I am Not an Animal!
Hudson (Hud)
Source: Van Inwagen (Peter) & Zimmerman (Dean) - Persons: Human and Divine
Paper - Abstract

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  1. Although Hud Hudson accepts a thoroughgoing materialism about human persons2, he nonetheless reaches the conclusion: "I am not an animal!"
  2. Much of the inquiry into whether a human person3 is identical to a human animal4 (i.e. a biological organism5 of the species Homo sapiens6) revolves around the debate between those who endorse some version of the "psychological criterion7 of personal identity" and those who endorse some version of the "bodily criterion8 of personal identity". Much of this latter debate, in turn, centers on intuitive responses to thought experiments9 that are notorious for a number of features (none of which is that of generating decisive answers to questions about the persistence conditions10 of persons).
  3. In this chapter, Hudson explores what he takes to be a more promising approach. He defends the thesis that a human person11, although a material object, is not a human animal12; and he does so while largely sidestepping the "criterion of personal identity" dispute. He appeals, instead, to what he calls a "big-picture, best-candidate13, general metaphysics defense" of a theory of personal identity.
  4. The most plausible general account of the metaphysics of material objects, together with a few other convictions about ourselves — including, for Christians, belief in the possibility of surviving death14 — should lead us to the conclusion that we do not have the persistence conditions15 of human animals16.


In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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