Body or Organism? Eric T. Olson’s Charge of Cartesianism against the Bodily Criterion of Personal Identity
Meincke (Anne Sophie)
Source: Philosophisches Jahrbuch 117, 88-120, 2010
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Eric Olson distinguishes his animalistic1 account of transtemporal personal identity from the apparently similar Bodily Criterion2, among other things, by accusing the latter of being contaminated with Cartesian implications owing to its usage of the term ‘body3‘.
  2. In contrast, Olson argues, Animalism is able to avoid these implications by substituting the concept of body for the concept of organism4, which makes Animalism not only a distinct position, but also the better alternative to the Bodily Criterion.
  3. The paper critically reconstructs Olson’s charge of Cartesianism against the Bodily Criterion, thereby differentiating between several variants of it. This eventually adds up to an evaluation of how suitable these criticisms are for defending Animalism at the expense of the Bodily Criterion.


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