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Entries in essences (1)


Anscombe Comments on Identity

In the third essay of the book, Human Life, Action and Ethics, titled Human Essence, Anscombe takes up the question of the relation between grammar and essence in light of Wittgenstein's remark that grammar expresses essence. Beginning with an explanation and brief analysis of Frege on numerical functions and shifting to Wittgenstein's Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, she explores how we use words to express ideas and the nature/status of concepts as a lead-in to her attempt to answer the question implied by the title of this essay (what is meant by "human essence"?). Along the way she has occasion to speak of the concept of identity, which I thought interesting because of the pivotal role that concept has played in our many arguments about ways to explain consciousness on this and earlier lists.

It's often argued by some here that one has to grant that either the mental is identical to the brain processes we discover in conscious, thinking entities' brains via instruments like the fMRI or it is not and, if it is not, then it is something else and therefore irreducibly different and distinct from the brain and its goings on. . . .

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