Philosopher’s Index Abstract
- Discusses the Standard View of personal identity where no person was ever a fetus.
- Continuity of mental contents or capacities to exist now or in the future;
- Comparison to the popular assumption on the potential of a fetus to become a person;
- Comparison to the Biological View.
- The Standard View of personal identity says that someone who exists now can exist at another time only if there is continuity of her mental contents or capacities.
- But no person is psychologically continuous with a fetus, for a fetus, at least early in its career, has no mental features at all. So the Standard View entails that no person was ever a fetus – contrary to the popular assumption that an unthinking fetus is a potential person.
- It is also mysterious what does ordinarily happen to a human fetus, if it does not come to be a person.
- Although an extremely complex variant of the Standard View may allow one to persist without psychological continuity1 before one becomes a person but not afterwards, a far simpler solution is to accept a radically non-psychological account of our identity.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)