Date of Award
This paper explores current philosophical theories of what we are as a kind and how we persist as individuals. In doing so, these theories give an account that attempts to answer the question, “What are we?” This paper focuses on the dialogue between Animalism and First Person Perspectivism, competing theories of what we are. In setting up this dialogue the paper will explore the strengths and weaknesses of each theory. Animalism is shown to face a problem with cases of revival and First Person Perspectivism faces an issue with justifying certain commitments the theory makes. In an attempt to solve these issues a revised theory is proposed that centers on the physical hardware of an individual and the mental processes which it runs. After proposing my theory, I address a potential dilemma that it faces. Overall, this paper contributes to the broader philosophical dialogue by drawing on existing work to create a revised theory of what we are and how we persist.
Leibundgut, John, "Explaining the Referent of “We”: An Explanatory Answer to Olsen’s Question" (2018). Dickinson College Honors Theses. Paper 296.