Eric Olson's An Argument For Animalism

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In section 3. Why Animalism is Unpopular, of “An Argument for Animalism,” Eric Olson argues that animalism is unpopular amongst contemporary philosophers. Animalism, according to Olson, is a theory that humans are numerically identical to animals (“An Argument for Animalism”, 610). This means that there is a particular human organism and that organism is you; the human organism and you are one in the same. When thinking about personal identity, Olson reasons that contemporary philosophers don’t ask what kind of things we are. Consequently, contemporary philosophers don’t ask whether we are animals or what we could be if we weren’t animals:
“The main reason, I believe, is that when they think about personal identity they don't ask what sort
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Persistence is the view that persons have psychological continuity, thus, a person is the future being that inherits the mental features from that person. A person is also the past being whose mental features they have inherited. Olson refers to this question of persistence as the “traditional problem” of personal identity. The question of persistence asks what is essential and adequate for a person existing at one time to be identical with something present at another time. Therefore, Olson believes that contemporary philosophers think an answer to this question would resolve all there is to know about the metaphysics of personal identity (“An Argument for Animalism”, 613). When thinking about personal identity, contemporary philosophers ask questions about persistence and not about what sort of things we are. Because they ask the wrong questions, Olson reasons that animalism is, therefore, unpopular in contemporary philosophy.
In section 8. Hard Choices, of “An Argument for Animalism,” Olson reasons that there are around six billion human animals that walk the earth. Olson argues that those animals are just like us, because they do things (e.g. Sitting in our chairs, or talking, or going on holidays) like we do them. Therefore, Olson reasons that it is hard to deny that we are those
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