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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 16, 2017

Ben’s body reads the Guardian

  • Eric T. Olson

    Eric Olson

    Eric Olson (b. 1963) is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield. His research is primarily in metaphysics and related areas. Topics of particular interest include personal identity, material objects, time, and death. His publications include “Properties as parts of ordinary objects” (2017) and What are we? A study in personal ontology (2007).

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From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies

Abstract

We can say Ben is reading, but not Ben’s body is reading. The relational account says that this is because our bodies are objects that do not read. On the false-implication account, by contrast, to say Ben’s body is reading is to say that Ben is reading, while implying, falsely, that reading is some sort of brute-physical property. Besides being metaphysically neutral, this sort of view explains far better why we cannot say such things as Ben’s mind is six feet tall. But neither account explains why we cannot say Ben’s body is six feet tall. The article argues that a variant of the false-implication account can solve this puzzle.

About the author

Eric T. Olson

Eric Olson

Eric Olson (b. 1963) is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield. His research is primarily in metaphysics and related areas. Topics of particular interest include personal identity, material objects, time, and death. His publications include “Properties as parts of ordinary objects” (2017) and What are we? A study in personal ontology (2007).

Acknowledgements

I thank Jenny Saul, Karsten Witt, and Hongbing Yu for comments on earlier versions.

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Published Online: 2017-11-16
Published in Print: 2017-11-27

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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