Twinning, substance, and identity through time: a reply to McMahan
National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 2008 Summer; 8(2): 255-264
In "Killing Embryos for Stem Cell Research," Jeff McMahan argues against the proposition that we are essentially individual human organisms. The author shows that the term "essentially" is insufficiently defined by McMahan and, if we take the typical explication of the concept by modal metaphysicians, the claim "we are essentially human beings" is true, contrary to McMahan's argument. The author offers a counterexample to McMahan's implicit acceptance of the principle that only beings who have developed the capacity for self-consciousness are the proper subjects of moral worth.
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Campbell, Tim; McMahan, Jeff (2010-08)We defend the view that we are not identical to organisms against the objection that it implies that there are two subjects of every conscious state one experiences: oneself and one's organism. We then criticize animalism--the ...