Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Life imitates life

An old post over at Cabeza's talked about a co-worker who looked like the Lorax. Similarly, a woman at the university here bears an uncanny resemblance to Elton John.

As Cabeza obsoives, the obvious question hanging in front of everyone's mind is whether the people who look like things, or people, or fantastical creatures actually know what or who they look like. It seems that it would be obvious, or at least reasonably clear that Mr. Lorax or Elton Jane would be aware of their resemblance. But if so, that only raises a more perplexing question: why don't they do something to change their appearance?

In criminal law, each crime requires not only the criminal act itself, but criminal intent as well. Intent can be established not just if the defendant actually intended the act, but also if the defendant had knowledge that his actions would lead to that result, or if he knew that there was a risk that his actions would lead to the criminal result and proceeded reckless to that risk. So my question is this: if the resemblers know what they resemble, does that mean that they in some way intend to resemble? Can we infer intent from the fact that they act recklessly toward the risk that they might resemble singers and mythical forest protectors?

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