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  1. 'He Only Comes Out When I Drink My Gin’: DID, Personal Identity, and Moral Responsibility.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2016 - In Rocco J. Gennaro & Casey Harison (eds.), The Who and Philosophy. Rowman & Littlefield: Lexington Press. pp. 121-134.
    This essay explores the topic of Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly called “Multiple Personality Disorder”) with special attention to such Quadrophenia masterpieces as “Dr. Jimmy” and “The Real Me.” A number of major philosophical questions arise: Can two or more “persons” really inhabit the same body? How can we hold Dr. Jimmy morally responsible for the reprehensible actions of Mr. Jim? Wouldn’t it be wrong to do so if they are really different people? What is it to be the “same” person (...)
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  2. Is My Head a Person?Michael B. Burke - 2003 - In K. Petrus (ed.), On Human Persons. Heusenstamm Nr Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag. pp. 107-125.
    It is hard to see why the head and other brain-containing parts of a person are not themselves persons, or at least thinking, conscious beings. Some theorists have sought to reconcile us to the existence of thinking person-parts. Others have sought ways to avoid them, but have relied on radical theories at odds with the metaphysic implicit in ordinary ways of thinking. This paper offers a novel, conservative solution, one on which the heads and other brain-containing parts of persons do (...)
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  3. Non-Branching Clause.Huiyuhl Yi - 2010 - Metaphysica 11 (2):191-210.
    The central claim of the Parfitian psychological approach to personal identity is that the fact about personal identity is underpinned by a non-branching psychological continuity relation. Hence, for the advocates of the Parfitian view, it is important to understand what it is for a relation to take or not take a branching form. Nonetheless, very few attempts have been made in the literature of personal identity to define the non-branching clause. This paper undertakes this task. Drawing upon a recent debate (...)
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  4. Dion, Theon, and the Many-Thinkers Problem.Michael B. Burke - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):242–250.
    Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? In Burke 1994, employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, I defended a surprising position last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes. This paper defends that position against objections by Stone, Carter, Olson, and others. Most notably, it offers a novel, conservative solution (...)
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  5. Psychological Continuity, Fission, and the Non-Branching Constraint.By Robert Francescotti - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):21–31.
    Those who endorse the Psychological Continuity Approach (PCA) to analyzing personal identity need to impose a non-branching constraint to get the intuitively correct result that in the case of fission, one person becomes two. With the help of Brueckner's (2005) discussion, it is shown here that the sort of non-branching clause that allows proponents of PCA to provide sufficient conditions for being the same person actually runs contrary to the very spirit of their theory. The problem is first presented in (...)
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Fission and Split Brains
  1. Baker's First-Person Perspectives: They Are Not What They Seem.Marc Andree Weber - 2015 - Phenomenology and Mind 7:158-168.
    Lynne Baker's concept of a first-person perspective is not as clear and straightforward as it might seem at first glance. There is a discrepancy between her argumentation that we have first-person perspectives and some characteristics she takes first-person perspectives to have, namely, that the instances of this capacity necessarily persist through time and are indivisible and unduplicable. Moreover, these characteristics cause serious problems concerning personal identity.
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  2. Non-Branching Personal Persistence.Johan E. Gustafsson - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    Given reductionism about people, personal persistence must fundamentally consist in some kind of impersonal continuity relation. Typically, these continuity relations can hold from one to many. And, if they can, the analysis of personal persistence must include a non-branching clause to avoid non-transitive identities or multiple occupancy. It is far from obvious, however, what form this clause should take. This paper argues that previous accounts are inadequate and develops a new proposal.
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  3. There is No Haecceitic Euthyphro Problem.Alexander Skiles - forthcoming - Analysis:any061.
    Jason Bowers and Meg Wallace have recently argued that those who hold that every individual instantiates a ‘haecceity’ are caught up in a Euthyphro-style dilemma when confronted with familiar cases of fission and fusion. Key to Bowers and Wallace’s dilemma are certain assumptions about the nature of metaphysical explanation and the explanatory commitments of belief in haecceities. However, I argue that the dilemma only arises due to a failure to distinguish between providing a metaphysical explanation of why a fact holds (...)
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  4. Self-Consciousness and "Split" Brains: The Minds' I.Elizabeth Schechter - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Elizabeth Schechter explores the implications of the experience of people who have had the pathway between the two hemispheres of their brain severed, and argues that there are in fact two minds, subjects of experience, and intentional agents inside each split-brain human being: right and left. But each split-brain subject is still one of us.
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  5. The Unimportance of Being Any Future Person.Johan Gustafsson - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):745-750.
