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The Retreat of ReasonA dilemma in the philosophy of life$
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Ingmar Persson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276905

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199276900.001.0001

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SOMATIST THEORIES OF OUR IDENTITY

SOMATIST THEORIES OF OUR IDENTITY

Chapter:
(p.283) 21 SOMATIST THEORIES OF OUR IDENTITY
Source:
The Retreat of Reason
Author(s):

Ingmar Persson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199276900.003.0022

If the criticisms of immaterialism and non-reductionism in chapter 19 and of matter-based psychological views in chapter 20 are correct, it would seem that animalism or the biological view that personal identity consists in the identity of human organisms must be right. This chapter argues that this view is also mistaken, for we can imagine that the organic matter of our bodies is imperceptibly transformed into something inorganic. But it would be absurd to say that we cease to exist in these circumstances when our consciousness flows on without any introspectible change; so, we are not essentially human organisms. The upshot is a factual nihilism, that no view of our nature and identity can be tenable because there are incompatible psychologist and animalist strands in our commonsensical conception of ourselves.

Keywords:   animalism, biological view, human organism, nihilism, personal identity

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