A New Argument for Animalism
Blatti (Stephan)
Source: Analysis Vol 72, Number 4, October 2012, pp. 685–690
Paper - Abstract

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Author's Abstract

  1. The theory of personal identity known as "animalism1" asserts that we are human organisms — that each of us is an instance of the Homo sapiens species.
  2. The standard argument for this view is known as the "thinking animal argument2".
  3. In this brief paper, I offer a second argument for animalism3: "animal ancestors argument4".
  4. This argument illustrates how the case for animalism5 can be seen to piggy-back on the credibility of evolutionary6 theory.
  5. Two related objections are considered and answered.

Author's Introduction7
  1. Though Aristotelian in spirit, the view known as animalism8 is a relative latecomer to the debate over personal identity, having been defended only within the past 25 years or so.
  2. Its advocates make the following straightforward claim: we are animals. According to the intended reading of this claim, the ‘are’ reflects the ‘is’ of numerical identity9 (not the ‘is’ of non-identical constitution); the ‘we’ is intended to pick out you, me and others of our kind; and ‘human animals’10 is meant to refer to biological organisms of the Homo sapiens species.
  3. According to animalism’s11 most sophisticated rival, neo-Lockean constitutionalism12, we persons are non-identically constituted by human animals13, rather like the way statues14 are said to be constituted by the lumps of matter with which they coincide.


In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 4: Footnote 7:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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