Where does the authority of society begin

Personal Identity | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Personhood is the status of being a person

M has given up trying to convince W that disembodied survival is possible. C takes over the conversation by appealing to the case of Julia North as a counterexample to W’s theory that persons are identical with their (living) bodies.

What does being the person that you are, from one day to the next, necessarily consist in

Beheading in the Name of Islam :: Middle East Quarterly

After a refreshing sleep and renewing his acquaintance with John Locke’s Essay (Book II, Ch. 27, 2nd ed), M attacks W’s bodily identity theory of PI. He turns W’s own epistemological argument against her. I can judge that I am the same person as I was yesterday without observing my body (or even if I wake up with a completely different body, like Gregor Samsa in Kafka’s short story, The Metamorphosis, who woke up one morning to find himself changed into a huge insect). Since we can have identity of persons without identity of bodies, persons cannot be identical with their bodies.

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For individuals with complete or total paralysis, a slightly different process may occur during sexual activity. This condition usually arises after a stroke or spinal cord injury. Therefore, a large adjustment is made in terms of the ways that these individuals are expressing themselves sexually. Often times people must relearn how to be sexual by becoming reacquainted with their bodies. This is best accomplished through self-touch in discovering what feels good. With some individuals with spinal cord injuries, depending on the level of injury, the ability to experience a physiological orgasm is no longer possible. This presents a wide array of issues due to the fact that society has historically promoted sex in general as genital and orgasm focused. Persons with spinal cord injuries often speak about how difficult it is to loose the ability to have the sexual release of having a physiological orgasm. Persons say that as they become more familiar with their bodies, they began to notice their increase in level of arousal when different areas of their body are stimulated. Whether it be the neck, ears, arms, nipples, or any area responsive to tactile stimulation, persons with various forms of paralysis report feeling sexually aroused even if a physiological orgasm does not occur. Some persons with paralysis even say that sexual feelings have been moved "into their heads" and that they obtain 'mental orgasms' in the place of physiological orgasms.

Furnish Middle East Quarterly Spring 2005, pp

Persons and Personal Identity; ..

M defends the Cartesian theory that PI consists in the identity of a nonmaterial substance, the soul (mind, spirit). W criticizes the Cartesian theory on epistemological grounds: how do we know that the person we meet today is the same person as the person we met yesterday? Souls are unobservable. So we must be relying on the principle, “Same body, same soul [self].” (399)


A physically disabled individual engaging in sexual activity has been an image not entertained much by mainstream society. However, if an individual is born with or acquires a physical disability during his/her life span, the issue of sexuality becomes one of the most important factors of existence. How is wanting to feel sexually attractive any different between able bodied and disabled persons? Why should this topic be any more important to disabled persons than able bodied persons? The answers to these questions are really quite simple. Although sexual attractiveness and expression may not be a factor of greater importance to persons with physical disabilities compared to able bodied individuals, it is an altogether different experience. Disabled persons are not simply a different version of able bodied persons. Far from it, they comprise a community of individuals with a unique culture filled with social expectations different from able-bodied individuals. These differences are most notable in societal norms and behavioral expectations, including specific assumptions regarding the sexuality of this group. More clearly, these differences are not based upon differences in being human or possessing human emotions, but lay within the realm of what is deemed sexually desirable.

Bodies: The Exhibition - WriteWork

W believes that such survival is impossible because she holds a materialist, bodily identity theory of PI: persons are identical with their bodies.

PHL 240 : persons, minds, bodies - University of Toronto

The sexuality of persons with physical disabilities has been a topic explored by both psychological and medical researchers for the past 25 years. However, it is an issue discussed infrequently in daily social conversations, in addition to being often omitted in books and lectures focusing upon human sexuality. Why does this occur? For the most part it is based on the fact that historically people with disabilities have been viewed by medical practitioners and society in general as "freaks," not fitting into the category of human beings. Interestingly enough, a commonly question asked of people with disabilities is, "Can you have sex?" The root of this question lies in this "nonhuman" theory described above. Human beings are born with sexual drives and die with these drives regardless of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability status. While these other minority groups may be mocked or questioned about sexual styles or expression and specific community sexual practices, this process goes one step further for disabled persons. That is, the original question is actually asking, "are you human enough to have sex?" This is clearly not a question of "how do you do it," but rather a questioning of capabilities to physically execute sexual behavior deemed appropriate by able bodied sexual norms and standards. An alternative explanation of the "can you have sex" question may be that individuals are wondering if persons with disabilities are capable of having penile-vaginal intercourse similar to heterosexual able-bodied individuals. Once again, the question remains, "how really different and weird are disabled people compared to the norm?" Is penile-vaginal intercourse the only form of sexual expression practiced by able-bodied individuals? Well, of course not, able bodied persons engage in a wide range of sexual behaviors. In fact, the same holds true for persons with physical disabilities. However, questions and misinformation surface due to the fact that these topics are not discussed in detail in much of the mainstream literature available on human sexuality. In order to fully explore sexuality and disability-related issues, some basic facts and information must be discussed.