Why there are still no people

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (1):174-192 (2005)
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Abstract

This paper will argue that there are no people. Let me summarize the argument. In part II of what follows, I argue that if identity isn't what matters in survival, psychological connectedness isn't what matters either. Psychological connectedness, according to Derek Parfit, is the 'holding of particular direct psychological connections,' for example, when a belief, a desire, or some other psychological feature continues to be had ; psychological connectedness consists in two other relations—resemblance plus a cause that produces it. For our purposes, to say of a relation that it is 'what matters in survival' is to say that it carries the burden of responsibility, remorse, and regret for past misdeeds; and that it is what makes rational the anticipation of, and the special hopes and fears we have about, our own future experiences. A consequence of II is that if identity isn't what matters in survival, either something other than psychological connectedness is what matters or nothing matters.

Author's Profile

Jim Stone
University of New Orleans

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