The Human Animal: Personal Identity Without Psychology / Edition 1

The Human Animal: Personal Identity Without Psychology / Edition 1

by Eric T. Olson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195105060

ISBN-13: 9780195105063

Pub. Date: 01/09/1997

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

What does it take for you to persist from one time to another? What sorts of changes could you survive, and what would bring your existence to an end? What makes it the case that some past or future being, rather than another, is you? So begins Eric Olson's pathbreaking new book, The Human Animal: Personal Identity Without Psychology. You and I are biological…  See more details below

Overview

What does it take for you to persist from one time to another? What sorts of changes could you survive, and what would bring your existence to an end? What makes it the case that some past or future being, rather than another, is you? So begins Eric Olson's pathbreaking new book, The Human Animal: Personal Identity Without Psychology. You and I are biological organisms, he claims; and no psychological relation is either necessary or sufficient for an organism to persist through time. Conceiving of personal identity in terms of life-sustaining processes rather than bodily continuity distinguishes Olson's position from that of most other opponents of psychological theories. And only a biological account of our identity, he argues, can accommodate the apparent facts that we are animals, and that each of us began to exist as a microscopic embryo with no psychological features at all. Surprisingly, a biological approach turns out to be consistent with the most popular arguments for a psychological account of personal identity, while avoiding metaphysical traps. And in an ironic twist, Olson shows that it is the psychological approach that fails to support the Lockean definition of "person" as (roughly) a rational, self-conscious moral agent, an attractive view that fits naturally with a biological account.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195105063
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/09/1997
Series:
Philosophy of Mind Series
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
1280L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Introduction3
1Psychology and Personal Identity7
2Persistence22
3Why We Need Not Accept the Psychological Approach42
4Was I Ever a Fetus?73
5Are People Animals?94
6The Biological Approach124
7Alternatives154
Notes169
References179
Index187

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