I Am Not A Human Being

1704 Words Apr 21st, 2016 7 Pages
“I am not a human being; I am a human becoming.” – Author Unknown (Anon., 1998)

The notion of animalism is deeply unpopular and the concept of its definition is frequently misunderstood. This essay plans to explain what animalism is and why it is so controversial with reference to Olson, Descartes and Leibniz. According to Olson, ‘one must either deny that there are any human animals, deny that human animals can think, or deny that we are the thinking things located where we are.’ (Olson, 2003)

Animalism is a theory expounding the truth that personal identity is a biological property of each and every human being, as it is for animals. It bases itself upon two undeniable facts about human entities. Firstly, each of us came into existence at some point in the past, has persisted for some time and will cease to exist in the future. Secondly, our ontological careers are marked by change since we grow and diminish, learn and forget, and live and die. (Grayling et al., 2006) (Blatti, n.d.) This makes animalism complicated to analyse informatively as it is difficult to articulate the conditions under which we come into, remain in and ultimately go out of existence.

The concept of animalism has never been formally defined or agreed upon. Olson discussed this definition as follows, ‘When I say that we are animals, I mean we are all numerically identical with an animal. That certain human organism is you and you and it are one and the same.’ (Olson, 2003)…
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