Animalism (philosophy)

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In philosophy, animalism is a theory according to which human persons are animals.[1] The concept of animalism is advocated by philosophers Eric T. Olson, Paul Snowdon, Stephan Blatti, and David Wiggins.[2][3][4] The view stands in contrast to positions such as Locke's psychological criterion for personal identity. Note that whilst the animalist is committed to something like the claim that human persons are essentially animals, the animalist is quite to content to allow non-human persons - e.g. sufficiently advanced robots, aliens, or other animals.


  1. ^ Eric T. Olson (2007) What are we?: a study in personal ontology, Oxford University Press, section 2.1.
  2. ^ Brian Garrett, Personal Identity and Self-Consciousness. Routledge, 1998. 137 pages. ISBN 0-415-16573-3
  3. ^ Blatti, Stephan and Snowdon, Paul (eds.) Animalism: New Essays on Persons, Animals, & Identity, Oxford University Press, 2016.
  4. ^ Snowdon, Paul Persons, Animals, Ourselves, Oxford University Press, 2017.


  • Baker, Lynne Rudder. 'When Does a Person Begin?', in Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred Dycus Miller, and Jeffrey Paul (eds.), Personal Identity, Cambridge University Press, 2005
  • Blatti, Stephan, "[1]”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>.
  • Olson, Eric T. What are we?: a study in personal ontology, Oxford University Press, 2007.