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  1. David B. Hershenov, Perdure and Murder.
    The rich resources of the Four-Dimensional metaphysics have been brought to bear upon many traditional philosophical problems in recent years. Alas, the implications of Four-Dimensionalism for bioethics have gone largely unexplored. Hud Hudson is the rare exception. Relying upon a Four- Dimensional metaphysics of temporal parts and a belief in unrestricted composition, he argues that there is little reason to identify the perduring human embryonic animal and the perduring human person. He makes the intriguing claim that if abortion is wrong, (...)
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  2. David B. Hershenov, Restitution and Reconciliation.
    I. Introduction. The debt/atonement model of punishment seeks to reconcile the criminal with his direct victim, as well as the larger community, through restorative mechanisms of restitution and atonement.[i] As a result, it has certain advantages over better known rivals.[ii] Unlike retribution, reform and deterrence, the approach does some good, first and foremost, for the victim of the crime. But it can also benefit the victimizer and indirectly victimized members of the larger community. Competing theories usually profit but one of (...)
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  3. David B. Hershenov & Rose J. Koch, The Relevance of Metaphysics to the Morality of Abortion.
    Earl Conee has argued that the metaphysics of personal identity is irrelevant to the morality of abortion. He claims that doing all the substantial work in abortion arguments are moral principles and they garner no support from rival metaphysics theories. Conee argues that not only can both immaterialist and materialist theories of the self posit our origins at fertilization, but positing such a beginning doesn’t even have any significant impact on the permissibility of abortion. We argue that this thesis is (...)
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  4. David B. Hershenov (2013). Who Doesn't Have a Problem of Too Many Thinkers? American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (2):203.
    Animalists accuse the advocates of psychological approaches of identity of having to suffer a Problem of Too Many Thinkers. Eric Olson, for instance, is an animalist who maintains that if the person is spatially coincident but numerically distinct from the animal, then provided that the person can use its brain to think, so too can the physically indistinguishable animal. However, not all defenders of psychological views of identity assume the spatial coincidence of the person and the animal. Jeff McMahan and (...)
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  5. David B. Hershenov (2012). Personal Identity. In Robert Barnard Neil Manson (ed.), Continuum Companion to Metaphysics. 198.
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  6. David B. Hershenov (2011). Soulless Organisms? American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 85 (3):465-482.
    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 (...)
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  7. James J. Delaney, Dunleavy Hall, David B. Hershenov & Park Hall (2010). The Metaphysical Basis of a Liberal Organ Procurement Policy. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (4):303-315.
    There remains a need to properly analyze the metaphysical assumptions underlying two organ procurement policies: presumed consent and organ sales. Our contention is that if one correctly understands the metaphysics of both the human body and material property, then it will turn out that while organ sales are illiberal, presumed consent is not. What we mean by illiberal includes violating rights of bodily integrity, property, or autonomy, as well as arguing for or against a policy in a manner that runs (...)
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  8. David B. Hershenov & James J. Delaney (2010). The Metaphysical Basis of a Liberal Organ Procurement Policy. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (4):303-315.
    There remains a need to properly analyze the metaphysical assumptions underlying two organ procurement policies: presumed consent and organ sales. Our contention is that if one correctly understands the metaphysics of both the human body and material property, then it will turn out that while organ sales are illiberal, presumed consent is not. What we mean by illiberal includes violating rights of bodily integrity, property, or autonomy, as well as arguing for or against a policy in a manner that runs (...)
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  9. David B. Hershenov (2009). Organisms and Their Bodies: Response to LaPorte. Mind 118 (471):803-809.
    I argue that a corpse cannot be identified with an earlier living body, because it acquires and retains parts in different ways. Contrary to what Joseph LaPorte maintains, there can be neither one principle of part-assimilation nor a non-disjunctive account of persistence conditions that can establish the identity of a living body and a later corpse.
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  10. David B. Hershenov (2009). Problems with a Constitution Account of Persons. Dialogue 48 (02):291-.
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  11. David B. Hershenov (2009). Reason in Context. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 83:77-87.
