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HPP 2013 Peter Hacker "Me, My Mind, and My Body, not to Mention a Self, a Soul and a Person"

Peter Hacker delivers his talk 'Me, My Mind, and My Body, not to Mention a Self, a Soul and a Person' for the 2013 Humane Philosophy Project Conference 'Being a Human, Being a Person'. Kindly re-recorded after the conference.

Me, my Mind and my Body, not to mention a self, a soul and a per s on – A human being has a mind and has a body. He also has a soul, is often said to have a self, and sometimes said to have an 'I' or an 'Ego'. On top of this he is said to be a person. This proliferation of personal property suggests double counting on the manifest. A human being is a subs tance – a living being of a certain kind ( homo sapiens ). The mind a human being has is neither a substance nor a substantial part of a substance, but an array of capacities of intellect and will, and their exercise. The body a human being has is distinct f rom the body (the animate self - moving substance) a human being is. There is no relation between the mind and the body a human being has, although he may have a variety of attitudes towards his intellectual powers and somatic properties. Because human being s are free agents answerable for their deeds, they are persons – moral agents that are bearers of rights and duties. The self and the 'I', as understood by philosophers, are fictions.

P. M. S. Hacker is Emeritus Research Fellow at St John’s College, Oxford. He is a world renowned scholar of Wittgenstein with interests in the history of analytic philosophy, philosophy of mind, and philosophy and cognitive neuroscience. His most recent work is Human Nature: the Categorial Framework (Blackwell, 2007), the first of a trilogy on human nature. The sequel, The Intellectual Power s: a Study of Human Nature (Wiley - Blackwell) will be published in the autumn, as will a volume of his recent essays: Wittgenstein: Comparisons and Context (Oxford University Press).


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