A hylomorphic account of the origin of the human being at fertilization
Koch, Rose Joanna
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From fertilization to approximately the sixteenth day of development, human embryonic cells are said to have the capacities of totipotency and monozygotic twinning, both of which are problematic to a theory of ensoulment at fertilization. In this dissertation I will address the problems which these capacities pose to such a theory and present an interpretation of the biological data which renders ensoulment at fertilization more plausible. I will then argue that not only is an ensoulment theory consistent with current biological data on the human embryo, but it may offer an explanation for the phenomena of monozygotic twinning. Finally, I will argue that a rival account of our origins, offered on the Biological Account of Personal Identity, faces twinning puzzles that a hylomorphic account can avoid, and when compared to a hylomorphic account of the human being and its origins, the Biological Account has little to no advantage.