Animalism: new essays on persons, animals, and identity by Stephan Blatti, Paul F. Snowdon

By Stephan Blatti, Paul F. Snowdon

What are we? what's the nature of the human individual? Animalism has a simple solution to those long-standing philosophical questions: we're animals. After being missed for a very long time in philosophical discussions of our nature, this concept has lately received huge aid in metaphysics and philosophy of brain. It has additionally, among philosophers, occasioned robust competition, although it can be acknowledged to be the view assumed by means of a lot of the clinical neighborhood. Essays on Animalism is the 1st quantity to be dedicated to this crucial subject and provides to set the time table for the following degree within the debate.

Containing normally new papers in addition to hugely very important articles that have been lately released somewhere else, this volume's members comprise either rising voices within the debate and plenty of of these who've been instrumental in shaping it. a few of their contributions shield animalism, others criticize it, nonetheless others discover its extra basic implications. The ebook additionally encompasses a significant advent through the editors explaining what animalism is, determining best concerns that benefit realization, and highlighting a number of the concerns that the members have raised.

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Extra resources for Animalism: new essays on persons, animals, and identity

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And in that case, animalism may be true regardless of its failure to explain adequately our practical concerns. But as Shoemaker points out, even if Olson is correct that the transplant intuition may reflect only our practical concerns and thus can be divorced from any particular account of personal identity, it does not follow that the plausibility of a theory of personal identity is not impacted by the degree to which it jibes with our practical concerns. As a result, Olson’s attack on (2) is not sufficiently strong.

On that view, it is our bodies that have our experiences, and think our thoughts. If these other Animalists came to accept the Embodied Part View, they might claim that the animal’s conscious thinking part is not its body but its cerebrum or upper brain. Rather than saying, for example, that Einstein’s body discovered the theory of general relativity, they would say that Einstein’s brain made this discovery. Many people would find that claim more plausible. In a well-known radio quiz programme, people compete for the title Brain of Britain.

14 Olson rejects this view because he assumes that an animal’s thinking part would have to be claimed to be its brain. Though Olson calls it ‘just about conceivable that the brain view might be true’, he does not include this view among the ‘live options’ that are worth considering. 15 What Olson calls the brain view is, however, only one version of the Embodied Part View. This version is not, I believe, absurd. Some other Animalists claim that, rather than having bodies, we are bodies. On that view, it is our bodies that have our experiences, and think our thoughts.

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