Soulless Organisms?

It is worthwhile comparing Hylomorphic and Animalistic accounts of personal identity since they both identify the human animal and the human person.The topics of comparison will be three: The first is accounting for our intuitions in cerebrum transplant and irreversible coma cases. Hylomorphism, unlike animalism, appears to capture “commonsense” beliefs here, preserves the maxim that identity matters, and does not run afoul of the Only x and y rule. The next topic of comparison reveals how the rival explanations of transplants and comas are both at odds with some compelling biological assumptions. The third issue deals with our practical concerns, most notably, the possibility of an afterlife. It turns out that the hylomorphic treatment of Purgatory raises the spectra of the “too many thinkers” problem and some considerable unfairness. Contrary to expectations, an animalist insistence on uninterrupted bodily continuity between this life and the next does not involve deceptive body snatching
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David Hershenov (2008). A Hylomorphic Account of Personal Identity Thought Experiments. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 82 (3):481 - 502.
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