An Objectivist Critique of “Self-Ownership”

Posted August 2nd, 2012 by michaelsuede
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Paul McKeever does us a great service in the following video, where he argues that there can be no such thing as self-ownership unless you believe in a soul. Obviously Mr. McKeever thinks this disproves the concept of self-ownership because a soul is an imaginary religious thing that has no business in philosophy.

Wow, what a terrible argument

phonon 2 years 47 weeks 5 days 14 min ago

There's no self-ownership because the mind isn't separate from the body and if the mind owns the body then it's like the liver owning the body. I guess someone owning a toothbrush is the same as saying that his liver owns a toothbrush, which is obviously absurd. Therefore, no one can own a toothbrush. No one can own anything. There is no such thing as ownership or property. Congratulations, comrade.

It's not necessary to separate the mind and body to claim self ownership. All that's necessary is the claim itself. If you have consciousness, can claim ownership, and others recognize that claim of ownership, then you have a condition of ownership. That applies to yourself or any of your possessions. It's no more complicated than that.

Not really

michaelsuede 2 years 47 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago

In the statement "I own myself", the I and myself are two distinct individuals. To highlight this, consider the statement, "I can't live with myself" - who is I and who is myself? "I" refers to conscious awareness, "myself" refers to the ego or mind. "I" is the silent observer, where the mind (myself) is the ego or mental noise that is creating mental conflict. To claim ownership of one's self, is to claim the observer is the owner of the ego.

Only if you're schizophrenic or something

phonon 2 years 47 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago

"I" and "myself" are the same person, but the words are different because of this thing called grammar. You're making something way more complicated than it needs to be.

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