Discontinuity and Identity
Brennan (Andrew)
Source: Nous, Vol. 21, No. 2. (Jun., 1987), pp. 241-260
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    Consciousness may be an episodic phenomenon. The general conditions of identity for episodic objects are discussed, with a view to throwing light on identity conditions for minds. By considering both four-dimensionalist and non-four-dimensionalist metaphysics, certain conditions on identity are isolated as of crucial importance: these concern matter, structure and cause, and they seem to apply successfully both to physical and to psychological cases. One of three conditions, the one concerning structure, is discussed at length, for it suggests a more illuminating treatment of identity than one given in terms of sortal-covered1 continuity. A concept of survival like the one introduced in the early work of Parfit2 also plays an important part in the discussion, and it emphasizes that the proposals in the paper involve conceptual development rather than conceptual analysis.

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