- 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 Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 17/08/2018 17:35:31): 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 I8 ever a zygote (or an embryo9, or a fetus10).
- Most philosophers agree that a zygote isn’t a person11, because it does not possess the appropriate psychological attributes.
- Many philosophers contend that a human zygote isn’t a human being12 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:-
- Twinning13: is a special case of fission14. Why should the zygote be numerically identical to one – rather than the other – of a pair of monozygotic twins? Modal15 considerations apply if I am in fact not a monozygotic twin.
- Difference over the definition – or maybe ontological category – of “person16”. Some philosophers insist that an individual can be a person on account of its expected future capacities, or actual or once anticipated past capacities, irrespective of its present capacities.
- For a page of Links17 to this Note, Click here.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read18, include19 the following:-
- "Anscombe (G.E.M.) - Were You a Zygote?", Anscombe
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - When Do Persons Begin and End?", Baker, 2005
- "Kazez (Jean) - Life Doesn't Begin at Conception", Kazez
- "Kazez (Jean) - The Philosophical Parent: Asking the Hard Questions About Having and Raising Children", Kazez
- "Wilson (Jack) - Beyond Horses and Oak Trees: A New Theory of Individuation for Living Entities", Wilson
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "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-holder20.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (17/08/2018 17:35:31).
- 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 it 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?
- If only a “non-updating” run has been made, the links are only one-way – ie. from the page of links to the objects that reference this Note by mentioning the appropriate key-word(s). The links are also only indicative, as they haven’t yet been confirmed as relevant.
- Once an updating run has been made, links are both ways, and links from this Notes page (from the “Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note” and “Summary of Note Links to this Page” sections) are to the “point of link” within the page rather than to the page generically. Links from the “links page” remain generic.
- There are two sorts of updating runs – for Notes and other Objects. The reason for this is that Notes are archived, and too many archived versions would be created if this process were repeatedly run.
- Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
- In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
- In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
- My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
- I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
- Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018