When is a thing or process a part of a person’s body or bodily process? It seems that though human beings are not normally born with large titanium deposits, a titanium knee implant at a certain point of one’s life is part of one’s knee, part of one’s body just as much as one’s hand, spine, or brain. Similarly, when a person undergoes heart transplant it seems clear that the ‘new’ heart is now a genuine part of her body. Having undergone the transplant successfully, it would be tremendously odd to say that her body was heartless, but connected to some other person’s heart. It is her blood that the heart is in the business of circulating. Continue reading “Where is my mind?”
In the Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle argues that friendship is a necessary requisite for human ‘happiness.’ His broad description of these relationships includes friendships of utility (as between student and teacher) and of pleasure (as between lovers). However, the ancient Greek thinker remains critically uncertain of the summit, the highest culmination, of friendship. In fact, Aristotle claims that ‘perfect’ or ‘complete’ friendship is rare, if not impossible. Most friendships are, therefore, as much about auxiliary benefits as about the individuals themselves.
While most would agree that friendship is a difficult matter to pin down, modern cyber-technology is pushing some to question such ‘liberal’ standards. Archbishop Vincent Nichols recently criticized the kind of friendship promoted through ‘social networking sites’ (i.e., MySpace and Facebook). The Catholic leader maintained that these ‘un-rounded’ communities foster ‘transient relationships’ and are a likely source of the increasing alienation and depression felt amongst today’s youth. Continue reading “MyFriends.com”