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Animalism versus Lockeanism: Reply to Mackie

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I respond to criticisms by David Mackie in PQ, 49 (1999), pp. 369–76, of my previous paper on animalism and Lockeanism. I argue that the ‘transplant intuition’, that a person goes where his brain (or cerebrum) goes, is compatible both with animalism and Lockeanism. I give three arguments for this conclusion, two of them developing lines of thought in Parfit's work. However, I accept that animalism and Lockeanism are incompatible, and I go on to consider the difficulties for Lockeanism that this raises. The principal difficulty, concerning the reference of ‘I’, can be met by distinguishing the thinker of an ‘I’-thought from the reference of an ‘I’-thought. The reference is always the person thinking the thought, but when the thought is simultaneously that of an animal coincident but non-identical with that person, there is not a unique thinker. Mackie's criticisms of this view are ineffective.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Birmingham

Publication date: January 1, 2001


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