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  1. added 2018-09-21
    Zwölf Antworten auf Williams' Paradox.Marc Andree Weber - 2017 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 71 (1):128-154.
    Theories of personal identity face a paradox, which traces back to Bernard Williams: some scenarios obviously show that mental continuity is what solely matters in survival; others, on the contrary, show with equal obviousness that it is bodily continuity. Different authors have produced diverging and partly conflicting answers in response to that problem. Based on recent research concerning the structure of philosophical thought experiment, this paper reevaluates and, for the first time, neatly classifies those answers. What is more, several existing (...)
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  2. added 2018-09-06
    Reconsidering a Transplant: A Response to Wagner.Simon Beck - 2016 - South African Journal of Philosophy 35 (2):132-140.
    Nils-Frederic Wagner takes issue with my argument that influential critics of “transplant” thought experiments make two cardinal mistakes. He responds that the mistakes I identify are not mistakes at all. The mistakes are rather on my part, in that I have not taken into account the conceptual genesis of personhood, that my view of thought experiments is idiosyncratic and possibly self-defeating, and in that I have ignored important empirical evidence about the relationship between brains and minds. I argue that my (...)
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  3. added 2017-09-04
    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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  4. added 2017-07-23
    Evaluation and Objections to Judith Thomson in "People and Their Bodies".Seth Carter - forthcoming - GRIN Publishing.
    In her essay, “People and their Bodies,” Judith Thomson writes an evaluation of several formulations of the psychological criterion for personal identity and attempts a strategy of criticizing each formulation of the psychological theory. This is done in order to conclude that a physical theory must be the only remaining viable sufficient candidate for explaining personal identity that is both necessary and sufficient, despite its theoretical weaknesses. This paper seeks to analyze Thomson's critique and explain why her chosen formulations of (...)
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  5. added 2017-03-02
    Parfit and the Russians.Simon Beck - 1989 - Analysis 49 (4):205.
    The paper takes a close look at Derek Parfit’s example of the Nineteenth Century Russian in 'Reasons and Persons'. Parfit presents it as an example which illustrates the moral consequences of adopting his reductionist view of personal identity in a positive light. I argue that things turn out to be more complex than he envisages, and that it might be far more difficult to live in his world than he allows.
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  6. added 2017-02-27
    The Unimportance of Being Any Future Person.Johan E. 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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  7. added 2016-12-18
    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. added 2016-06-22
    Gedankenexperimente in der Philosophie.Daniel Cohnitz - 2006 - Mentis.
    Wie ist es wohl, eine Fledermaus zu sein? Wäre ein rein physikalisches Duplikat von mir nur ein empfindungsloser Zombie? Muss man sich seinem Schicksal ergeben, wenn man sich unfreiwillig als lebensnotwendige Blutwaschanlage eines weltberühmten Violinisten wieder findet? Kann man sich wünschen, der König von China zu sein? Bin ich vielleicht nur ein Gehirn in einem Tank mit Nährflüssigkeit, das die Welt von einer Computersimulation vorgegaukelt bekommt? Worauf beziehen sich die Menschen auf der Zwillingserde mit ihrem Wort 'Wasser', wenn es bei (...)
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  9. added 2016-03-03
    The Extreme Claim, Psychological Continuity and the Person Life View.Simon Beck - 2015 - South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (3):314-322.
    Marya Schechtman has raised a series of worries for the Psychological Continuity Theory of personal identity (PCT) stemming out of what Derek Parfit called the ‘Extreme Claim’. This is roughly the claim that theories like it are unable to explain the importance we attach to personal identity. In her recent Staying Alive (2014), she presents further arguments related to this and sets out a new narrative theory, the Person Life View (PLV), which she sees as solving the problems as well (...)
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  10. added 2016-03-03
    Points of Concern.Simon Beck - 2000 - Theoria 47 (96):121-130.
    This is a critical review of Raymond Martin's 'Self-Concern'(1998).
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  11. added 2016-03-03
    Back to the Self and the Future.S. Beck - 1998 - South African Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):211-225.