    Derek Parfit’s argument against the platitude that identity is what matters in survival does not work given his intended reading of the platitude, namely, that what matters in survival to some future time is being identical with someone who is alive at that time. I develop Parfit’s argument so that it works against the platitude on this intended reading.
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  6. Fission, First Person Thought, and Subject-Body Dualism.Kirk Ludwig - 2017 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 13 (1):5-25.
    In “The Argument for Subject Body Dualism from Transtemporal Identity Defended” (PPR 2013), Martine Nida-Rümelin (NR) responded to my (PPR 2013) criticism of her (2010) argument for subject-body dualism. The crucial premise of her (2010) argument was that there is a factual difference between the claims that in a fission case the original person is identical with one, or the other, of the successors. I argued that, on the three most plausible interpretations of ‘factual difference’, the argument fails. NR responds (...)
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  7. Homunculi Are People Too! Lewis's Definition of Personhood Debugged.Cody Gilmore - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):54-60.
    David Lewis defends the following "non-circular definition of personhood": "something is a continuant person if and only if it is a maximal R-interrelated aggregate of person-stages. That is: if and only if it is an aggregate of person-stages, each of which is R-related to all the rest (and to itself), and it is a proper part of no other such aggregate." I give a counterexample, involving a person who is a part of another, much larger person, with a separate mental (...)
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  8. Points of Concern.Simon Beck - 2000 - Theoria 47:121-130.
    This is a critical review of Raymond Martin's 'Self-Concern' (1998), focusing especially on his criticism of Parfit's use of fission thought-experiments and his own 'fission rejuvenation' thought-experiment.
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  9. Does Division Multiply Desert?Theron Pummer - 2014 - Philosophical Review 123 (1):43-77.
    It seems plausible that (i) how much punishment a person deserves cannot be affected by the mere existence or nonexistence of another person. We might have also thought that (ii) how much punishment is deserved cannot increase merely in virtue of personal division. I argue that (i) and (ii) are inconsistent with the popular belief that, other things being equal, when people culpably do very wrong or bad acts, they ought to be punished for this—even if they have repented, are (...)
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  10. The Argument for Subject‐Body Dualism From Transtemporal Identity.Kirk Ludwig - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):684-701.
    Martine Nida-Rümelin has argued recently for subject-body dualism on the basis of reflections on the possibility of survival in fission cases from the literature on personal identity. The argument focuses on the claim that there is a factual difference between the claims that one or the other of two equally good continuers of a person in a fission case is identical with her. I consider three interpretations of the notion of a factual difference that the argument employs, and I argue (...)
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  11. Psychological Continuity and the Necessity of Identity.Robert Francescotti - 2010 - American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (4):337-350.
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  12. Psychological Continuity, Fission, and the Non-Branching Constraint.Robert Francescotti - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):21-31.
    Abstract: Those who endorse the Psychological Continuity Approach (PCA) to analyzing personal identity need to impose a non-branching constraint to get the intuitively correct result that in the case of fission, one person becomes two. With the help of Brueckner's (2005) discussion, it is shown here that the sort of non-branching clause that allows proponents of PCA to provide sufficient conditions for being the same person actually runs contrary to the very spirit of their theory. The problem is first presented (...)
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  13. How to Be a Conventional Person.Kristie Miller - 2004 - The Monist 87 (4):457-474.
    Recent work in personal identity has emphasized the importance of various conventions, or ‘person-directed practices’ in the determination of personal identity. An interesting question arises as to whether we should think that there are any entities that have, in some interesting sense, conventional identity conditions. We think that the best way to understand such work about practices and conventions is the strongest and most radical. If these considerations are correct, persons are, on our view, conventional constructs: they are in part (...)
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  14. What Matters in Survival: The Fission Problem, Life Trajectories, and the Possibility of Virtual Immersion.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    This paper has two goals. The first is to motivate and illustrate the possibility that we can accept Parfitian arguments about the importance of personal identity, while rejecting fission as an instance of preserving what matters in survival. The second goal is to develop a particular externalist view of what matters in survival that can accommodate and explain this possibility. The motivation for this conception of what matters comes from considering certain cases of virtual immersion – the immersion of a (...)
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  15. Can a Person Break a World Record?Henk Bij de Weg - manuscript
    Most philosophers in the analytical philosophy answer the question what personal identity is in psychological terms. Arguments for substantiating this view are mainly based on thought experiments of brain transfer cases and the like in which persons change brains. However, in these thought experiments the remaining part of the body plays only a passive part. In this paper I argue that the psychological approach of personal identity cannot be maintained, if the whole body is actively involved in the analysis, and (...)
