White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Was I ever a fetus?

Olson, E.T. (1997) Was I ever a fetus? Philosophy and Phenomenological Society, 57 (1). pp. 95-110. ISSN 0031-8205

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
Text
olsonet8.pdf

Download (1537Kb)

Abstract

The Standard View of personal identity says that someone who exists now can exist at another time only if there is continuity of her mental contents or capacities. But no person is psychologically continuous with a fetus, for a fetus, at least early in its career, has no mental features at all. So the Standard View entails that no person was ever a fetus--contrary to the popular assumption that an unthinking fetus is a potential person. It is also mysterious what does ordinarily happen to a human fetus, if it does not come to be a person. Although an extremely complex variant of the Standard View may allow one to persist without psychological continuity before one becomes a person but not afterwards, a far simpler solution is to accept a radically non-psychological account of our identity.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Reprinted with permission from the International Phenomenological Society.
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Department of Philosophy (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Sherpa Assistant
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2005
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:48
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/772

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item