Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 January 2022
The view of our nature that I defend, animalism is a straightforward, plausible view that coheres well with the biological facts about human animals and with common sense. By contrast, its chief competitor, mentalism, in its various incarnations, implies that the self is a special object that bears a mysterious relation to the animals in which it is “realized.” Were it not for the strong intuition that we go with (some of) our brains when these are transplanted into other animals, animalism would stand out as the most plausible view about what we are. But our intuition is misleading. It is a mistake to think that we go with our brains when these are transplanted. What goes on in the brain tissue of human animals makes it possible for those animals to think, but, in situ, that tissue is not an object. Hence, it is not an object that can be moved to a different animal, and you and I are not (identical to) our brains.