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Day of the Dolphin

Updated on January 17, 2015

There exists an old adage

from the days of the scholastic philosophers that says: "If you get yourself into a contradiction, then draw a distinction (to get out of it)." The new use of the term "Non-Human Persons" coming as it does in an age when corporations qualify as "Persons" also, underscores how meaningless language is becoming. And if you draw distinctions long enough, what do you think happens to the original concept of "person"? Or human?

The experts in our society on this theme are, of course, the psychiatrists. It is they who have the power to evaluate and incarcerate us if our "personhood" is defective—obviously! If they are experts in personality disorder, it is they who would also know about personality. And if they have reliable knowledge about personality, they also have it about "personhood" or the idea of "person."

Unlike the philosopher, when the psychiatrist defines person, he does it as a scientist who is handsomely paid and with the status of someone who speaks with authority, not opinion. How is it then that he is not consulted in the drafting of laws pertaining to persons (i.e. on abortion).

The (forensic) psychiatrist would be the appropriate expert for drafting laws that proceed from the definition of person. And if he knows what a person is, he would moreover know what a human is—a category which is even less abstract and closer to his "realist" (under-) graduate training as a doctor.

And of course if our psychiatrist knows what a human is, he would by extension also know about human behaviour, in its deviant form as well as its correct form since they are relative and imply each other. So the psychiatrist would be the best person qualified not only to be a lawyer but also the warden, parole officer and policeman who apply these laws, as well as their supervisors.

Moreover, our expert on human behaviour would also be the appropriate person for other professions based on this expertise no less than the manager for all types of institutions from public to private. His background in math and the hard sciences also bolster his qualifications when rationalisation such as downsizing or outsourcing is necessary as well the counselling required of him for easing employees out of the organisation and into a mental asylum if necessary.

In fact, so ubiquitous is a knowledge of human behaviour and its fallibility, that it is hard to find any higher level profession requiring discretionary powers beyond "bean counting" for which our psychiatrist would not be the best candidate by training. This is why the profession of medicine calls its first degree not a bachelors degree but a doctorate degree. It is also the reason why they call themselves physicians instead of psychics or soothsayers (harking back to the "emprise" that physics acquired over nature by the exclusive use of a language of pure de-contaminated categories such as decimals and symbols as opposed to metaphors).

Hence, psychiatry, or its science which some have labelled "personology" is a generic expertise applicable to all higher order "theory-based practices" regardless of the specialised character of its application on a pedestrian level by the technician or clerk.

Moreover, not only is the psychiatrist-personologist an expert on higher order behaviour, but also the appropriate person to link this to its micro-scopic origins that condition it—the genes! In this way, the psychiatrist is both the overseer of the technician-clerk and the "supplier" of the "primary resources" that this latter makes use of whether in the hospital laboratory or in the artificial intelligence unit of the high tech corporation, military or private.

It is this authority then that permits Medicine to decree which procedures to inaugurate for genetically manufacturing the future soldiers and workers of our society both from below and above as the properly qualified scientist-statesmen of our republic. Now, I know, dear reader, that our society is somewhat lop-sided by having nearly only lawyers in the profession of statesmen and women and that bean-counting-specialisation has creeped into even the legislature which now hears arguments from specialised critics among their ranks, whereas it is quite clear from the practices of the President's or Prime Minister's cabinet that the ruling party's legislators are qualified to handle any dossier—hence, the round robin exchange of dossiers during their careers.

The solution here is to replace the lawyers by the true progeny bearing the correct provenance from Plato's ruling philosopher-kings, the psychiatrists! Since it is only they who have the theoretical training to link the ruling concepts of all the disciplines (person, human, behaviour, nature, language etc...) via personology as well as the deeply technical training to manufacture the aristotelian material products (hylo-morphism) that the "platonic" concepts rule.

( to be continued )


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