Philosophical Psychology 20 (5):595-608 (2007)

Authors
Stephan Blatti
University of Maryland, College Park
Abstract
The rare condition known as dicephalus occurs when (prior to implantation) a zygote fails to divide completely, resulting in twins who are conjoined below the neck. Human dicephalic twins look like a two-headed person, with each brain supporting a distinct mental life. Jeff McMahan has recently argued that, because they instance two of us but only one animal, dicephalic twins provide a counterexample to the animalist's claim that each of us is identical with a human animal. To the contrary, I argue that in cases of dicephalus it is obvious neither that there is one animal nor that there are two of us. Consequently, the animalist criterion does not straightforwardly apply to cases of dicephalus. I defend an account of dicephalus that is both sensitive to the complexity of twinning phenomena and not inconsistent with animalism. In my view, dicephalic twins are a borderline case of the concept HUMAN ANIMAL. I conclude with some speculative remarks concerning the normative import (if any) of my claim that dicephalic twins are a borderline case
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515080701540867
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,360
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Material Beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.

View all 41 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Generic Animalism.Andrew M. Bailey & Peter van Elswyk - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (8):405-429.
Animalism.Andrew M. Bailey - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):867-883.
Varieties of Animalism.Allison Krile Thornton - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (9):515-526.
Animalism.Stephan Blatti - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Conjoined twinning & biological individuation.Alexandria Boyle - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2395-2415.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Borderline Cases and Bivalence.Diana Raffman - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (1):1-31.
How to Respond to Borderline Cases.Dan López de Sa - 2010 - In Sebastiano Moruzzi & Richard Dietz (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Oxford University Press.
The Remnant-Person Problem.Eric T. Olson - forthcoming - In Stephan Blatti Paul F. Snowdon (ed.), Essays on Animalism. Oxford University Press.
The Organism View Defended.S. Matthew Liao - 2006 - The Monist 89 (3):334-350.
Animalism and the Corpse Problem.Eric T. Olson - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):265-74.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
179 ( #58,792 of 2,448,858 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #97,100 of 2,448,858 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes