September 26-28, 2013, University of Memphis
The problem of personal identity is one of the most bewitching puzzles in all of philosophy. Until very recently, most philosophers subscribed to the view first advocated by the 17th-century British philosopher, John Locke. Locke held that our fundamental nature is given by our status as self-conscious, rational agents (“persons”) and that the conditions under which we persist through time and change are thus to be accounted for in terms of psychological continuity. The main topic of the 32nd annual Spindel Conference will be an anti-Lockean view that has recently gained support amongst philosophers. According to this view, known as “animalism,” our fundamental nature is given not by our psychological capacities, but by our biological constitution: we are primates (Homo sapiens), and like all organisms, we persist just in case we continue living.
Posted: September 13, 2013