Twinning, Inorganic Replacement, and the Organism View

In explicating his version of the Organism View, Eric Olson argues that you begin to exist only after twinning is no longer possible and that you cannot survive a process of inorganic replacement. Assuming the correctness of the Organism View, but pace Olson, I argue in this paper that the Organism View does not require that you believe either proposition. The claim I shall make about twinning helps to advance a debate that currently divides defenders of the Organism View, while the claim I shall make about inorganic replacement will help to put the Organism View on a par with its rival views by allowing it to accommodate a plausible intuition that its rivals can accommodate, namely, the intuition that you can survive a process of inorganic replacement. Both claims, I shall also argue, are important for those who are interested in the identity condition of a human organism, even if they do not hold the view that you are essentially an organism. [Ratio, forthcoming] [pdf | html]


The Organism View Defended

What are you and I essentially? When do you and I come into and go out of existence? A common response is that we are essentially organisms, that is, we come into existence as organisms and go out of existence when we cease to be organisms. Jeff McMahan has put forward two arguments against the Organism View: the case of dicephalus and a special case of hemispheric commissurotomy. In this paper, I defend the Organism View against these two cases. Because it is possible to devise more McMahanian-type cases, I also provide a more general solution to these kinds of cases. [The Monist, 89 (3) 2006] [pdf | html]