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  16. Fission, Cohabitation and the Concern for Future Survival.Rebecca Roache - 2010 - Analysis 70 (2):256-263.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  17. Parfit on Division.Hugh S. Chandler - manuscript
    Parfit’s well known book, Reasons and Persons, argues, among other things, that ‘what matters’ in regard to ‘survival’ is not personal identity but something he calls ‘relation R.’ On this basis, plus other considerations, he rejects the ‘Self-interest’ theory as to what should be our aim in life. Here I show, or try to show, that his over-all argument is seriously defective. In particular, he fails to prove that personal identity is not what matters for survival.
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  18. The Unity of Consciousness and the Split-Brain Syndrome.Tim Bayne - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (6):277-300.
    According to conventional wisdom, the split-brain syndrome puts paid to the thesis that consciousness is necessarily unified. The aim of this paper is to challenge that view. I argue both that disunity models of the split-brain are highly problematic, and that there is much to recommend a model of the split-brain—the switch model—according to which split-brain patients retain a fully unified consciousness at all times. Although the task of examining the unity of consciousness through the lens of the split-brain syndrome (...)
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  19. Divided Minds and the Nature of Persons.Derek A. Parfit - 1987 - In Colin Blakemore & Susan A. Greenfield (eds.), Mindwaves. Blackwell.
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  20. One Self: The Logic of Experience.Arnold Zuboff - 1990 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):39-68.
    Imagine that you and a duplicate of yourself are lying unconscious, next to each other, about to undergo a complete step-by-step exchange of bits of your bodies. It certainly seems that at no stage in this exchange of bits will you have thereby switched places with your duplicate. Yet it also seems that the end-result, with all the bits exchanged, will be essentially that of the two of you having switched places. Where will you awaken? I claim that one and (...)
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Immortality
  1. Mort (Entrée Grand Public, L'Encyclopédie Philosophique).Federico Lauria - 2019 - L'Encyclopédie Philosophique.
    La mort nous afflige, nous angoisse, voire nous terrifie. Qu’est-ce que la mort ? La tristesse et l’angoisse face à la mort sont-elles justifiées ? La mort est-elle un mal ? Vaudrait-il mieux être immortel ? Comment comprendre le deuil ? Cette entrée propose un aperçu des questions principales de la philosophie contemporaine de la mort. Tentons de sonder l’énigme la plus tragique de la vie.
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  2. Existence Is Evidence of Immortality.Michael Huemer - manuscript
    Time may be infinite in both directions. If it is, then, if persons could live at most once in all of time, the probability that you would be alive now would be zero. Since you are alive now, with certainty, either the past is finite, or persons can live more than once.
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  3. Classification of Approaches to Technological Resurrection.Alexey Turchin & Chernyakov Maxim - manuscript
    Abstract. Death seems to be a permanent event, but there is no actual proof of its irreversibility. Here we list all known ways to resurrect the dead that do not contradict our current scientific understanding of the world. While no method is currently possible, many of those listed here may become feasible with future technological development, and it may even be possible to act now to increase their probability. The most well-known such approach to technological resurrection is cryonics. Another method (...)
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  4. Digital Immortality: Theory and Protocol for Indirect Mind Uploading.Alexey Turchin - manuscript
    Future superintelligent AI will be able to reconstruct a model of the personality of a person who lived in the past based on informational traces. This could be regarded as some form of immortality if this AI also solves the problem of personal identity in a copy-friendly way. A person who is currently alive could invest now in passive self-recording and active self-description to facilitate such reconstruction. In this article, we analyze informational-theoretical relationships between the human mind, its traces, and (...)
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  5. Forever and Again: Necessary Conditions for “Quantum Immortality” and its Practical Implications.Alexey Turchin - 2018 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 28 (1).
    This article explores theoretical conditions necessary for “quantum immortality” (QI) as well as its possible practical implications. It is demonstrated that the QI is a particular case of “multiverse immortality” (MI) which is based on two main assumptions: the very large size of the Universe (not necessary because of quantum effects), and the copy-friendly theory of personal identity. It is shown that a popular objection about the lowering of the world-share (measure) of an observer in the case of QI doesn’t (...)
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  6. Williams and the Desirability of Body‐Bound Immortality Revisited.A. G. Gorman - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy:1062-1083.
    Bernard Williams argues that human mortality is a good thing because living forever would necessarily be intolerably boring. His argument is often attacked for unfoundedly proposing asymmetrical requirements on the desirability of living for mortal and immortal lives. My first aim in this paper is to advance a new interpretation of Williams' argument that avoids these objections, drawing in part on some of his other writings to contextualize it. My second aim is to show how even the best version of (...)
