Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It)
Todman (Theo)
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Write-up2 (as at 12/01/2022 21:31:41): Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It)

  • This Chapter describes what Animalism is, with an excursus on animals and organisms and their persistence.
  • It puts forward the arguments in favour of animalism, those against being reserved for a later Chapter3.
  • It focuses on the account of Eric Olson, the primary contemporary exponent of Animalism.

Research Methodology
  • Follow this Link4 for a generic statement of how I intend to pursue each Chapter.
  • The method is broken down into 16, possibly iterative, stages, some of which have sub-stages.
  • Follow this Link5 for my progress dashboard on these tasks.

Chapter Introduction
  1. As we saw in Chapter 026, nothing is more obvious than that we are Human Animals7. The disadvantages of whole-hearted acceptance of this seemingly obvious fact – leading to ‘conversion’ to Animalism8 – are at least twofold:-
    1. Firstly, that it seems to demote human beings from their status of being made in the image of the God many – maybe most – people no longer really believe in. There are two responses to this: Either
      1. Deny that it does, or
      2. Accept this claim and agree that the differences between human beings and other animals are those of degree rather than kind.
    2. A second disadvantage is that accepting that we are human animals makes the prospects for post-mortem survival look bleak. This is addressed in Chapter 119.
  2. So, while saying that we are human animals might seem to be the default position – and so the burden is on others to demonstrate that we are not – the historical situation places a burden on the Animalist to present the case for animalism with as much rigour as possible. Saying ‘it’s obvious’ isn’t enough.
  3. Firstly, it needs to be made clear what the claim that ‘we are animals’ – the Biological View10 – amounts to. The Animalist makes the claim that this is one of numerical identity. We’re not simply animals in the sense of having animal bodies, while ‘really’ being something else. Being members of the species Homo Sapiens11 is what we really are.
  4. So, our persistence criteria are Biological Criteria12, and the implications of this need to be spelled out.
  5. Despite the ‘obviousness’ of the Biological View, most contemporary philosophers are unconvinced, as was noted in the first Chapter. I have a Note detailing just which Philosophers can be counted as Animalists13. Eric Olson14 was probably responsible for clarifying and popularising the position. I also have a Note on David Wiggins15, though his status as a card-carrying Animalist is doubted by some, including Olson.
  6. The Biological View is often referred to as the Organism View, so we need to consider what Organisms16 are, and – indeed – what Life17 is, including when it starts – Animation18. I’ve referenced my Note on Quantum Mechanics19 here as recent research has attempted to implicate it in the mechanism of life. We discuss life’s end – Death20 – in Chapter 1121.
  7. Recently, some philosophers have tried ascribing intentionality to Plants22, which I think is muddying the waters, just as is trying to include fish in the moral community.
  8. We need to consider Evolution23, especially as this is a major consideration in why we are animals. I also have Notes on Genetics24 and Origins25, which are connected to this subject and others.
  9. After all this ground-clearing, we need to consider Animals26 themselves – especially those at the higher end of the spectrum most closely related to Homo Sapiens in their abilities and potential moral considerability, leading on to Animal Rights27.
  10. Finally, we get down to the actual Arguments for Animalism28, of which Olson’s favourite is the Thinking Animal Argument29.

Links to Notes
  1. Animalism30
    1. Human Animals31
    2. Biological View33
    3. Biological Criterion34
    4. Animalists35
  2. Organisms39
    1. Life40
    2. Plants43
    3. Evolution44
  3. Animals47
    1. Animal Rights48
  4. Arguments for Animalism49
    1. Thinking Animal Argument50

Main Text
  1. Animalism51
    1. Text to be supplied.
    1. Human Animals52
      1. Text to be supplied.
    2. Biological View54
      1. Text to be supplied.
    3. Biological Criterion55
      1. Text to be supplied.
    4. Animalists56
      1. Text to be supplied.
  2. Organisms60
    1. Text to be supplied.
    1. Life61
      1. Text to be supplied.
    2. Plants64
      1. Text to be supplied.
    3. Evolution65
      1. Text to be supplied.
  3. Animals68
    1. Text to be supplied.
    1. Animal Rights69
      1. Text to be supplied.
  4. Arguments for Animalism70
    1. Text to be supplied.
    1. Thinking Animal Argument71
      1. Text to be supplied.

