- What is the metaphysical relationship between the fetus / embryo and the pregnant organism? In this paper I apply a substance metaphysics view developed by "Smith (Barry) & Brogaard (Berit) - Sixteen Days" to argue, on the basis of topological connectedness1, that Foetuses / embryos are Lady-Parts: part of the maternal organism up until birth.
- This leaves two options.
- Either mammalian organisms begin at birth, or
- we revise our conception of organisms such that mammalian organisms can be part of other mammals.
- The first option has some advantages: it is numerically neat; aligns with an intuitive picture of organisms as physically distinct individuals; and ties ‘coming into existence’ to a suitably recognisable and important event: birth. But it denies that the fetus survives birth, or that human organisms existed prior to their birth.
- The second option allows us to recognise that human organisms exist prior to and survive their birth, but at a cost: it leaves the question of when an organism comes into existence unanswered, and demands potentially far-reaching conceptual revision across a range of domains.
→ Terminology (foster and gravida)
- Smith and Brogaard on the metaphysics of organisms
→ 1.1 Substance formation and start of the organism
→ 1.2 The tenant–niche claim
→ 1.3 Testing the ‘tenant–niche’ claim: boundaries
→ 1.4 Interim Conclusion: the part–whole claim
- Metaphysics of Organisms: Beginning at Birth
→ 2.1 Attractions
- Revised Metaphysics: Organisms as Persisting Organism-Parts
→ 3.1 Revising Smith and Brogaard’s account
→ 3.2 Counting Problems
→ 3.3 Distinguishing organs and fosters
→ 3.4 When do fosters begin?
- "Anscombe (G.E.M.) - Were You a Zygote?", Anscombe
- "Haber (Matt) - Colonies Are Individuals: Revisiting the Superorganism Revival", Haber
- "Harris (John) - Clones, Genes and Immortality: Ethics and Genetics", Harris
- "Kingma (Elselijn) - Nine months", Kingma
- "Kingma (Elselijn) - Were You Part of Your Mother?", Kingma
- "Koslicki (Kathrin) - Substance, Independence and Unity", Koslicki
- "McMahan (Jeff) - The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life", McMahan
- "Oderberg (David) - The Metaphysical Status of the Embryo: Some Arguments Revisited", Oderberg
- "Olson (Eric) - The Human Animal - Personal Identity Without Psychology", Olson
- "Olson (Eric) - What are We? A Study of Personal Ontology", Olson
- "Smith (Barry) & Brogaard (Berit) - Sixteen Days", Smith & Brogaard
- "Smith (Barry) & Varzi (Achille) - Fiat and Bona Fide Boundaries", Smith & Varzi
- "Smith (Barry) & Varzi (Achille) - The Niche", Smith & Varzi
- "Toner (Patrick) - Independence accounts of substance and substantial parts", Toner
- "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Time Without Change", Wiggins
- "Wilson (Robert A.) & Barker (Matthew) - The Biological Notion of Individual", Wilson & Barker
Annotated hard copy filed in "Various - Papers in Desk Drawer".
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)