Results for 'Eric Todd Olson'

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  1. The Human Animal: Personal Identity Without Psychology.Eric Todd Olson - 1997 - New York, US: Oxford University Press.
    Most philosophers writing about personal identity in recent years claim that what it takes for us to persist through time is a matter of psychology. In this groundbreaking new book, Eric Olson argues that such approaches face daunting problems, and he defends in their place a radically non-psychological account of personal identity. He defines human beings as biological organisms, and claims that no psychological relation is either sufficient or necessary for an organism to persist. Olson rejects several (...)
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  2. Consciousness and Persons: Unity and Identity, MICHAEL TYE. Cambridge, MA, and London, UK.Eric T. Olson - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):500-503.
    There is much to admire in this book. It is written in a pleasingly straightforward style, and offers insight on a wide range of important issues.
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    The Human Animal: Personal Identity Without Psychology.Eric T. Olson (ed.) - 1997 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.
    A very clear and powerfully argued defence of a most important and surprisingly neglected view."--Derek Parfit, All Souls College, Oxford. "If Dr. Olson is right, we are living animals and what goes on in our minds is wholly irrelevant to questions about our persistence through time....[Should] transform philosophical thinking about personal identity."--Peter van Inwagen, University of Notre Dame.
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    Evil, Political Violence, and Forgiveness: Essays in Honor of Claudia Card.Todd Calder, Claudia Card, Ann Cudd, Eric Kraemer, Alice MacLachlan, Sarah Clark Miller, María Pía Lara, Robin May Schott, Laurence Thomas & Lynne Tirrell - 2009 - Lexington Books.
    Rather than focusing on political and legal debates surrounding attempts to determine if and when genocidal rape has taken place in a particular setting, this essay turns instead to a crucial, yet neglected area of inquiry: the moral significance of genocidal rape, and more specifically, the nature of the harms that constitute the culpable wrongdoing that genocidal rape represents. In contrast to standard philosophical accounts, which tend to employ an individualistic framework, this essay offers a situated understanding of harm that (...)
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  5. What are we?Eric T. Olson - 2007 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (5-6):37-55.
    This paper is about the neglected question of what sort of things we are metaphysically speaking. It is different from the mind-body problem and from familiar questions of personal identity. After explaining what the question means and how it differs from others, the paper tries to show how difficult it is to give a satisfying answer.
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  6. The Human Animal. Personal identity without psychology.Eric T. Olson - 1997 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 192 (1):112-113.
     
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  7.  89
    The Human Animal.Tamar Szabo Gendler & Eric T. Olson - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (1):112.
    The Human Animal is an extended defense of what its author calls the Biological Approach to personal identity: that you and I are human animals, and that the identity conditions under which we endure are those which apply to us as biological organisms. The somewhat surprising corollary of this view is that no sort of psychological continuity is either necessary or sufficient for a human animal—and thus for us—to persist through time. In challenging the hegemony of Psychological Approaches to personal (...)
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  8. What are we?: a study in personal ontology.Eric T. Olson - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    From the time of Locke, discussions of personal identity have often ignored the question of our basic metaphysical nature: whether we human people are biological organisms, spatial or temporal parts of organisms, bundles of perceptions, or what have you. The result of this neglect has been centuries of wild proposals and clashing intuitions. What Are We? is the first general study of this important question. It beings by explaining what the question means and how it differs from others, such as (...)
  9. Eric T. Olson warum wir tiere sind.Eric Olson - manuscript
    Was sind wir? Wie immer man sich zu dieser Frage stellt, eines scheint offenkundig: Wir sind Tiere, genauer gesagt: menschliche Tiere, Mitglieder der Art Homo sapiens. Dabei mag es überraschen, daß viele Philosophen diese vermeintlich banale Tatsache abstreiten. Plato, Augustinus, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant und Hegel, um nur einige herausragende zu nennen, waren alle der Meinung, wir seien keine Tiere. Es mag zwar sein, daß unsere Körper Tiere sind. Doch sind wir nicht mit unseren Körpern gleichzusetzen. Wir sind etwas (...)
     
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  10. Personal identity.Eric T. Olson - 2002 - In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.
