we don't know about the brain than we do know, and that there is some form of sentience (feeling and subjectivity) functioning in the brain stem.
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12-02-2014, 09:50 AM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2014 09:54 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Personhood
(12-02-2014 09:42 AM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  
(12-02-2014 07:02 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  There is no "sentience" located in the brain stem. "Reflexes" are located there, (also called "involuntary" responses). Cognition occurs in the neocortex, which they lack.
http://science.education.nih.gov/supplem...esson3.htm
Anencephalics probably do not feel pain, and if they do, it is not "experienced" in the same way infants with an intact neocortex experience pain, as they have no memories, and do not "process" anything.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neocortex

Edit : In medical circles, this "child" would never be referred to as an "it".
When "something" is delivered or removed that is not identifiable, (or looks like something that is very "uncommon") it's called "(the) products of conception", (by OB-GYN professionals).

According to his family, he does respond subjectively to stimuli. I've also read a family's account of raising an adopted daughter who was also only born with a brain stem. She lived for 7 years and did appear to have a personality and respond subjectively to stimuli. Given these observations and the other things we know about the brain, that
1) No brain function is possible without the brain stem, and
2) When a half of the brain is missing, the other half eventually can compensate for a great deal,
It appears that there is much more we don't know about the brain than we do know, and that there is some form of sentience (feeling and subjectivity) functioning in the brain stem.

A brain stem is not "half a brain". It's NO brain. Neuroscience knows where cognition takes place and it's NOT in the brainstem. They may have observed responses to stimuli. That does not amount to cognition. Unicellular organisms respond to stimuli. Brain functions are observed IN ACTION in MRI's and PET scans. NO "cognition" goes on in the brain stem. Period. NO Neuroscientist postulates that. You appear to have no training in the field.

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12-02-2014, 11:30 AM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2014 02:49 AM by BeccaBoo.)
RE: Personhood
(12-02-2014 09:50 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(12-02-2014 09:42 AM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  According to his family, he does respond subjectively to stimuli. I've also read a family's account of raising an adopted daughter who was also only born with a brain stem. She lived for 7 years and did appear to have a personality and respond subjectively to stimuli. Given these observations and the other things we know about the brain, that
1) No brain function is possible without the brain stem, and
2) When a half of the brain is missing, the other half eventually can compensate for a great deal,
It appears that there is much more we don't know about the brain than we do know, and that there is some form of sentience (feeling and subjectivity) functioning in the brain stem.

A brain stem is not "half a brain". It's NO brain. Neuroscience knows where cognition takes place and it's NOT in the brainstem. They may have observed responses to stimuli. That does not amount to cognition. Unicellular organisms respond to stimuli. Brain functions are observed IN ACTION in MRI's and PET scans. NO "cognition" goes on in the brain stem. Period. NO Neuroscientist postulates that. You appear to have no training in the field.

I didn't say I had any "training in the field."

Cognition is not the same as sentience. Subjective response to stimuli is a more refined kind of response to stimuli. A computer can respond to stimuli but not in a subjective manner, for instance, it only does what it has been programmed to do.
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12-02-2014, 03:13 PM
RE: Personhood
(12-02-2014 08:10 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(12-02-2014 05:19 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  If you accept definitions 1. and 2. than yes; functional brain or not, it (no idea of the gender, can't watch the video) is still a person by virtue of it being a human.

4. however might be a bit difficult; I do not know the extent at which the child lacks brain as you so put it; it must have something of a brain otherwise it would simply not be alive, but my lack of knowledge prevents me from saying if it is able to reason or if it is conscious of its own existence.

3. and 5. present challenges: They both refer to things which explicitly require a even slightly functional brain (personality and social relationships), but they also both refer to the fact of being human (An individual being, the actual self).

Sorry, but looking in the dictionary to resolve a complex neurological and bioethical problem is itself brain-dead. Who do you think writes dictionaries? Omniscient beings from another galaxy? Lexicographers compile dictionaries based on vernacular--they don't have a privileged conceptual insight.

So in your bizarre little lexicographically-oriented universe the peak body of neurologists in the USA should have just looked up the word "dead" in a general dictionary of American-English to resolve the initial problem of defining death?

Dead = not alive Problem solved!

Really? That is the extent of your analytical ability.

Rolleyes

None of the senses of the word (1-5) resolve the issue and sense 4 is false.

The original post asked whether the child in the video, as per it's condition of "not having a brain" as the OP practically said, is a person rather than an "it".

In order to answer that one must first define the word "person" to establish if it meets the definition; if something cannot be defined as a particular something, it is clearly not that something.

Far as I am concerned, it is a human. as such by definition it is a person.

Also, yes something that is dead tends not to be alive, very good, chippy.


But if you wish to not use defined words, that's fine, and I bid you a monkey apple seed ricin.

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12-02-2014, 05:59 PM
RE: Personhood
(12-02-2014 11:30 AM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  Cognition is not the same as sentience.

True. Having only a brainstem will give you only basic sentience.

Quote:Response to stimuli is a more refined kind of response to stimuli.

???

Quote:A computer can respond to stimuli but not in a subjective manner, for instance, it only does what it has been programmed to do.

Having only a brainstem will not give you a subjectivity as you or I experience it. The infant in question will experience sensations in some way but he will not have an integrated and complex subjective life because all that comes from the cerebrum, which he does not have. Bear in mind that he has no short- or long-term memory, no emotions, no thoughts, no capacity for reflexive thought and no sense of subjective, experiencing "I". His interaction with the environment and with his own body is confined to primitive stimulus-response processing.
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12-02-2014, 06:25 PM
RE: Personhood
How far would you take it?

Is a person without functioning eyes still a "person" even though they aren't "whole?"


I'll guarantee that poor mother certainly thinks of him as a person, and important to her.
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12-02-2014, 06:30 PM
RE: Personhood
The OP's comment that the medicine used for this baby could be used on 'actual children' is one of the ugliest statements I have ever heard someone make.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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12-02-2014, 06:54 PM
RE: Personhood
(12-02-2014 03:13 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  In order to answer that one must first define the word "person" to establish if it meets the definition; if something cannot be defined as a particular something, it is clearly not that something.

What is in question is what it means to be a person, i.e. to possses personhood; so looking up the word in the dictionary doesn't help because the vernacular definition is what is in question.

As I have already explained to you, a general dictionary is compiled by lexicographers on the basis of vernacular. Lexicographers haven't somehow resolved every single conceptual problem. All you have done is trade in tautologies and you are trying to pass-off this naive approach to a difficult conceptual problem as something of value.

What you are doing is committing what some call the dictionary fallacy which can be considered a sub-type of the etymological fallacy.
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