Thesis - Corpses
Todman (Theo)
Paper - Abstract

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Write-up2 (as at 07/02/2018 19:42:14): Corpses

Plug Note3
  1. The “Corpse Problem”
    • Corpses are troublesome4 for animalism5, which alleges (correctly in my view) that corpses are not animals.
    • The claim is that, at death6, something ontologically new comes on the scene – because a corpse has different persistence7 conditions8 (those of masses of matter9) to those of organisms10.
    • Some philosophers – eg. Fred Feldman, in "Feldman (Fred) - The Survival of Death" – disagree. Feldman claims that we survive death, but – rather disappointingly – as a corpse, which solves the “corpse problem”, but at the cost – most likely – of saying that we are bodies11 rather than organisms.
    • The problem if we don’t survive death as our corpses – it is said – is to answer the question where the corpse comes from, and to answer the objection that if it was there all along – as a “corpse-to-be” – then we have a situation where we have two things of different sorts in the same place at the same time.
    • If this is taken seriously, then it can be used against the form12 of the animalism’s “too many thinkers13” argument.
  2. Resurrection
    • Corpses are probably also important for most Christian materialists14 who hope for some form of resurrection15.
    • If there is a corpse to be resurrected, it is easier to see how identity is preserved than if we have total destruction. This is obviously so in the case of resuscitation, but even where we have a real case of death – not just clinical death, or brain death, but real death with a bit of mouldering – there is some physical thing that is responsible for preserving identity.
  3. Works on this topic that I’ve actually read16, include17 the following:-
    1. "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - When Do Persons Begin and End?", Baker
    2. "Feldman (Fred) - The Survival of Death", Feldman
    3. "Hershenov (David) - Do Dead Bodies Pose a Problem for Biological Approaches to Personal Identity", Hershenov
    4. "Mackie (David) - Personal Identity and Dead People", Mackie
    5. "Olson (Eric) - Immanent Causation and Life After Death", Olson
    6. "Olson (Eric) - The Person and the Corpse", Olson
    7. "Wilson (Jack) - Beyond Horses and Oak Trees: A New Theory of Individuation for Living Entities", Wilson
  4. A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. "Hershenov (David) - Death, Persons, and Sparse Ontologies: The Problem of Too Many Dying Thinkers", Hershenov
    2. "LaPorte (Joseph) - On Two Reasons for Denying That Bodies Can Outlast Life", LaPorte
    3. "Hershenov (David) - Organisms and their Bodies: Response to LaPorte", Hershenov
  5. This is mostly a place-holder18.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 2: Footnote 3: Footnote 12: Footnote 16: Footnote 17:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020

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