PH100 Lecture Notes

Parfits suggestion dissociate psychological

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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. Survival can be a matter of degree Parfit's suggestion: The relationship between my different selves is not one of identity, but one of psychological connectedness. Psychological connectedness is a matter of degree Parfit's consequences: 1. Egoism vs. altruism: Shall I be concerned only about myself or also about others? Egoism requires personal identity. I am identical to my future self. If however, my future self is me only to a degree (i.e. I am not identical but only psychologically connected to my future self), then egoism loses much of its theoretical support. 2. Fear of death: If I am not identical to my future self, should I be afraid of death? Problems with Parfit's account 1. Is survival all that matters? 2. Is there a problem with Parfit's methodology? October 25, 2012: Free Will and Determinsism Free will: a. the capacity to act freely b. capacity to choose one action (or one course of action) from various alternatives c. the capacity to have done (or acted) otherwise Hypothetical situation: Three cases of robbery 1. due to hypnotization
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2. due to excessive drinking 3. because that's who you are Should you be arrested in all three cases? [Having free will = to be the author of one's own actions] → moral responsibility, praise, love, friendship The importance of free will “We all believe that we have free will. How could we not? Renouncing freedom would mean no longer planning for the future, for why make plans if you are not free to change what will happen? It would mean renouncing morality, for only those who act freely deserve blame or punishment. Without freedom, we march along pre-
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