Dividing Without Reducing: Bodily Fission and Personal Identity
Mills (Eugene)
Source: Mind 102.405, Jan. 1993, pp. 37-51
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

  1. I reconcile anti-reductionism about persons with the apparent possibility of personal fission. Apparent fission is "merely" apparent, I argue: both fission-survivors must exit before fission as well as after.
  2. I accept, however, Derek Parfit1's point that if fission-survivors shared a single stream of consciousness before fission, then it cannot be that both mental continuity and connectedness2 and identity over time are what matter in survival, as anti-reductionism requires.
  3. The proper conclusion is that fission-survivors had distinct streams of consciousness while cohabiting in a single body before fission. I defend this thesis against several objections.

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