Animalism Versus Lockeanism: No Contest
Mackie (David)
Source: Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 49, Number 196, July 1999, pp. 369-376(8).
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. In "Noonan (Harold) - Animalism Versus Lockeanism: A Current Controversy" (1998), Harold Noonan examined the relation between animalist1 and neo-Lockean theories of personal identity. As well as presenting arguments intended to support a modest compatibilism of animalism2 and neo-Lockeanism, he advanced a new proposal about the relation between persons and human beings which was intended to evade the principal animalist3 objections to neo-Lockean theories.
  2. I argue both that the arguments for compatibilism are without force, and that Noonan’s new neo-Lockean proposal is inadequate.

Author’s Introduction
  1. Harold Noonan, in "Noonan (Harold) - Animalism Versus Lockeanism: A Current Controversy" (1998), has recently examined the relation between animalism4 (the view that we are animals) and neo-Lockean theories of personal identity (those theories that assign a significant role to psychological continuity)5.
  2. He concludes that animalism6 and neo-Lockeanism are incompatible; and in Section IV of his article he defends a new proposal about the relation between persons and human beings which is designed to enable neo-Lockeans to evade the principal animalist7 objections to their view. I discuss this proposal in Section II below.
  3. Before introducing his new proposal, Noonan gives sympathetic consideration to Parfit8's recent suggestion (in unpublished work) that the neo-Lockean might himself endorse animalism9.
  4. Although Noonan ultimately rejects this suggestion, he presents (in Section II of his article) three arguments which he says (p. 306) support the more modest conclusion that 'So long ... as we consider only cases in which brains are transplanted10 from one animal body to another, ... it seems quite plausible that the neo-Lockean can also be an animalist11'.
  5. Accordingly, and because the Parfitian12 suggestion is of some interest, I begin in Section I by examining these three arguments.

Comment:

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