David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 150 (2):255-270 (2010)
According to one argument for Animalism about personal identity, animal , but not person , is a Wigginsian substance concept—a concept that tells us what we are essentially. Person supposedly fails to be a substance concept because it is a functional concept that answers the question “what do we do?” without telling us what we are. Since person is not a substance concept, it cannot provide the criteria for our coming into or going out of existence; animal , on the other hand, can provide such criteria. This argument has been defended by Eric Olson, among others. I argue that this line of reasoning fails to show Animalism to be superior to the Psychological Approach, for the following two reasons: (1) human animal , animal , and organism are all functional concepts, and (2) the distinction between what something is and what it does is illegitimate on the reading that the argument needs.
|Keywords||Personal identity Substance concepts Animalism The Psychological Approach Animal Person Eric Olson|
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Citations of this work BETA
Matthew J. Barker (2013). Biological Explanations, Realism, Ontology, and Categories (Reviewing J. Dupré, Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology). Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):617-622.
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