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Philosophical Perspectives on the Self


Edited By Joao Fonseca and Jorge Goncalves

For the last decade the topic of the Self has been under intense scrutiny from researchers of various areas spanning from philosophy, neurosciences, and psychology to anthropology and sociology. The present volume addresses the Self under different and influent philosophical perspectives: from phenomenology and psychoanalysis to metaphysics and neurophilosophy and discusses several and distinct problems such as personal identity, the core/narrative self-distinction, psychopathologies, the mind-body problem and the nature of the relations between self, consciousness and emotions. The book reflects these different philosophical problems and approaches and aims to provide a map of current philosophical perspectives on the topic of the Self.
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Animalism and the Remnant-Person Problem




Animalism clashes with the conviction that we should go with our transplanted brains. A good reply is that if animalism were true, we could explain easily enough both why the conviction is false and why it seems compelling. But another objection cannot be answered so easily. Animalism seems to imply that the detached brain would be a person who comes into being when the brain is removed and ceases to exist when the brain goes into a new head. And that seems absurd. The paper argues that, although this is equally problem for many views besides animalism, it has no obvious solution.


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.1

Sensible though it may appear, animalism is highly contentious. The most common objection is that it conflicts with widespread and deep ← 21 | 22 → beliefs about our identity over time. These beliefs are brought out in reactions to fictional cases. Suppose, for instance, that your brain is transplanted into my head. The being who ends up with that organ, everyone assumes, will remember your life and not...

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