more from Eric T. Olson

Single Idea 6669

[catalogued under 16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 7. Self and Body / a. Self needs body]

Full Idea

According to 'animalism', I existed before I was a person and I may well go one existing for some time after I cease to be a person; hence, I am not essentially a person, but a human organism.

Gist of Idea

For 'animalism', I exist before I became a person, and can continue after it, so I am not a person


report of Eric T. Olson (The Human Animal [1997]) by E.J. Lowe - Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind Ch.10

Book Reference

Lowe,E.J.: 'Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind' [CUP 2000], p.284

A Reaction

There is a very real sense in which an extremely senile person has 'ceased to exist' (e.g. as the person I used to love). On the whole, though, I think that Olson is right, and yet 'person' is an important concept. Neither concept is all-or-nothing.