From guest blogger, Zach.
For my paper, I'd like to defend Stephan Blatti's fairly new take on animalism.
In general, animalism is a theory of identity that asserts that we are essentially animals. In the words of Blatti:
“[Advocates of animalism] make the following straight-forward claim: we are animals. According to the intended reading of this claim, 'are' reflects the 'is' of numerical identity (not the 'is' of non-identical constitution); the 'we' is intended to pick out you, me, others of our kind; and 'human animals' is meant to refer to biological organisms of the Homo Sapiens species” (Blatti, 685).
Blatti provides a modernized argument for this view with what he calls the “Animal Ancestors Argument.” In short, Blatti offers a reductio, beginning by assuming that animalism is false. He contends that denying animalism entails denying that your parents, grandparents, and ancestors back through the ages were animals. And this entails that, as none of your ancestors were animals, evolutionary theory is false. Blatti concludes that rejecting evolution is “too high a price to pay,” and therefore we should reject the assumption that animalism is false.
Blatti considers and rebuts the objection that while one might have ancestors that were animals, we've evolved to be more than animals (i.e. evolution can be compatible with the rejection of animalism); he also considers and rebuts an objection that takes issue numerical identity mentioned in the definition of animalism given above.
The difficulty I'm having with this topic is finding objections to respond to that Blatti hasn't already considered. His position seems pretty strong to me, but also seems sturdy, so far. Does anyone have any thoughts?
Blatti's article, “A new argument for animalism” can be found here: http://www.academia.edu/1472039/A_New_Argument_for_Animalism