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Staying AlivePersonal Identity, Practical Concerns, and the Unity of a Life$
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Marya Schechtman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199684878

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684878.001.0001

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(p.169) 7 Ontology
Staying Alive

Marya Schechtman

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the Person Life View is rightly understood as an account of our literal identity. To do this it responds to animalist charges that any view which sees persons and human animals as having distinct persistence conditions will encounter deep metaphysical difficulties. It is shown that the Person Life View can avoid these difficulties via either of two methods. One is to employ an adapted version of the constitution model of the relation between human persons and human animals developed by Lynne Baker. The other is to concede that persons are not metaphysical substances of the sort defined by animalists, but to argue that given the sparse ontology connected with animalism there are questions about the continuity of everyday objects that are legitimately understood as questions about literal identity despite the fact that they are not about the persistence of substances strictly speaking.

Keywords:   animalism, Baker, constitution model, person life view, persistence, literal identity, sparse ontology, substance

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