- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Zygote1' during my Thesis research, as from end October 2016.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 31/08/2017 19:35:02): Zygote
- A Zygote (Wikipedia: Zygote) – is the immediate post-fertilisation product.
- In single-celled animals the zygote4 may constitute the entire animal.
- In humans, the zygote develops by division until it implants as the embryo5 (Wikipedia: Embryo). Until then it is called a proembryo (Wikipedia: Proembryo); a morula (Wikipedia: Morula) after 4 divisions – 16 blastomeres – and a blastocyst (Wikipedia: Blastocyst) by the 5th day. The implanted embryo is called a fetus (Wikipedia: Fetus) after 11 weeks.
- In the philosophy of personal identity, the question arises when the human being6 or the human person7 arises. Additionally – and relatedly – was I ever a zygote (or an embryo, or a fetus8).
- Most philosophers agree that a zygote isn’t a person9, because it does not possess the appropriate psychological attributes.
- Many philosophers contend that a human zygote isn’t a human being either – in that it hasn’t the appropriate set of organs.
- In addition, the question whether I was ever a zygote is complicated by two considerations:-
- Twinning10: a special case of fission11 – why should I be one – rather than the other – of a pair of monozygotic twins? Modal considerations apply if I am in fact not a monozygotic twin.
- Difference over the definition – or maybe ontological category – of “person”. Some philosophers insist that an individual can be a person on account of its expected future properties, or actual or once anticipated past properties, irrespective of its present capacities.
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Anscombe (G.E.M.) - Were You a Zygote?", Anscombe
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - When Do Persons Begin and End?", Baker, 2005
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - When Does a Person Begin?", Baker, 2005
- "Carter (William) - Do Zygotes Become People?", Carter, 1982
- "Damschen (Gregor), Gomez-Lobo (Alfonso) & Schonecker (Dieter) - Sixteen Days? A Reply to B. Smith and B. Brogaard on the Beginning of Human Individuals", Damschen et al, 2006
- "Ford (Norman) - When Did I Begin: Conception of the Human Individual in History, Philosophy and Science", Ford, 1988
- "Guenin (Louis M.) - The Nonindividuation Argument Against Zygotic Personhood", Guenin, 2006
- "Hershenov (David) & Koch-Hershenov (Rose J.) - Anscombe on Embryos and Persons", Hershenov, 2016
- "Lockwood (Michael) - When Does a Life Begin?", Lockwood, 1986
- "Smith (Barry) & Brogaard (Berit) - Sixteen Days", Smith, 2003
- "Tacelli (Ronald) - Were You a Zygote?", Tacelli, 2006.
- This is mostly a place-holder12. Currently, mostly see the categorised reading-list below.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (31/08/2017 19:35:02).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
- I once had “necessarily asexually-reproducing” here.
- The Wikipedia entry has that such single-celled organisms reproduce asexually by mitosis.
- But if all such organisms arise in this way, in what way are they correctly described as “zygotes” which involves the “yoking together” of two distinct and differentiated gamete cells?
- Is it possible that some organisms reproduce both sexually and asexually? And – if so (as I believe) – is it true in this case?
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018