'Partist' Resistance to the Many: Review of 'A Materialist Metaphysics of the Human Person' by Hud Hudson
Carter (William)
Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 68, No. 3, May 2004, pp. 713-723
Paper - Abstract

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Introduction (Full Text)

  1. We are confronted by a metaphysical problem and discover, to our dismay, that standard proposals for its resolution have strongly counterintuitive corollaries. That naturally encourages consideration of previously overlooked or neglected ways out of the problem. As it turns out, one of these unorthodox proposals has a leg up on the various standard ways out of our problem. Metaphysical progress.
  2. This is the general line pursued by Hud Hudson. The seemingly intractable problem that is Hudson's primary concern emerges from a set of assumption suggesting that a great many people are located more or less where each of us is located. Many people exist where, as we normally would judge, only a single person is located! We are confronted by the dreaded Problem of the Many1, and told that "every out seems to involve some severe embarrassment or other" (pp. 16-17). There is reason to turn attention to unorthodox - previously ignored or neglected - "outs".
  3. Much of Hudson's book is devoted to the task of arguing that one such proposal - Partism, as Hudson names it - offers the best resolution of the Problem of the Many2 (PM here-after).
  4. Hudson's defense of Partism rests largely with the conviction that standard treatments of PM are "overwhelmingly unattractive" (p. 45). We might agree with that and also have grave misgivings about Partism. On such a conception of the situation, PM has yet to be resolved.
  5. Although I have a number of reservations about claims defended by Hudson, I think this is a marvellous book that is worthy of close attention.
    • In Chapter 1, Hudson argues against ten proposed resolutions of PM.
    • His own Partist approach to PM is presented in Chapter 2.
    • Chapter 3 defends both an epistemic approach to vagueness and the thesis of (compositional) Universalism.
    • Chapters 4 - 6 address the subject of personal identity and various moral questions concerning pre-persons and post-persons.
    • Chapter 7 is devoted to a defense of the view that Christian Materialism allows for bodily resurrection.
  6. What follows does not do justice to Hudson's rich and subtle treatment of all of this.

  1. Introduction.
  2. A Question of Inheritance.
  3. Modally3 Bare Particulars.
  4. Multiple Location.
  5. Maximality and Diageometric Identity.
  6. 4D Morality and Resurrection.


Review of "Hudson (Hud) - A Materialist Metaphysics of the Human Person".

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