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  7. Theories of Consciousness & Death.Gregory Nixon (ed.) - 2016 - New York, USA: QuantumDream.
    What happens to the inner light of consciousness with the death of the individual body and brain? Reductive materialism assumes it simply fades to black. Others think of consciousness as indicating a continuation of self, a transformation, an awakening or even alternatives based on the quality of life experience. In this issue, speculation drawn from theoretic research are presented. -/- Table of Contents Epigraph: From “The Immortal”, Jorge Luis Borges iii Editor’s Introduction: I Killed a Squirrel the Other Day, Gregory (...)
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  8. Boltzmannian Immortality.Christian Loew - 2016 - Erkenntnis (4):1-16.
    Plausible assumptions from Cosmology and Statistical Mechanics entail that it is overwhelmingly likely that there will be exact duplicates of us in the distant future long after our deaths. Call such persons “Boltzmann duplicates,” after the great pioneer of Statistical Mechanics. In this paper, I argue that if survival of death is possible at all, then we almost surely will survive our deaths because there almost surely will be Boltzmann duplicates of us in the distant future that stand in appropriate (...)
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  9. Williams and the Desirability of Body‐Bound Immortality Revisited.A. G. Gorman - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (3).
    Bernard Williams argues that human mortality is a good thing because living forever would necessarily be intolerably boring. His argument is often attacked for unfoundedly proposing asymmetrical requirements on the desirability of living for mortal and immortal lives. My first aim in this paper is to advance a new interpretation of Williams' argument that avoids these objections, drawing in part on some of his other writings to contextualize it. My second aim is to show how even the best version of (...)
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  10. The Metaphysics of Mortals: Death, Immortality, and Personal Time.Cody Gilmore - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3271-3299.
    Personal time, as opposed to external time, has a certain role to play in the correct account of death and immortality. But saying exactly what that role is, and what role remains for external time, is not straightforward. I formulate and defend accounts of death and immortality that specify these roles precisely.
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  11. Bootstrapping the Afterlife.Roman Altshuler - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (2).
    Samuel Scheffler defends “The Afterlife Conjecture”: the view that the continued existence of humanity after our deaths—“the afterlife”—lies in the background of our valuing; were we to lose confidence in it, many of the projects we engage in would lose their meaning. The Afterlife Conjecture, in his view, also brings out the limits of our egoism, showing that we care more about yet unborn strangers than about personal survival. But why does the afterlife itself matter to us? Examination of Scheffler’s (...)
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  12. نیاز جاودانگی برای معنای زندگی.Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - Falsafeh 6 (72):81-90.
    Persian translation by Seyyed Mostafa Mousavi A’zam of 'The Immortality Requirement for Life's Meaning' (Ratio 2003).
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  13. Empathy and Intersubjectivity.Joshua May - 2017 - In Heidi Maibom (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Empathy. New York: Routledge. pp. 169-179.
    Empathy is intersubjective in that it connects us mentally with others. Some theorists believe that by blurring the distinction between self and other empathy can provide a radical form of altruism that grounds all of morality and even a kind of immortality. Others are more pessimistic and maintain that in distorting the distinction between self and other empathy precludes genuine altruism. Even if these positions exaggerate self-other merging, empathy’s intersubjectivity can perhaps ground ordinary altruism and the rational recognition that one (...)
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  14. How Must We Be for the Resurrection to Be Good News?Chad Engelland - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:245-261.
    While the promise of the resurrection appears wonderful, it is also perplexing: How can the person raised be one and the same person as the one that dies? And if the raised person is not the same, why should any of us mortals regard the promise of the resurrection as good news? In this paper, I articulate the part-whole structure of human nature that supports belief in the sameness of the resurrected person’s identity and the desirability of the resurrection: the (...)
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  15. Immortality.Godehard Brüntrup - 2015 - Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception 12.
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  16. Agency, Scarcity, and Mortality.Luca Ferrero - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4):349-378.
    It is often argued, most recently by Samuel Scheffler, that we should reconcile with our mortality as constitutive of our existence: as essential to its temporal structure, to the nature of deliberation, and to our basic motivations and values. Against this reconciliatory strategy, I argue that there is a kind of immortal existence that is coherently conceivable and potentially desirable. First, I argue against the claim that our existence has a temporal structure with a trajectory that necessarily culminates in an (...)
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  17. Does Death Give Meaning to Life?Brooke Alan Trisel - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 5 (2):62-81.
