Animalism Unburdened
Blatti (Stephan)
Source: OU Website (now deleted)
Paper - Abstract

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Author's Abstract

    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.
  1. Introduction: To Reject Animalism
    … The Simple Argument
  2. The Ancestral Reductio
    … 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
  3. Anthropodenial
  4. Lockean Anthropodenial
  5. Unique in Kind
  6. Unique in Degree
    … 6.1 The Constitution View
    … 6.2 Metaphysical Insignificance
    … 6.3 Corroboration
  7. Conclusion: Reassigning the Burden

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