    The thought-experiment presented by Bernard Williams in 'The self and the future' continues to draw the attention of writers in the debate about personal identity. While few of them agree on what implications it has for the debate, almost all agree that those implications are significant ones. Some have even claimed that it has consequences not only for personal identity, but also concerning the viability of thought-experiment as a method. This paper surveys what these consequences might be at both levels (...)
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  12. added 2015-10-09
    Transplant Thought-Experiments: Two Costly Mistakes in Discounting Them.Simon Beck - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):189-199.
    ‘Transplant’ thought-experiments, in which the cerebrum is moved from one body to another, have featured in a number of recent discussions in the personal identity literature. Once taken as offering confirmation of some form of psychological continuity theory of identity, arguments from Marya Schechtman and Kathleen Wilkes have contended that this is not the case. Any such apparent support is due to a lack of detail in their description or a reliance on predictions that we are in no position to (...)
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  13. added 2015-09-12
    Moment Universals and Personal Identity.Arnold Zuboff - 1978 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 52:141-55.
    This paper could be thought of as divided into two parts. In the first I show through a series of thought experiments that it is a mistake to think of one’s individual experience as necessarily belonging to only one particular place, time and organism. In repetitions across a universe large enough to host them, the particular experience that one finds oneself in, which can be individuated only by the detailed type that is the entirety of its momentary subjective content, would (...)
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  14. added 2015-09-06
    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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  15. added 2015-08-27
    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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  16. added 2015-04-07
    Life After Death and the Devastation of the Grave.Eric T. Olson - 2015 - In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 409-423.
    This paper—written for nonspecialist readers—asks whether life after death is in any sense possible given the apparent fact that after we die our remains decay to the point where only randomly scattered atoms remain. The paper argues that this is possible only if our remains are not in fact dispersed in this way, and discusses how that might be the case. -/- 1. Life After Death -- 2. Total Destruction -- 3. The Soul -- 4. Body-Snatching -- 5. Radical Resurrection (...)
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  17. added 2015-03-11
    The Bodies of Persons.Douglas C. Long - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (10):291-301.
    Much mischief concerning the concept of a human body is generated by the failure of philosophers to distinguish various important senses of the term 'body.' I discuss three of those senses and illustrate the issues they can generate by discussing the concept of a Lockean exchange of bodies as well as the brain-body switch.
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  18. added 2014-04-02
    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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  19. added 2012-03-25
    Morals, Metaphysics and the Method of Cases.Simon Beck - 2010 - South African Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):332-342.
    In this paper I discuss a set of problems concerning the method of cases as it is used in applied ethics and in the metaphysical debate about personal identity. These problems stem from research in social psychology concerning our access to the data with which the method operates. I argue that the issues facing ethics are more worrying than those facing metaphysics.
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  20. added 2012-03-25
    Martha Nussbaum and the Foundations of Ethics: Identity, Morality and Thought-Experiments.Simon Beck - 2009 - South African Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):261-270.
    Martha Nussbaum has argued in support of the view (supposedly that of Aristotle) that we can, through thought-experiments involving personal identity, find an objective foundation for moral thought without having to appeal to any authority independent of morality. I compare the thought-experiment from Plato’s Philebus that she presents as an example to other thought-experiments involving identity in the literature and argue that this reveals a tension between the sources of authority which Nussbaum invokes for her thought-experiment. I also argue that (...)
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  21. added 2012-03-25
    Going Narrative: Schechtman and the Russians.Simon Beck - 2008 - South African Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):69-79.
    Marya Schechtman's The Constitution of Selves presented an impressive attempt to persuade those working on personal identity to give up mainstream positions and take on a narrative view instead. More recently, she has presented new arguments with a closely related aim. She attempts to convince us to give up the view of identity as a matter of psychological continuity, using Derek Parfit's story of the “Nineteenth Century Russian” as a central example in making the case against Parfit's own view, and (...)
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  22. added 2011-11-30
    Our Identity, Responsibility and Biology.Simon Beck - 2004 - Philosophical Papers:3-14.
    Eric Olson argues in The Human Animal that thought-experiments involving body-swapping do not in the end offer any support to psychological continuity theories, nor do they pose any threat to his Biological View. I argue that he is mistaken in at least the second claim.
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  23. added 2011-11-23
    Cognition, Persons, Identity.Simon Beck - 2003 - Alternation 10 (1):195-215.
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