Conference Programme and Notes
The conference proceedings are published in the The Southern Journal of Philosophy Link. This is not on JSTOR, so I’d need to purchase the papers, unless they are freely available on the speakers’ websites.
- The problem of personal identity is one of the most bewitching puzzles in all of philosophy. Until very recently, most philosophers subscribed to the view first advocated by the 17th-century British philosopher, John Locke. Locke held that our fundamental nature is given by our status as self-conscious, rational agents ("persons") and that the conditions under which we persist through time and change are thus to be accounted for in terms of psychological continuity. The main topic of the 32nd annual Spindel Conference will be an anti-Lockean view that has recently gained support amongst philosophers. According to this view, known as “animalism,” our fundamental nature is given not by our psychological capacities, but by our biological constitution: we are primates (Homo sapiens), and like all organisms, we persist just in case we continue living.
- The overarching aim of this year's conference is to provide a forum in which metaphysicians and philosophers of mind working on animalism are brought together with those who are presently engaged in pertinent debates in other areas of philosophy — including philosophy of biology, metaphysics, ethics, philosophical psychology, and philosophy of religion. So, besides animalism in its own right, among the topics to be explored are the nature of organic life, the metaphysics and ethics of death, issues in animal cognition, the possibility of the afterlife, animal interests, etc.
Footnote 1: Including links to their websites, and to whatever works I have by them.
Footnote 2: It would be interesting to see how this account compares to "Wilson (Jack) - Biological Individuality - The identity and Persistence of Living Entities".
Footnote 3: This would be interesting, in that there might be problems for animalism. Dicephalus (Click here for Note) is the most interesting case.
Footnote 4: Again, compare with such as "Feldman (Fred) - Confrontations with the Reaper: A Philosophical Study of the Nature and Value of Death".
Footnote 5: For animal minds, see
… "Griffin (Donald) - Animal Minds",
… "DeGrazia (David) - Taking Animals Seriously: Mental Life and Moral Status" and
… "Bekoff (Marc) - The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy and Why They Matter".
Footnote 6: Footnote 7: This is presumably arguing that we have a kind that is both an animal and a person.
- Like Olson, Snowdon is one of the archetypal animalists. What has he to say on Lives?
- It is the final keynote speech, and the title of the conference.
- The primary text from an animalist is "Wollheim (Richard) - Living", but I don’t have anything by Snowdon on the subject.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)