VI. Personal Identity

VI. Personal Identity - Personal Identity Transporter...

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Personal Identity Transporter Theory: Tell me how the transporter is supposed to work What’s the order of events? My view: destruction and recreation of a duplicate Q: Can that interpretation be right, or is there something about the operation of the transporter that shows this is false? Big question: is that duplicate me ? It has the same shape, memories, personality, and it thinks it’s me But is it? Q: What makes you the same person now as you were when you were 12? Memories, spatio-temporal continuity, soul Continuity seems to be important But with the transporter, there is a discontinuity Possible Criteria for sameness of self I.e., what makes me the same person I am right now even though I undergo change 1. Same Body +1: Helps explain why I’m same person as when I was 12 Same arms, legs, feet, just bigger Q: how’s the transporter do on this criterion? I think it fails Not same body, but an exact duplicate Duplication isn’t enough Say I lose my wedding ring But I get an exact duplicate made Is my wife going to me okay with that? How much of your body has to remain the same? Can lose arms and legs Cryogenics “patients” sometimes freeze only the head Why? Is it really your face and head that makes you “you”? 2. Same Brain +1: Intuition about brain transplants You could survive a brain transplant +2: Brain death How’s transporter do? Same as before: mere duplicate Not literally the same brain More about brain transplant
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Consider brain bisection Say they transplant half my brain in another brain dead body Destroy the other half Q: On the sameness of brain criterion, did I survive? ANS: I think so Problem: what if instead of destroying the other half, they had transplanted the other half in a different body Did I survive? They can’t both be “me” So what happened to me? Am I one rather than the other? Maybe I didn’t survive But then you can’t say I survived in the first scenario Whether I survive or not should not depend on whether you destroy the other hemisphere 3. Spatio-temporal continuity of brain/body The reason I’m the same person I was when I was born it that I have carved out a smooth curve through space and time I’ve changed, but the there has never been a discontinuity “You” are really a spatio-temporal worm Carve out a trace through space and time Birth to death What I see now is just a person-slice Transporter clearly fails on this criterion Doesn’t seem to help the brain bisection problem Still haven’t figured out whether I survived or not Maybe the answer doesn’t have anything to do with the brain. .. 4. Psychological Continuity
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VI. Personal Identity - Personal Identity Transporter...

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