Concluding Remarks
  1. Having discussed Animalism, we can now in our next Chapter72 turn to the main alternative I want to consider, the Constitution View and the arguments for it.
  2. This is work in progress73.

Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed74
  1. This section attempts to derive the readings lists automatically from those of the underlying Notes, but removing duplicated references. The list is divided into:-
  2. As this is a “core” chapter, the coverage of the literature will be very complete, if not exhaustive, when it comes to Animalism itself.
  3. For background topics, it will be more selective77. Hence, I have divided the reading list into two.
  4. I’ve not been overly careful to segregate the reading-list of this Chapter from that of Chapter 878. I will address the segregation in due course. There will, in any case, be some overlap.
  5. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.

Works on this topic that I’ve actually read79, include the following:-
  1. Animalism
    1. Animalism80
    2. Human Animals90
    3. Biological View94
    4. Biological Criterion98
    5. Animalists
  2. Organisms
    1. Organisms111
    2. Life
    3. Plants115
    4. Evolution116
  3. Animals
    1. Animals123
    2. Animal Rights126
  4. Arguments for Animalism
    1. Arguments for Animalism130
    2. Thinking Animal Argument131

A further reading list might start with:-
  1. Animalism
    1. Animalism132
    2. Human Animals133
    3. Biological View135
    4. Biological Criterion137
    5. Animalists
  2. Organisms
    1. Organisms143
    2. Life
    3. Plants149
    4. Evolution150
  3. Animals
    1. Animals153
    2. Animal Rights155
  4. Arguments for Animalism
    1. Arguments for Animalism156
      • General:
        1. No items to list.
    2. Thinking Animal Argument157

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 2:
  • This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (12/01/2022 21:31:41).
  • Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
Footnote 38:
  • It's unclear whether Wiggins is an Animalist.
  • It might be best to consider Wiggins under the head of Substance.
Footnote 59:
  • It's unclear whether Wiggins is an Animalist.
  • It might be best to consider Wiggins under the head of Substance.
Footnote 74:
  • See the section on Research Methodology for what is to be done with these.
Footnote 77:
  • There are a few papers listed on the cognitive capacities of animals.
  • I got bored with listing these, so the sample may not be representative.
  • These are, in any case, probably more relevant to Chapter 9 – as an antidote to Baker’s attempted ontological separation of human persons from human animals – so I will move them there – and expand the list if necessary – in due course.
Footnote 86:
  • I’ve not explicitly listed the individual chapters, though my comments and write-ups are variable in completeness and quality.
Footnote 92: Footnote 96: Footnote 97: Footnote 105: Footnote 108: Footnote 110: Footnote 119:
  • I don’t like Le Fanu’s angle on evolution; he’s a not-very-crypto creationist.
  • Also, what is all his “gee-whiz” stuff about “animal wonders” supposed to mean? Their bodies do function fine in the real world, so they must satisfy the laws of physics. It’s not as though there’s a continuous miracle going on. He never says there is, but I suspect he thinks it.
Footnote 125:
  • An annoying book, but one I ought to study.
Footnote 127:
  • This is about the ethics of biotechnology.
Footnote 128:
  • This is relevant to the discussion of animal rights only tangentially, but importantly, I think.
Footnote 129:
  • Individual Chapters not noted individually.
Footnote 136:
  • Very tangentially relevant, but Uploading and the BV are antithetical theories of PID.
Footnote 139:
  • This, from the book below, looks particularly useful.
Footnote 141:
  • Not the same as the previous paper.
Footnote 145:
  • Not the same as the above paper!
Footnote 146:
  • Hailing from 1970, this book is dated, and might only be used as background for the thoughts of philosophers writing about this time.
Footnote 154:
  • This is very elementary, but short and maybe entertaining.

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