    Personal identity deals with questions about ourselves qua people (or persons). Many of these questions are familiar ones that occur to everyone at some time: What am I? When did I begin? What will happen to me when I die? Discussions of personal identity go right back to the origins of Western philosophy, and most major figures have had something to say about it. (There is also a rich literature on personal identity in Eastern philosophy, which I am not competent (...)
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  11. An argument for animalism.Eric T. Olson - unknown
    The view that we are human animals, " animalism ", is deeply unpopular. This paper explains what that claim says and why it is so contentious. It then argues that those who deny it face an awkward choice. They must either deny that there are any human animals, deny that human animals can think, or deny that we are the thinking things located where we are.
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  12. Material coincidence and the indiscernibility problem.Eric T. Olson - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (204):337-355.
    It is often said that the same particles can simultaneously make up two or more material objects that differ in kind and in their mental, biological, and other qualitative properties. Others wonder how objects made of the same parts in the same arrangement and surroundings could differ in these ways. I clarify this worry and show that attempts to dismiss or solve it miss its point. At most one can argue that it is a problem we can live with.
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  13. Was I ever a fetus?Eric T. Olson - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (1):95-110.
    The Standard View of personal identity says that someone who exists now can exist at another time only if there is continuity of her mental contents or capacities. But no person is psychologically continuous with a fetus, for a fetus, at least early in its career, has no mental features at all. So the Standard View entails that no person was ever a fetus--contrary to the popular assumption that an unthinking fetus is a potential person. It is also mysterious what (...)
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  14. Was I Ever a Fetus?Eric T. Olson - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (1):95-110.
    The Standard View of personal identity says that someone who exists now can exist at another time only if there is continuity of her mental contents or capacities. But no person is psychologically continuous with a fetus, for a fetus, at least early in its career. has no mental features at all. So the Standard View entails that no person was ever a fetus---contrary to the popular assumption that an unthinking fetus is a potential person. It is also mysterious what (...)
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  15.  10
    March 7, 2007 Ethics in Business Management.Todd Eric Lewis - 2007 - In Laurie DiMauro (ed.), Ethics. Greenhaven Press.
  16. Why I have no hands.Eric T. Olson - 1995 - Theoria 61 (2):182-197.
    Trust me: my chair isn't big enough for two. You may doubt that every rational, conscious being is a person; perhaps there are beings that mistakenly believe themselves to be people. If so, read ‘rational, conscious being’ or the like for 'person'.
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  17. Animalism and the corpse problem.Eric T. Olson - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):265-74.
    The apparent fact that each of us coincides with a thinking animal looks like a strong argument for our being animals (animalism). Some critics, however, claim that this sort of reasoning actually undermines animalism. According to them, the apparent fact that each human animal coincides with a thinking body that is not an animal is an equally strong argument for our not being animals. I argue that the critics' case fails for reasons that do not affect the case for animalism.
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  18. The Extended Self.Eric T. Olson - 2011 - Minds and Machines 21 (4):481-495.
    The extended-mind thesis says that mental states can extend beyond one’s skin. Clark and Chalmers infer from this that the subjects of such states also extend beyond their skin: the extended-self thesis. The paper asks what exactly the extended-self thesis says, whether it really does follow from the extended-mind thesis, and what it would mean if it were true. It concludes that the extended-self thesis is unattractive, and does not follow from the extended mind unless thinking beings are literally bundles (...)
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  19. The rate of time's passage.Eric T. Olson - 2009 - Analysis 69 (1):3-9.
    Many philosophers say that time involves a kind of passage that distinguishes it from space. A traditional objection is that this passage would have to occur at some rate, yet we cannot say what the rate would be. The paper argues that the real problem with time’s passage is different: time would have to pass at one second per second, yet this is not a rate of change. This appears to refute decisively not only the view that time passes, but (...)
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  20. Ethics and the generous ontology.Eric T. Olson - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (4):259-270.
    According to a view attractive to both metaphysicians and ethicists, every period in a person’s life is the life of a being just like that person except that it exists only during that period. These “subpeople” appear to have moral status, and their interests seem to clash with ours: though it may be in some person’s interests to sacrifice for tomorrow, it is not in the interests of a subperson coinciding with him only today, who will never benefit from it. (...)
