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Personal Identity

Corpses

(Text as at 07/02/2018 19:42:14)

(For earlier versions of this Note, see the table at the end)


Plug Note1

  1. The “Corpse Problem”
    • Corpses are troublesome2 for animalism3, which alleges (correctly in my view) that corpses are not animals.
    • The claim is that, at death4, something ontologically new comes on the scene – because a corpse has different persistence5 conditions6 (those of masses of matter7) to those of organisms8.
    • Some philosophers – eg. Fred Feldman, in "Feldman (Fred) - The Survival of Death" – disagree. Feldman claims that we survive death, but – rather disappointingly – as a corpse, which solves the “corpse problem”, but at the cost – most likely – of saying that we are bodies9 rather than organisms.
    • The problem if we don’t survive death as our corpses – it is said – is to answer the question where the corpse comes from, and to answer the objection that if it was there all along – as a “corpse-to-be” – then we have a situation where we have two things of different sorts in the same place at the same time.
    • If this is taken seriously, then it can be used against the form10 of the animalism’s “too many thinkers11” argument.
  2. Resurrection
    • Corpses are probably also important for most Christian materialists12 who hope for some form of resurrection13.
    • If there is a corpse to be resurrected, it is easier to see how identity is preserved than if we have total destruction. This is obviously so in the case of resuscitation, but even where we have a real case of death – not just clinical death, or brain death, but real death with a bit of mouldering – there is some physical thing that is responsible for preserving identity.
  3. Works on this topic that I’ve actually read14, include15 the following:-
    1. "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - When Do Persons Begin and End?", Baker
    2. "Feldman (Fred) - The Survival of Death", Feldman
    3. "Hershenov (David) - Do Dead Bodies Pose a Problem for Biological Approaches to Personal Identity", Hershenov
    4. "Mackie (David) - Personal Identity and Dead People", Mackie
    5. "Olson (Eric) - Immanent Causation and Life After Death", Olson
    6. "Olson (Eric) - The Person and the Corpse", Olson
    7. "Wilson (Jack) - Beyond Horses and Oak Trees: A New Theory of Individuation for Living Entities", Wilson
  4. A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. "Hershenov (David) - Death, Persons, and Sparse Ontologies: The Problem of Too Many Dying Thinkers", Hershenov
    2. "LaPorte (Joseph) - On Two Reasons for Denying That Bodies Can Outlast Life", LaPorte
    3. "Hershenov (David) - Organisms and their Bodies: Response to LaPorte", Hershenov
  5. This is mostly a place-holder16.



In-Page Footnotes:

Footnote 1: Footnote 10: Footnote 14: Footnote 15:


Printable Versions:



Table of the Previous 4 Versions of this Note:

Date Length Title
05/04/2016 23:19:41 1523 Corpses
27/06/2011 18:57:36 526 Corpses
26/11/2007 23:25:26 505 Corpses
12/08/2007 10:17:46 80 Corpses



Note last updated Reading List for this Topic Parent Topic
07/02/2018 19:42:14 Corpses Death

Summary of Note Links from this Page

Animalism Animalism - Objections Awaiting Attention (Personal Identity) Body Christian Materialism
Death Matter Organisms Persistence Persistence Criteria
Resurrection Thinking Animal Argument      

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.




Summary of Note Links to this Page

Animalism Animalism - Objections Bodily Continuity Body Criterion Clones
Connectedness vs Continuity Death DeGrazia - Are We Essentially Persons? Olson - Immanent Causation and Life After Death Organisms
Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection) Thesis - Current Stance      

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.




Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note

Author Title Medium Extra Links Read?
Baker (Lynne Rudder) When Do Persons Begin and End? Paper High Quality Abstract   Yes
DeGrazia (David) Are we essentially persons? Olson, Baker, and a reply Paper Low Quality Abstract   Yes
Mackie (David) Personal Identity and Dead People Paper High Quality Abstract   Yes
Markosian (Ned) Identifying the Problem of Personal Identity Paper Medium Quality Abstract    
Olson (Eric) Immanent Causation and Life After Death Paper High Quality Abstract   Yes
Olson (Eric) Psychology and Personal Identity Paper High Quality Abstract 2, 3 Yes
Olson (Eric) Thinking Animals and the Constitution View Paper Low Quality Abstract   Yes
Price (Marjorie) Identity Through Time Paper Medium Quality Abstract    
Shoemaker (David) Personal Identity, Rational Anticipation, and Self-Concern Paper High Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Animalism Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Animalism - Objections Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Bodily Continuity Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Body Criterion Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection) Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Clones Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Connectedness vs Continuity Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Corpses Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Current Position Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Death Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Organisms Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Wilson (Jack) Beyond Horses and Oak Trees: A New Theory of Individuation for Living Entities Paper High Quality Abstract   Yes



References & Reading List

Author Title Medium Source Read?
Baker (Lynne Rudder) When Do Persons Begin and End? Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Distinguished Faculty Lecture, December 5, 2005 Yes
Bradley (Ben), Feldman (Fred) & Johansson (Jens) The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 7%
Bullinger (E.W.) The Rich Man and Lazarus - the Intermediate State Book - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Bullinger (E.W.) - The Rich Man and Lazarus - the Intermediate State 9%
Feldman (Fred) Confrontations with the Reaper: A Philosophical Study of the Nature and Value of Death Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Medium Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied Yes
Feldman (Fred) The Survival of Death Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Feldman - Confrontations with the Reaper, Chapter 6 Yes
Gasser (Georg), Ed. Personal Identity and Resurrection: How Do We Survive Our Death? Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Medium Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 95%
Hershenov (David) Death, Persons, and Sparse Ontologies: The Problem of Too Many Dying Thinkers Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and Medicine. Forthcoming. 33%
Hershenov (David) Do Dead Bodies Pose a Problem for Biological Approaches to Personal Identity Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Mind, 114, Number 453, 1 January 2005, pp. 31-59(29). Yes
Hershenov (David) Organisms and their Bodies: Response to LaPorte Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Mind, Vol. 118, No. 471 (Jul., 2009), pp. 803-809 17%
Jungel (Eberhard) Death: The Riddle and the Mystery Book - By Subtopic Jungel (Eberhard) - Death: The Riddle and the Mystery No
LaPorte (Joseph) On Two Reasons for Denying That Bodies Can Outlast Life Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Mind, Vol. 118, No. 471 (Jul., 2009), pp. 795-801 No
Luper (Steven) Mortal Harm Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 227 (Apr., 2007), pp. 239-251 25%
Luper (Steven) Past Desires and the Dead Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Philosophical Studies; Dec. 2005, Vol. 126 Issue 3, p331-345, 15p 25%
Mackie (David) Personal Identity and Dead People Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Philosophical Studies 95, Number 3, September 1999, pp. 219-242(24). Yes
Macquarrie (John) Christian Hope Book - By Subtopic Macquarrie (John) - Christian Hope No
Martin (Michael G.F.), Ed. Mind - 114/453 (January 2005) Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Bibliographical details to be supplied 11%
Olson (Eric) Immanent Causation and Life After Death Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Gasser (Georg) - Personal Identity and Resurrection: How Do We Survive Our Death? 2010 Yes
Olson (Eric) The Person and the Corpse Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death; ed. Ben Bradley, Fred Feldman, and Jens Johansson (OUP, 2015), pp. 80-96 Yes
Quinn (Philip L.) Review of Anthony Flew's 'The Logic of Mortality' Paper - By Subtopic Nous, Vol. 26, No. 1, Mar., 1992, pp. 102-104 No
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Corpses Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Vorobej (Mark) Past Desires Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Philosophical Studies; Vol. 90, No. 3 (Jun., 1998) (pp. 305-318) No
Wilson (Jack) Beyond Horses and Oak Trees: A New Theory of Individuation for Living Entities Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Wilson, Jack - Biological Individuality: The identity and Persistence of Living Entities; 1999, Chap. 1, pp. 1-21 Yes
Wilson (Jack) Biological Individuality - The identity and Persistence of Living Entities Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied Yes



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