TRINPsite 55.33.6 - 55.33.6  
===============  MNI/BoI/1/6/2.HTM 



The classical idea that a person is nothing else than a soul, separate from and independent of a body, was already entertained and believed to be 'amply proved' at least two to two-and-a-half thousand years ago. The argument is founded upon the premise that 'man' is the user or ruler of 'his' body and that 'he' must be either soul, body or both together as one whole. Yet, since the body is not ruling but ruled, the combination of both entities could not be ruling either, and thus it must be the soul which rules where a person rules. In this reasoning it is taken that a soul stands to its body as a user to a thing used, or a ruler to a thing ruled. This however, is a treacherous simile which not only presupposes implicitly that 'the soul' is an entity like a ruler is, but also that the soul and the body it is supposed to rule are entirely separate individuals. (Individuals in an ontological, not necessarily a physical, sense.) Moreover, it is not unimportant that historically the 'thing ruled' is in the first place another person like the ruler `imself. If body and soul belong to one whole at all on this view, then merely as two different, individual parts.

The dualism of body and soul, or 'mind', is a fallacy which readily results from an objectualist ontology. It starts with the correct recognition that there is a distinction between a person and `er body, that a person and `er body are two 'irreducible' entities as it were. No person can be identified with `er own body as the behavior of people is or can be purposeful or intentional, whereas the actions and reactions of mere bodies can be explained in terms of causes and effects. These observations themselves are very plausible, but it is a grave mistake to subsequently treat a 'soul' and a body both as entities and to put them apart in an objectualist frame of reference with all other souls (or 'persons') and bodies. First of all, there is then no way anymore to conceptually determine which body belongs to which soul, because every body is conceptually as much separated from each soul as every other body. This requires the special introduction of some nonultimate relation like 'using' or 'ruling'. Only such a relation can still determine by whom a particular body is possessed, but then a soul is not necessarily the possessor of merely one body anymore. Many classical or traditional, supernaturalist doctrines could, of course, not care less about this possibility because their souls do indeed change bodies as slaveholders change, or used to change, slaves. (The dualist-objectualist world-view of the consubstantiality of body and soul, or 'mind' or 'person', is shown in figure I.

If a dualist of the slaveholder type does admit that every soul has or can have only one body at a time, then `e is apt to speak of composites of one soul or mind and one body, at least in `er subjects` 'earthly' life. Such pairs are either sets of attributes which do not exist on our attributivist construction or wholes of two parts, but then it is these wholes which become the persons rather than the nonbodily parts. If persons were wholes of one body and one soul or mind, however, they would have their own whole-attributes in addition to the attributes of their soul and their body, and they would not rule their bodies anymore; or, if they would, they could rule their soul as well. Thus the soul which started out as the ruler of matter has on this account come down to the level of just another entity like a body or any part thereof. And also a part of a body may in some sense 'use' or 'rule' another part of the same body.

Not only has the objectualist dualist of mind and body not explained, nor clarified anything, `e has merely left `er disciples with more problems. The most tricky of these metaphysical (pseudo-)problems are, firstly, what a soul or mind is as a whole (if it is distinguished from the person-whole having it); secondly, why such a whole as a soul or mind could only 'rule' one body during its life or at any particular time; and thirdly, what that peculiar nonultimate relation of 'ruling' is, and what determines conceptually which body or bodies are to be 'ruled' by which soul. All this metaphysics or supernaturalism has led people but too far astray from insight into the nature of a distinction which is itself genuine, namely that between a person and `er body.

©MVVM, 41-67 ASWW
 Stichting DNI Foundation 


Model of Neutral-Inclusivity
Book of Instruments
Having and Thingness