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  21.  33
    Material Coincidence and the Indiscernibility Problem.Eric T. Olson - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (204):337-355.
    It is often said that the same particles can simultaneously make up two or more material objects that differ in kind and in their mental, biological and other qualitative properties. Others wonder how objects made of the same parts in the same arrangement and surroundings could differ in these ways. I clarify this worry and show that attempts to dismiss or solve it miss its point. At most one can argue that it is a problem we can live with.
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  22. The Metaphysical Implications of Conjoined Twinning.Eric T. Olson - 2014 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (S1):24-40.
    Conjoined twinning is said to show that the number of human people—the number of us—can differ from the number of human organisms, and hence that we are not organisms. The paper shows that these arguments either assume the point at issue, rely on dubious and undefended assumptions, or add nothing to more familiar arguments for the same conclusion.
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  23. Thinking Animals and the Reference of ‘I’.Eric T. Olson - 2002 - Philosophical Topics 30 (1):189-207.
    In this essay I explore the idea that the solution to some important problems of personal identity lies in the philosophy of language: more precisely in the nature of first-person reference. I will argue that the “linguistic solution” is at best partly successful.
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  24. Animalism and the Remnant-Person Problem.Eric T. Olson - 2015 - In João Fonseca & Jorge Gonçalves (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on the Self. New York: Peter Lang. pp. 21-40.
     
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  25. Temporal parts and timeless parthood.Eric T. Olson - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):738–752.
    What is a temporal part? Most accounts explain it in terms of timeless parthood: a thing's having a part without temporal qualification. Some find this hard to understand, and thus find the view that persisting things have temporal parts--fourdimensionalism--unintelligible. T. Sider offers to help by defining temporal parthood in terms of a thing's having a part at a time. I argue that no such account can capture the notion of a temporal part that figures in orthodox four-dimensionalism: temporal parts must (...)
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  26. Narrative and persistence.Eric T. Olson & Karsten Witt - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):419-434.
    ABSTRACTMany philosophers say that the nature of personal identity has to do with narratives: the stories we tell about ourselves. While different narrativists address different questions of personal identity, some propose narrativist accounts of personal identity over time. The paper argues that such accounts have troubling consequences about the beginning and end of our lives, lead to inconsistencies, and involve backwards causation. The problems can be solved, but only by modifying the accounts in ways that deprive them of their appeal.
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  27. The Epicurean View of Death.Eric T. Olson - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (1-2):65-78.
    The Epicurean view is that there is nothing bad about death, and we are wrong to loathe it. This paper distinguishes several different such views, and shows that while some of them really would undermine our loathing of death, others would not. It then argues that any version that did so could be at best vacuously true: If there is nothing bad about death, that can only be because there is nothing bad about anything.
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  28.  18
    Personal Identity.Eric Olson - 2016 - In Susan Schneider (ed.), Science Fiction and Philosophy: From Time Travel to Superintelligence. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. pp. 69–90.
    Personal identity deals with philosophical questions that arise about ourselves by virtue of our being people (or, as lawyers and philosophers like to say, persons). This chapter first surveys the main questions of personal identity, and then focuses on the one that has received most attention in recent times, namely our persistence through time. There is no single problem of personal identity, but rather a wide range of questions that are at best loosely connected. The familiar ones include: who am (...)
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  29. The Paradox of Increase.Eric T. Olson - 2006 - The Monist 89 (3):390-417.
    It seems evident that things sometimes get bigger by acquiring new parts. But there is an ancient argument purporting to show that this is impossible: the paradox of increase or growing argument.i Here is a sketch of the paradox. Suppose we have an object, A, and we want to make it bigger by adding a part, B. That is, we want to bring it about that A first lacks and then has B as a part. Imagine, then, that we conjoin (...)
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  30. There is no problem of the self.Eric T. Olson - 1998 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (5-6):645-657.
    Because there is no agreed use of the term 'self', or characteristic features or even paradigm cases of selves, there is no idea of "the self" to figure in philosophical problems. The term leads to troubles otherwise avoidable; and because legitimate discussions under the heading of 'self' are really about other things, it is gratuitous. I propose that we stop speaking of selves.
