The Human Person: Two Parts, One Substance

1736 Words 7 Pages
The Human Person: 2 parts, 1 Substance
By Erik Welch
Ohio Dominican University
Philosophy 206 Section 1 - Thesis: Word Count: 220
The human person is composed of two parts, but only one substance. These two parts are namely the physical body and the immaterial soul (Aquinas & Pasnau, 2002). The human must be one substance because two separate substances could not conceivably function together as a single unit, in an effective and efficient manner, the way the human person does. Yet, while many would argue it seems logical that the human person is two parts to one substance, others could argue that while scientists currently cannot completely understand how the human person came to be and the intricate complexities of the
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Some may argue that science can explain all there is to know about the human person. While recognizing that technology is not advanced enough at this moment in time, some philosophers believe that given the evolution of technology and developments in science and given enough time, science will become advanced enough to explain all portions of the human person (Jackson). This means that eventually scientific advancement will provide us the complete knowledge of the human person. To some it is logical that science has come to explain what, in the past, was seemingly inexplicable, and therefore will continue to explain that which we do not currently understand (Jackson). No one would have thought that throughout history certain inventions would have been discovered or developed. For example, none would expect that electricity would have been invented, that Sigmund Freud would come to understand the basics of the mind, that the internet would become the greatest data storage facility in existence, or any number of other inventions. In the same way philosophers argue that science has been making tremendous progress in all fields, including that of the study of the human person, therefore eventually society will completely understand humans …show more content…
For example, the assumption that science will eventually be able to explain all there is to know about the human person, is not founded in complete fact. While yes, the track record of scientific growth is impressive, it is still not perfect and there are and will always be certain subjects that cannot be completely explained by science. This is in no way meant to degrade or diminish the ability of science to explain things, but rather is meant to state that science explains via cause and effect relationships. For science to justify a theory a fact, or to conclude accurate information in any fashion, a clear cause and effect relationship must be observed and confirmed via copious amounts of evidence. There are some things that cannot be completely explained via a cause and effect relationship. Most relevant to this conversation is consciousness: consciousness is not something that science can explain because consciousness is an awareness of the mind and the ability to apply general concepts to specific situations (Chalmers, 1995). It is not coherently conceivable that science will one day reduce consciousness to a simple cause and effect relationship. Consciousness simply exists above the level of cause and effect; therefore, science cannot explain consciousness (Chalmers, 1995). Now, if science cannot explain consciousness – which is understood to be a part of the human

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