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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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Will I ever be a Cyborg?




1. Introduction

Eric Olson’s animalist view relies on the premise that person is not a fit candidate to be a substance concept, in Wiggins’s terminology. Instead, he claims, animal is what best serves as the answer to what we most fundamentally are and what determines our persistence conditions. Proposing a thought experiment concerning inorganic replacement, I aim to show that Olson’s animalist view cannot accommodate our very strong intuitions about such cases. My claim is then that animalism either fails on its own grounds or requires some tuning regarding what exactly an organism is and its persistence conditions. I will examine Matthew Liao’s attempt to accommodate such intuitions within an animalist view. I will also describe the basics about Olson’s animalist view but let us first look at the rough outline of my thought experiment. The essentials are as follows, the rest I will provide later, as we go along. ← 41 | 42 →

2. A Cyborg2 Thought Experiment

Suppose the year is 2020. Tom has just been born. He is a human animal (or just plainly an animal or a member of the species Homo sapiens or an organism). Now suppose, for argument’s sake, that during his career Tom will undergo transformations of the kind that transhumanists envisage as possible (and even likely and desirable) in the future. And let us leap further into the future to describe such transformations.

In 2060, Tom has...

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