    One often hears Catholic and non-Catholic politicians and private citizens claim “I am personally opposed to abortion . . . ” but add that it is morally permissible for others to accept abortion. We consider a Rawlsian defense of this position based on the recognition that one’s opposition to abortion stems from acomprehensive doctrine which is incompatible with Public Reason. We examine a second defense of this position based upon respecting the autonomy of others and a third grounded in the (...)
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  12. David B. Hershenov (2009). The 'I'm Personally Opposed to Abortion But . . .' Argument. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 83:77-87.
    One often hears Catholic and non-Catholic politicians and private citizens claim “I am personally opposed to abortion . . . ” but add that it is morally permissible for others to accept abortion. We consider a Rawlsian defense of this position based on the recognition that one’s opposition to abortion stems from acomprehensive doctrine which is incompatible with Public Reason. We examine a second defense of this position based upon respecting the autonomy of others and a third grounded in the (...)
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  13. David B. Hershenov (2008). A Hylomorphic Account of Thought Experiments Concerning Personal Identity. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 82 (3):481-502.
    Hylomorphism offers a third way between animalist approaches to personal identity, which maintain that psychology is irrelevant to our persistence, andneo-Lockean accounts, which deny that humans are animals. This paper provides a Thomistic account that explains the intuitive responses to thought experiments involving brain transplants and the transformation of organic bodies into inorganic ones. This account does not have to follow the animalist in abandoning the claim that it is our identity which matters in survival, or countenance the puzzles of (...)
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  14. David B. Hershenov (2008). Lowe's Defence of Constitution and the Principle of Weak Extensionality. Ratio 21 (2):168–181.
    E.J. Lowe is one of the few philosophers who defend both the existence of spatially coincident entities and the Principle of Weak Extensionality that no two objects which have proper parts have exactly the same proper parts at the same time. Lowe maintains that when spatially coincident things like the statue and the lump of bronze are in a constitution relation, the constituted entity (the statue) has parts that the constituting entity (the lump) doesn’t, hence the compatibility with Weak Extensionality. (...)
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  15. David B. Hershenov (2008). Misunderstanding the Moral Equivalence of Killing and Letting Die. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 8 (2):239-244.
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  16. David B. Hershenov (2007). A More Palatable Epicureanism. American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2):171 - 180.
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  17. David B. Hershenov (2007). Death, Dignity, and Degradation. Public Affairs Quarterly 21 (1):21-36.
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  18. David B. Hershenov (2007). Nancey Murphy Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies? (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006). Pp. X+154. £33.25 (Hbk), £12.99 (Pbk). ISBN 0521676762. [REVIEW] Religious Studies 43 (2):237-242.
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  19. David B. Hershenov (2007). The Memory Criterion and the Problem of Backward Causation. International Philosophical Quarterly 47 (2):181-185.
    Lockeans, as well as their critics, have pointed out that the memory criterion is likely to mean that none of us were ever fetuses or even infants due to the lack of direct psychological connections between then and now. But what has been overlooked is that the memory criterion leads to either backward causation and a violation of Locke’s own very plausible principle that we can have only one origin, or backward causation and a number of overlapping people where we (...)
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  20. David B. Hershenov (2006). Explaining the Psychological Appeal of Viability. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 6 (4):681-686.
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  21. David B. Hershenov (2006). Intelligence and the Philosophy of Mind. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 80:225-236.
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  22. David B. Hershenov (2006). Shoemaker's Problem of Too Many Thinkers. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 80:225-236.
    Shoemaker maintains that when a functionalist theory of mind is combined with his belief about individuating properties and the well-known cerebrumtransplant thought experiment, the resulting position will be a version of the psychological approach to personal identity that can avoid The Problem of Too Many Thinkers. I maintain that the costs of his solution—that the human animal is incapable of thought—are too high. Shoemaker also has not provided an argumentagainst there existing a merely conscious being that is not essentially self-conscious (...)
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  23. David B. Hershenov (2006). The Death of a Person. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (2):107 – 120.
    Drawing upon Lynne Baker's idea of the person derivatively possessing the properties of a constituting organism, I argue that even if persons aren't identical to living organisms, they can each literally die a biological death. Thus we can accept that we're not essentially organisms and can still die without having to admit that there are two concepts and criteria of death as Jeff McMahan and Robert Veatch do. Furthermore, we can accept James Bernat's definition of "death" without having to insist, (...)
