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Personal Identity

Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It)

(Text as at 13/01/2015 19:07:41)

(For other versions of this Note, see the tables at the end)


    This Chapter describes what Animalism is, with an excursus on animals and organisms and their persistence. It puts forward the arguments in favour of animalism, those against being reserved for a later Chapter. It focuses on the account of Eric Olson, the primary contemporary exponent of Animalism.

Research Methodology

Chapter Introduction
  1. As we saw in Chapter_023, nothing is more obvious than that we are human animals.
  2. The disadvantages of whole-hearted acceptance of this seemingly obvious fact are firstly that it seems to demote human beings from their status of being made in the image of the God most people no longer believe in. There are two responses to this; either to deny that it does, or to accept that the differences between human beings and other animals are those of degree rather than kind.
  3. A second disadvantage is that accepting that we are human animals makes the prospects for post-mortem survival look bleak. This is addressed in Chapter_114.
  4. So, while saying that we are human animals might seem to be the default position – and so the burden is on others to demonstrate that we are not – the historical situation places a burden on the animalist to present the case for animalism with as much rigour as possible.
  5. Further text to be supplied.

Main Text
  1. To be supplied.

Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed5
  1. In this Chapter I will consider the following papers or book chapters (together with some others referenced by these). There are doubtless many more that are relevant and which will be addressed in the course of the thesis, but these are probably sufficient to get us going.
  2. As this is a “core” chapter, the coverage of the literature will be very complete, if not exhaustive, when it comes to Animalism itself.
  3. For background topics, it will be more selective6. Hence, I have divided the reading list into two.
  4. I’ve not been overly careful to segregate the reading-list of this Chapter from that of Chapter_087. I will address the segregation in due course. There will, in any case, be some overlap.
  5. Core Topics
  6. Background Material
  7. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
  8. The motivation for these works is as follows:-
    • To be supplied.

The Cut
  1. There had already been a lot of cutting in the various selections of the original reading list – the reading lists attached to the Notes run on and on – and these items just represent the works in my possession (though I have sought out all that I’ve heard of that look relevant).
  2. However, the items in the lists following were given some attention, and have been culled – at least temporarily – from the lists above, where they originally appeared. I’ve not always given a reason as I’ve not studied them sufficiently closely. But, you have to draw a line somewhere.
  3. I’m well aware that the cut has not been sufficiently rigorous. Further items beyond the items below are likely to be culled when I come to process them.

Links to Notes
  1. Animalism10,
  2. Animalists11,
  3. Bodies12,
  4. Olson13,
  5. Animals14,
  6. Organisms15,
  7. Life16,
  8. Thinking_Animal_Argument17,
  9. Other_Arguments_for_Animalism18,
  10. Others to be supplied?

Final Remarks
  1. This is work-in-progress19.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 5: Footnote 6: Footnote 8: A knowledge of genetics is important in arguments about the comings into being and identities of animals.

Footnote 9: What is this important book doing here?

Footnote 18: This needs a Note!

Live Version of this Archived Note

Date Length Title
02/05/2019 08:02:24 6920 Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It)

Table of the 3 Earlier Versions of this Note

Date Length Title
06/11/2014 10:13:26 6463 Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It)
02/10/2014 17:12:29 6172 Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It)
22/07/2014 22:23:31 5343 Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It)

Table of the 2 Later Versions of this Note

Date Length Title
18/04/2019 18:18:43 6920 Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It)
05/04/2016 23:19:41 6673 Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It)

This version updated Reading List for this Topic Parent Topic
13/01/2015 19:07:41 None available Thesis - Introduction

Summary of Notes Links from this Page

Animalism Animalists Animals Awaiting Attention (Personal Identity) Body
Life Olson Organisms Status: Thesis Dashboard (2014: September) Thesis - Chapter 02 (What are We?)
Thesis - Chapter 08 (Arguments against Animalism) Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection) Thesis - Method & Form Thinking Animal Argument  

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Summary of Note Links to this Page

Origins Status: Personal Identity (2014 - December) Status: Personal Identity (2015 - December) Status: Personal Identity (2015 - June) Status: Personal Identity (2015 - March)
Status: Personal Identity (2015 - September) Status: Summary (2014 - December) Status: Summary (2015 - December) Status: Summary (2015 - June) Status: Summary (2015 - September)
Status: Thesis Dashboard (2015: June) Thesis - Chapter 01 (Introduction), 2, 3, 4 Thesis - Chapter 08 (Arguments against Animalism), 2 Thinking Animal Argument  

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