The Undead and Philosophy: Chicken Soup for the Soulless

By Richard Greene; K. Silem Mohammad | Go to book overview

2
Res Corporealis: Persons,
Bodies, and Zombies

WILLIAM S. LARKIN

The highpoint of horror in Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead has to be when little Karen Cooper, newly Undead, proceeds to devour her father’s arm and lay waste to her mother with a trowel. There is something uniquely disturbing about an innocent child turning into a brutal flesh-eating monster. Scenes like this unearth intuitions that bear significantly on the philosophical problem of personal identity. In particular, zombie movies provide a distinctive blend of terror and tragedy that helps reanimate the view that persons are most fundamentally corporeal objects.


Persons

The philosophical problem of personal identity is to determine what, most fundamentally, creatures like us are. We can say that creatures like us are essentially persons, but that just gives us the label and not the explanation we are looking for. The question becomes, “What exactly is a person?” Or better: “Under what conditions exactly does a person continue to exist?” Is a human body lying in a coma a person? Is a human body lying in a casket a person? It is tempting to respond to such questions with something like, “Well, it depends on what we mean by ‘person.’” That’s exactly right; and that’s just what we are trying to figure out. We are trying to determine just what we mean when we say that something is a person. The point of philosophy is not to figure out what we should say about extraordinary cases given the various things we might mean by certain terms. The point is

-15-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Undead and Philosophy: Chicken Soup for the Soulless
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 265

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.