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Unformatted text preview: • Parfit: (3) might not be absurd but it is unsatisfactory. The two hemispheres case is not homologous to (3). ▪ For one to “survive” one person has to die. However, irrational to want one person to die • Argument against the belief that there needs to be an answer to the question about personal identity • Additional issue: If the question of personal identity doesn't have an answer then we cannot answer certain important questions ◦ Parfit's proposal: We should not understand survival to mean identity. First conclusion • “The relation of the original person to each of the resulting people contains all that interests us – all that matters – in any ordinary case of survival. This is why we need a sense in which one person can survive as two” (10) SURVIVAL DOES NOT MEAN IDENTITY • So if survival does not mean identity, then you can survive as both A and B (fission case) Identity vs. survival • Identity is a one-to-one relation; survival doesn't have to be. • Psychological continuity as a criterion of personal identity. ◦ Objection: A person can be psychologically continuous to two persons. But if the psychological continuity theory is understood as a theory of personal identity, then we end up with the absurd claim that there are two distinct persons which are nonetheless identical to each other. ◦ Parfit's suggestion: Dissociate psychological continuity from identity. ▪ Psychological continuity is still important ▪ There are cases in which psychological continuity suffices for identity. ▪ However, there are also cases that does not. What psychological continuity gives us in those cases is survival . And this is as significant as identity. • Parfit: “even if psychological continuity is neither logically, nor always in fact, one-one, it can provide a criterion of identity. For this can appeal to the relation of non-branching psychological continuity, which is logically one-one” (13). Lesson 1 • Fission → survival need not be a one-to-one relationship Lesson 2 • Fusion → survival is a matter of degree (as opposed to numerical identity) ◦ you survive through time by degree, not by personal identity (psychological continuity) • Fusion = bodily fusion + psychological fusion ◦ psychological fusion: psychology of A + psychology of B = psychology of C Psychological fusion What does psychological fusion mean? • “For any two people who fuse together will have different characteristics, different desires, and different intentions. How can these be combined? We might suggest the following. Some of these will be compatible. These can coexist in the one resulting person. Some will • Parfit doesn't regard fusion as death Fusion is survival that depends on how compatible the two people are. The more compatible you are with your fusion partner, the more you survive....
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- Fall '10
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