Thinking Animals and the Thinking Parts Problem

Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):323-340 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

There is a thinking animal in your chair and you are the only thinking thing in your chair; therefore, you are an animal. So goes the main argument for animalism, the Thinking Animal Argument. But notice that there are many other things that might do our thinking: heads, brains, upper halves, left-hand complements, right-hand complements, and any other object that has our brain as a part. The abundance of candidates for the things that do our thinking is known as the Thinking Parts Problem. Animalists who endorse the Thinking Animal Argument must solve this problem by giving reasons for privileging the animal over its rivals. In order to meet this challenge, some animalists have argued that the best solution is a biological minimalist one. In what follows, I argue that every extant biological minimalist solution to the Thinking Parts Problem fails.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,953

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Incompatibility of Animalism and Eliminativism.Joungbin Lim - 2017 - Philosophical Forum 48 (4):395-407.
Strategy for Animalism.Joungbin Lim - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (4):419-433.
Animalism and the corpse problem.Eric T. Olson - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):265-74.
Bodily Thought and the Corpse Problem.Steinvör Thöll Árnadóttir - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (4):575-592.
Unrestricted animalism and the too many candidates problem.Eric Yang - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):635-652.
Brains.Eric Olson - 2007 - In Eric T. Olson (ed.), What are we? Oxford University Press.
Animal Ethics.Jens Johansson - 2016 - In Stephan Blatti & Paul Snowdon (eds.), Animalism: New Essays on Persons, Animals, and Identity. Oxford University Press.
Animalism.Andrew M. Bailey - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):867-883.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-09-07

Downloads
214 (#97,145)

6 months
15 (#185,332)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Joshua L. Watson
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

References found in this work

Material beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Material Beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Précis of Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):700-703.

View all 24 references / Add more references