Here is a question as intriguing as it is brief: what are we? The animalist’s answer is equal in brevity: we are animals. This stark formulation of the animalist slogan distances it from nearby claims—that we are essentially animals, for example, or that we have purely biological criteria of identity over time. Is the animalist slogan—unburdened by modal or criterial commitments—still interesting, though? Or has it lost its bite? In this article we address such questions by presenting a positive case (...) for the importance of animalism and applying that case to recent critiques. (shrink)
In this article, we discuss Beauchamp and Childress’s treatment of the issue of moral status. In particular, we introduce the five different perspectives on moral status that Beauchamp and Childress consider in Principles of Biomedical Ethics and explain their alternative to those perspectives, raise some critical questions about their approach, and offer a different way to think about one of the five theories of moral status that is more in line with what we believe some of its leading advocates affirm.
Animalism in its basic form is the view that we are animals. Whether it is a thesis about anything else – like what the conditions of our persistence through time are or whether we're wholly material things – depends on the facts about the persistence conditions and ontology of animals. Thus, I will argue, there are different varieties of animalism, differing with respect to which other theses are taken in conjunction with animalism in its basic form. The different varieties of (...) animalism vary in credibility: some varieties are supported by arguments that are irrelevant to others, and some varieties are susceptible to objections that others can resist. Adequately distinguishing between varieties of animalism is thus an important preliminary to assessing them. In this paper, I'll present and argue for a taxonomy of the most distinctive varieties. (shrink)
This paper defends a hylomorphic version of animalism according to which human persons survive as immaterial, bodiless animals after death. According to the hylomorphism under consideration, human persons have souls that survive death, and according to the animalism under consideration, human persons are necessarily animals. One might think this implies that human persons don't survive their deaths since if they were to survive their deaths, they would be immaterial animals after death, but necessarily animals are material. This paper shows that (...) the hylomorphic animalist can overcome this problem in a way that respects the intuition that animals are material. In addition, the paper defends the hylomorphic animalist survivalist from the objection that her view introduces an insoluble mereological puzzle. (shrink)
Although Christ’s atoning work on the cross is perhaps the most central tenet of Christianity, understanding precisely how the cross saves remains a theological mystery. We follow the Abelardian tradition and argue that Christ’s death on the cross acts as an example of God’s love for humanity and a means of drawing us back into communion with the triune God. However, our view avoids the standard objection to exemplar views—that they are Pelagian—by introducing an alternative conception of the problem of (...) sin, according to which Christ’s example of God’s love is in fact required for salvation and sanctification. (shrink)
One aim of this dissertation is to remove ambiguities that have impeded a clear discussion and adequate evaluation of animalism. To that end I develop a taxonomy of different varieties of animalism and argue that there are substantive differences between them. In earlier debates about animalism, the previously elided distinctions that my taxonomy makes clear create unnecessary confusion and disagreement. My taxonomy resolves some of that confusion and provides the parties to the debate with a conceptual framework for importantly distinct (...) accounts of personal identity. I also evaluate animalist arguments in light of the distinctions my taxonomy tracks. Specifically I identify which arguments support which varieties of animalism. The most popular varieties, I argue, are critically under-supported. All rely on a tacit presupposition that ‘animal’ is a natural kind term or a substance sortal, a supposition that animalists are under some pressure to reject. Thus, my evaluation prompts a refocusing of the standard defenses of animalism to prioritize defending the tacit presupposition. Finally, I defend a hylomorphic variety of animalism from two objections: first, from the objection that if animalism is true, then human persons cannot survive death, or at least they cannot exist in an intermediate, disembodied state between their deaths and resurrections. I do this by arguing that given hylomorphism, animals can become immaterial, and that this is less an affront to intuition and mereology than it might seem. Second, I defend a hylomorphic variety of animalism from the objection that if it is true, we are not the primary thinkers of our thoughts. The criticism is that if hylomorphism can solve certain puzzles, the resolving of which is one of the main points in hylomorphism’s favor, the view implies that our contingent mental properties primarily characterize something other than us. I argue that this criticism turns on a misunderstanding of how the hylomorphism at stake solves the relevant puzzles and that it can do so without major modification. (shrink)