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  31. The Remnant-Person Problem.Eric T. Olson - forthcoming - In Stephan Blatti Paul F. Snowdon (ed.), Essays on Animalism. Oxford University Press.
    Animalism is the view that you and I are animals. That is, we are animals in the straightforward sense of having the property of being an animal, or in that each of us is identical to an animal-not merely in the derivative sense of having animal bodies, or of being "constituted by" animals. And by 'animal' I mean an organism of the animal kingdom." Sensible though it may appear, animalism is highly contentious. The most common objection is that it conflicts (...)
     
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  32. The Role of the Brainstem in Personal Identity.Eric T. Olson - 2016 - In Andreas Blank (ed.), Animals: New Essays. Munich: Philosophia.
    In The Human Animal I argued that we are animals, and that those animals do not persist by virtue of any sort of psychological continuity. Rather, personal identity in this sense consists in having the same biological life. And I said that a human life requires a functioning brainstem. Rina Tzinman takes this and other remarks to imply that personal identity consists in the continued functioning of the brainstem, which looks clearly false. I say it doesn’t follow. But Alan Shewmon (...)
     
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  33. Against Person Essentialism.Eric T. Olson* & Karsten Witt - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):715-735.
    It is widely held that every person is a person essentially, where being a person is having special mental properties such as intelligence and self-consciousness. It follows that nothing can acquire or lose these properties. The paper argues that this rules out all familiar psychological-continuity views of personal identity over time. It also faces grave difficulties in accounting for the mental powers of human beings who are not intelligent and self-conscious, such as foetuses and those with dementia.
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  34. What does functionalism tell us about personal identity?Eric T. Olson - 2002 - Noûs 36 (4):682-698.
    Sydney Shoemaker argues that the functionalist theory of mind entails a psychological-continuity view of personal identity, as well as providing a defense of that view against a crucial objection. I show that his view has surprising consequences, e.g. that no organism could have mental properties and that a thing's mental properties fail to supervene even weakly on its microstructure and surroundings. I then argue that the view founders on "fission" cases and rules out our being material things. Functionalism tells us (...)
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  35. The Person and the Corpse.Eric T. Olson - 2013 - In Ben Bradley, Fred Feldman & Jens Johansson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death. Oup Usa. pp. 80.
  36. A compound of two substances.Eric T. Olson - 2001 - In Kevin Corcoran (ed.), Soul, body, and survival: essays on the metaphysics of human persons. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
    Cartesian or substance dualism is the view that concrete substances come in two basic kinds. There are material things, such as biological organisms. These may be either simple or composed of parts. And there are immaterial things--minds or souls--which are always simple. No material thing depends for its existence on any soul, or vice versa. And only souls can think.
     
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  37.  16
    Personal Identity.Eric T. Olson - 2003 - In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell. pp. 352–368.
    This chapter contains sections titled: The Problems of Personal Identity Understanding the Persistence Question Accounts of Our Identity Through Time The Psychological Approach The Fission Problem The Problem of the Thinking Animal The Somatic Approach Conclusion.
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  38. On Parfit's View That We Are Not Human Beings.Eric T. Olson - 2015 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 76:39-56.
    Derek Parfit claims that we are not human beings. Rather, each of us is the part of a human being that thinks in the strictest sense. This is said to solve a number of difficult metaphysical problems. I argue that the view has metaphysical problems of its own, and is inconsistent with any psychological-continuity account of personal identity over time, including Parfit's own.
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  39. Relativism and persistence.Eric T. Olson - 1997 - Philosophical Studies 88 (2):141-162.
    Philosophers often talk as if what it takes for a person to persist through time were up to us, as individuals or as a linguistic community, to decide. In most ordinary situations it might be fully determinate whether someone has survived or perished: barring some unforeseen catastrophe, it is clear enough that you will still exist ten minutes from now, for example. But there is no shortage of actual and imaginary situations where it is not so clear whether one survives. (...)
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  40. Life After Death and the Devastation of the Grave.Eric T. Olson - 2015 - In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 409-423.
