[ExI] agency-based personal identity
thomas at thomasoliver.net
Thu Jun 28 08:59:30 UTC 2007
Jef Allbrigh wrote:
> On 6/27/07, Thomas <thomas at thomasoliver.net> wrote:
>> I think of will as agency.
> Consider a newborn infant. It functions on its own behalf, at least
> enough to find and suck on a nipple, but it yet lacks a model of
> itself as a self.
> Is there agency?
> It certainly acts on its environment relative to its values so there
> is agency, not yet in its own mind, but assigned in the minds of other
> Is there a will?
> Whose will would be exercised, when there is not yet a model of self?
> - Jef
Yes, I agree. That illustrates the need to discriminate the two
terms. The sufficient expression of will requires capacity for self
awareness. The newborn's latent capacity makes me consider her a pre-
person not responsible for, say, moral agency -- instantly loved and
valued as much or more than a fully responsible person -- with great
delight in every evidence of agency. And now I shall sleep like a
baby. -- Thomas
Thomas at ThomasOliver.net
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