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  24. David B. Hershenov (2005). Persons as Proper Parts of Organisms. Theoria 71 (1):29-37.
    Defenders of the Psychological Approach to Personal Identity (PAPI) insist that the possession of some kind of mind is essential to us. We are essentially thinking beings, not living creatures. We would cease to exist if our capacity for thought was irreversibly lost due to a coma or permanent vegetative state. However, the onset of such conditions would not mean the death of an organism. It would survive in a mindless state. But this would appear to mean that before the (...)
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  25. David B. Hershenov & Rose J. Koch (2005). How a Hylomorphic Metaphysics Constrains the Abortion Debate. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 5 (4):751-764.
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  26. David B. Hershenov (2003). Can There Be Spatially Coincident Entities of the Same Kind? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):1 - 22.
    Many of the reasons that lead Locke and others to maintain that there exist spatially coincident entities of different kinds would also suggest that there are spatially coincident entities of the same kind. After rejecting an attempt by Christopher Hughes to modify _The Ship of Theseus in order to show the existence of spatially coincident entities, I present a scenario of spatially coincident roads. Readers can avoid the conclusion of spatial coincidence only at the expense of denying the reality of (...)
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  27. David B. Hershenov (2002). A Puzzle About the Demands of Morality. Philosophical Studies 107 (3):275 - 290.
    Two thought experiments are provided which elicit whatappear to be opposing judgments about the demands of morality.One Unger-inspired thought experiment suggests that a personmust give up four decades of earnings just to save a singlelife. The other evokes the contrary intuition that onedoesn't have to labor forty years without compensation inorder to prevent the death of an individual. However,considerations of consistency do not demand that weabandon one of our intuitive responses. This is becausethere is a morally significant difference between thetwo (...)
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  28. David B. Hershenov (2002). Olson's Embryo Problem. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (4):502-511.
  29. David B. Hershenov (2002). Scattered Artifacts. Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (2):211-216.
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  30. David B. Hershenov (2002). Van Inwagen, Zimmerman, and the Materialist Conception of Resurrection. Religious Studies 38 (4):451-469.
    Peter van Inwagen's brand of materialism leads him to speculate that God actually removes the deceased at the moment of death and replaces the corpse with a simulacrum that decays or is cremated. Dean Zimmerman offers an account of resurrection that is loyal to Peter van Inwagen's commitment to a materialist metaphysics, with its stress on the earlier life processes of an organism immanently causing its later ones, while maintaining that resurrection is possible without involving God in any ‘body snatching’. (...)
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  31. David B. Hershenov (2001). Abortions and Distortions: An Analysis of Morally Irrelevant Factors in Thomson's Violinist Thought Experiment. Social Theory and Practice 27 (1):129-148.
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  32. David B. Hershenov (2001). Abortions and Distortions. Social Theory and Practice 27 (1):129-148.
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  33. David B. Hershenov (2001). Do Dead Bodies Pose a Problem for Biological Approaches to Personal Identity? Mind 114 (453):31-59.
    One reason why the Biological Approach to personal identity is attractive is that it doesn’t make its advocates deny that they were each once a mindless fetus.[i] According to the Biological Approach, we are essentially organisms and exist as long as certain life processes continue. Since the Psychological Account of personal identity posits some mental traits as essential to our persistence, not only does it follow that we could not survive in a permanently vegetative state or irreversible coma, but it (...)
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  34. David B. Hershenov (2000). An Argument for Limited Human Cloning. Public Affairs Quarterly 14 (3):245-258.
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  35. David B. Hershenov (1999). Restitution and Revenge. Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):79-94.
    The aim of this paper is to provide a broad sketch of the advantages of the debt/atonement approach to punishment. Such an approach is appealing for it can benefit both the victim and the remorseful victimizer. Compared to other theories, it gives a fuller and more unified account of our intuitions about paying debts, doing penance, alleviating guilt, granting forgiveness, and offsetting privileges, pleasures and burdens. The theory also allows us to avoid justifying punishment on the basis of using some (...)
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  36. David B. Hershenov (1999). The Problem of Potentiality. Public Affairs Quarterly 13 (3):255-271.
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  37. David B. Hershenov (1995). The Limits of Liberal Tolerance. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 9 (2):27-34.