Unrestricted animalism and the too many candidates problem

Philosophical Studies 172 (3):635-652 (2015)
Authors
Eric Yang
Santa Clara University
Abstract
Standard animalists are committed to a stringent form of restricted composition, thereby denying the existence of brains, hands, and other proper parts of an organism . One reason for positing this near-nihilistic ontology comes from various challenges to animalism such as the Thinking Parts Argument, the Unity Argument, and the Argument from the Problem of the Many. In this paper, I show that these putatively distinct arguments are all instances of a more general problem, which I call the ‘Too Many Candidates Problem’ . Given my formulation of the problem, it is evident that standard animalists are mistaken in believing that restricting composition is the only solution. I show that there is another option for solving the TMC. The advantage of such a position, which I call ‘unrestricted animalism’, is that it is compatible with unrestricted composition and the existence of brains and other proper parts of an organism. I conclude by sketching several strategies one can take regarding this latter solution to the TMC
Keywords Animalism  Composition  Personal ontology
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-014-0323-y
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References found in this work BETA

Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
The Bodily Criterion of Personal Identity.Eric T. Olson - 2006 - In Fraser MacBride (ed.), Identity and Modality. Clarendon Press. pp. 242.
Theories of Location.Josh Parsons - 2007 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 3:201.
What Are We?Eric T. Olson - 2007 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (s 5-6):37-55.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Animalism.Andrew M. Bailey - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):867-883.
Varieties of Animalism.Allison Krile Thornton - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (9):515-526.
Thinking Animals and the Thinking Parts Problem.Joshua L. Watson - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):323-340.
The Compatibility of Property Dualism and Substance Materialism.Eric Yang - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3211-3219.
Editor's Introduction.Stephan Blatti - 2010 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (1):1-2.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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