Saturday, January 15, 2005

Snippet from a discussion on identity

MelbournePhilosopher

It seems like someone is attempting to say that my mind is the only part of myself I cannot remove and still remain myself - but that is false. We call amnesiacs the same person as before they forgot, and dead persons the same person as when they are alive. In fact, our ascription of identity is more numerical identity than qualitative identity.

Defining the self holistically, and accepting that identity allows for change, is not a regression at all. Unclearness on identity (for example losing an arm) is not actually a problem of fact or perception, but a problem of language. There is nothing about which we are mistaken when we see that a dead person is no longer a live, or when someone's arm is lost etc, so why is it that you find it necessary to place the self so solidly in the mind?

Cheers,
-MP

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