    Some people claim that death makes our lives meaningless. Bernard Williams and Viktor Frankl have made the opposite claim that death gives meaning to life. Although there has been much scrutiny of the former claim, the latter claim has received very little attention. In this paper, I will explore whether and how death gives meaning to our lives. As I will argue, there is not sufficient support for the strong claim that death is necessary for one's life to be meaningful. (...)
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  18. Immortality, Identity, and Desirability.Roman Altshuler - 2015 - In Michael Cholbi (ed.), Immortality and the Philosophy of Death. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 191-203.
    Williams’s famous argument against immortality rests on the idea that immortality cannot be desirable, at least for human beings, and his contention has spawned a cottage industry of responses. As I will intend to show, the arguments over his view rest on both a difference of temperament and a difference in the sense of desire being used. The former concerns a difference in whether one takes a forward-looking or a backward-looking perspective on personal identity; the latter a distinction between our (...)
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  19. The Argument From Brain Damage Vindicated.Rocco J. Gennaro & Yonatan I. Fishman - 2015 - In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 105-133.
    It has long been known that brain damage has important negative effects on one’s mental life and even eliminates one’s ability to have certain conscious experiences. It thus stands to reason that when all of one’s brain activity ceases upon death, consciousness is no longer possible and so neither is an afterlife. It seems clear that human consciousness is dependent upon functioning brains. This essay reviews some of the overall neurological evidence from brain damage studies and concludes that our argument (...)
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  20. Mortal Harm and the Antemortem Experience of Death.Stephan Blatti - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (9):640-42.
    In his recent book, Death, Posthumous Harm, and Bioethics (Routeledge 2012), James Stacey Taylor challenges two ideas whose provenance may be traced all the way back to Aristotle. The first of these is the thought that death (typically) harms the one who dies (mortal harm thesis). The second is the idea that one can be harmed (and wronged) by events that occur after one’s death (posthumous harm thesis). Taylor devotes two-thirds of the book to arguing against both theses and the (...)
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  21. I See Dead People: Disembodied Souls and Aquinas’s ‘Two-Person’ Problem.Christina Van Dyke - 2014 - In Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy. pp. 25-45.
    Aquinas’s account of the human soul is the key to his theory of human nature. The soul’s nature as the substantial form of the human body appears at times to be in tension with its nature as immaterial intellect, however, and nowhere is this tension more evident than in Aquinas’s discussion of the ‘separated’ soul. In this paper I use the Biblical story of the rich man and Lazarus (which Aquinas took to involve actual separated souls) to highlight what I (...)
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  22. To Bite or Not to Bite: Twilight, Immortality, and the Meaning of Life.Brendan Shea - 2009 - In Rebecca Housel & J. Jeremy Wisnewski (eds.), Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 79-93.
    Over the course of the Twilight series, Bella strives to and eventually succeeds in convincing Edward to turn her into a vampire. Her stated reason for this is that it will allow her to be with Edward forever. In this essay, I consider whether this type of immortality is something that would be good for Bella, or indeed for any of us. I begin by suggesting that Bella's own viewpoint is consonant with that of Leo Tolstoy, who contends that one (...)
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  23. Eternity, Boredom, and One's Part-Whole-Reality Conception.William Lauinger - 2014 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):1-28.
    Bernard Williams famously argued that eternal life is undesirable for a human because it would inevitably grow intolerably boring. I will argue against Williams and those who share his view. To make my case, I will provide an account of what staves off boredom in our current, earthly-mortal lives, and then I will draw on this account while advancing reasons for thinking that eternal life is desirable, given certain conditions. Though my response to Williams will partly overlap with some prior (...)
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  24. Immortal Curiosity.Attila Tanyi & Karl Karlander - 2013 - Philosophical Forum 44 (3):255-273.
    The paper discusses Bernard Williams’ argument that immortality is rationally undesirable because it leads to insufferable boredom. We first spell out Williams’ argument in the form of a dilemma. We then show that the first horn of this dilemma, namely Williams’ requirement of the constancy of character of the immortal, is defensible. We next argue against a recent attempt that accepts the dilemma, but rejects the conclusion Williams draws from it. From these we conclude that blocking the second horn of (...)
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Brain Transplants
  1. The Unimportance of Being Any Future Person.Johan Gustafsson - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):745-750.
    Derek Parfit’s argument against the platitude that identity is what matters in survival does not work given his intended reading of the platitude, namely, that what matters in survival to some future time is being identical with someone who is alive at that time. I develop Parfit’s argument so that it works against the platitude on this intended reading.
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