|Source: OU Website (now deleted)|
|Paper - Abstract|
|Paper Summary||Notes Citing this Paper||Text Colour-Conventions|
Two theories -- animalism and Lockeanism -- compete for favor in the contemporary debate over personal identity. The aim of this paper is to criticize the Lockean bias that their capacity for self-consciousness renders persons metaphysically unique vis-à-vis other animals -- 'unique' in the sense that the conditions whose satisfaction is necessary and sufficient for the persistence of persons differ in kind from the persistence conditions of all other animals. I argue that this uniqueness claim is both philosophically untenable and empirically implausible, and that its failure necessitates a reassessment of the debate between animalism and Lockeanism. The burden, I conclude, should rest with the latter to disprove the former -- which is to say, animalism ought to be considered the default position in the debate over personal identity. Sections
… The Simple Argument
… The Adam and Eve Objection.
… The No Implication Objection.
… The Evolving Persons Objection.
… The Disambiguation of ‘Ancestor’ Objection.
… The Essential Animal Objection.
… The Identity Objection.
… Ancestral Reductio
… 6.1 The Constitution View
… 6.2 Metaphysical Insignificance
… 6.3 Corroboration
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