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Unmournable Bodies | The New Yorker
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But then W wonders why we should place such importance on the having the original brain rather the duplicate brain in determining the identity of the persons who exist after the operation. Suppose Gretchen’s original brain is placed in a new body A, and duplicate of her brain is placed in a new body B. Why is Gretchen-A really Gretchen, and Gretchen-B not? Psychologically they are indiscernible, and the persons themselves may have no idea which brain they have received. (415)
Personal Identity | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
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)
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.
Personhood is the status of being a person
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.
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.
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Caitlin Doughty, Artisanal Undertaker | The New Yorker
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Short Essay on – Save Tigers (463 Words)
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If you want to preserve the tigers, you must stop the poaching first
Persons with mobility impairments also comprise a varied group of individuals. Some persons use crutches or walkers to ambulate due to muscular, bone, or joint conditions while others use prosthetics due to limb amputations or being born without an arm or leg. Persons who use wheelchairs do so due to paralysis caused by stoke or spinal cord injury, muscular or bone conditions, or limb amputations. In general, individuals who are wheelchair users experience a wide variety of physical agility. Those persons who do not deal with a loss in physical sensation mostly deal with finding comfortable body positions in which to engage in sexual activity. Depending upon the disability status of a disabled persons partner, physical limitations may or may not be that large of a problem. That is, when an able bodied person is involved in sexual activity with a mobility impaired person, he/she may be able to move around or move their partner's body around so that a mutually comfortable position can be obtained for various activities. Whether it be kissing, touching, oral sex, penile-vaginal intercourse, or anal intercourse, individuals can negotiate the most comfortable positions available.
Hamlet Essay at Absolute Shakespeare
From the beginning, personhood was flexible and adaptable. The idea that corporations have some of the rights of persons, for example, is centuries old. As William S. Laufer has written in “Corporate Bodies and Guilty Minds: The Failure of Corporate Criminal Liability,” the seeds of corporate personhood were sown in the 1300s under King Edward III, when corporations attained some property rights. This example from the Common Laws of England in 1765 lays out the distinction that still vexes us: “Natural persons are such as the God of nature formed us; artificial are such as are created and devised by human laws for the purposes of society and government; which are called corporations or bodies politic.” Then as now, corporate personhood granted a business privileges while sparing the members from blame.
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