Johnston on Human Beings
Oderberg (David)
Source: Journal of Philosophy, 86.3, Mar., 1989, pp. 137-141
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

  1. This is a reply to "Johnston (Mark) - Human Beings" (The Journal of Philosophy 54 (1987): 59-83). Johnston proposes a solution to various problems of personal identity based on the notion of the person as a ‘human being’, a kind essentially distinct from the kind ‘human organism’, which is a biological kind.
  2. It is argued that Johnston's idiosyncratic use of ‘human being’ is both ad hoc and obscure, and does not illuminate the debate over personal identity. Moreover, it can be seen that Johnston's position collapses into the sort of Parfitian1 reductionism2 with which he wishes to contrast it, and which he so rightly opposes.

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