    This paper—written for nonspecialist readers—asks whether life after death is in any sense possible given the apparent fact that after we die our remains decay to the point where only randomly scattered atoms remain. The paper argues that this is possible only if our remains are not in fact dispersed in this way, and discusses how that might be the case. -/- 1. Life After Death -- 2. Total Destruction -- 3. The Soul -- 4. Body-Snatching -- 5. Radical Resurrection (...)
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  41. Is psychology relevant to personal identity?Eric T. Olson - 1994 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (2):173-186.
  42. Composition and coincidence.Eric T. Olson - 1996 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 77 (4):374-403.
    Many philosophers say that the same atoms may compose at once a statue and a lump of matter that could outlive the statue. I reject this because no difference between the statue and the lump could explain why they have different persistence conditions. But if we say that the lump is the statue, it is difficult to see how there could be any human beings. I argue that this and analogous problems about material objects admit only of solutions that at (...)
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    A Compound of Two Substances.Eric T. Olson - 2001 - In Kevin Corcoran (ed.), Soul, body, and survival: essays on the metaphysics of human persons. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
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  44. Was Jekyll Hyde?Eric T. Olson - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):328-348.
    Many philosophers say that two or more people or thinking beings could share a single human being in a split‐personality case, if only the personalities were sufficiently independent and individually well integrated. I argue that this view is incompatible with our being material things, and conclude that there could never be two or more people in a split‐personality case. This refutes the view, almost universally held, that facts about mental unity and disunity determine how many people there are. I suggest (...)
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    For Animalism.Eric T. Olson - 2018 - In Jonathan J. Loose, Angus John Louis Menuge & J. P. Moreland (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism. Oxford, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 296–306.
    We are material things of a specific sort: animals of the primate species Homo sapiens. This is the view known as animalism. The most common reason for rejecting animalism is that it is has unattractive consequences about what it takes for philosophers to persist through time. If human animals are animals essentially, then our being animals implies that we are animals essentially. If they are animals accidentally, then animalism implies that we are animals only accidentally. Aristotelians say that an animal (...)
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  46. In Search of the Simple View.Eric T. Olson - forthcoming - In G. Gasser & M. Stefan (eds.), Personal Identity: Complex or Simple? Cambridge University Press.
    Accounts of personal identity over time are supposed to fall into two broad categories: 'complex views' saying that our persistence consists in something else, and 'simple views' saying that it doesn' t. But it is impossible to characterize this distinction in any satisfactory way. The debate has been systematically misdescribed. After arguing for this claim, the paper says something about how the debate might be better characterized.
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  47.  41
    The Dualist Project and the Remote-Control Objection.Eric T. Olson - 2021 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 69 (1):89-101.
    Substance dualism says that all thinking beings are immaterial. This sits awkwardly with the fact that thinking requires an intact brain. Many dualists say that bodily activity is causally necessary for thinking. But if a material thing can cause thinking, why can’t it think? No argument for dualism, however convincing, answers this question, leaving dualists with more to explain than their opponents.
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  48. An argument for animalism.Eric T. Olson - 2009 - In John P. Lizza (ed.), Defining the beginning and end of life: readings on personal identity and bioethics. Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press.
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  49.  55
    The Paradox of Increase.Eric T. Olson - 2006 - The Monist 89 (3):390-417.
    The paradox of increase in an ancient argument purporting to show that nothing can grow by acquiring new parts. If it is sound, similar reasoning leads to the more general conclusion that nothing can ever change its parts. After discussing the implicationsof this principle, the paper lays out the paradox in a way that reveals the premises that figure in it. It emerges that the paradox has no easy solution, and can be resisted only by taking on one of five (...)
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  50. What is the problem of biological individuality.Eric T. Olson - 2021 - In Anne Sophie Meincke & John Dupré (eds.), Biological Individuality: Perspectives from Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Biology. New York: Routledge. pp. 63-85.
    One big question in biology is what life is, but another is how life divides into living things. This is the problem of biological individuality. Proposed statements of the problem have been vague and incomplete. And proposed theories of biological individuality are not detailed enough to solve the problem even if they are correct. The root of these troubles is that their authors have not recognized the metaphysical claims presupposed in their statement of the problem. Making these claims explicit will (...)
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