Personal Identity and Survival
Robinson (John)
Source: Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 85, No. 6, Jun., 1988, pp. 319-328
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

  1. The author critically examines Derek Parfit1's arguments that full psychological continuity2 and connectedness3 provide all that matters4 to us in our survival.
  2. Two arguments are furnished which undermine Parfit5's conclusion. The first uses a thought experiment6 which demonstrates that even where there is full psychological continuity7 and connectedness8 between oneself and a future person, there can be a better candidate9 for one's survivor.
  3. The second argument examines the empirical data which Parfit10 adduces in support of his argument. Experimental results are described which undermine Parfit11's conclusions about actual split-brain12 patients and suggest that the kind of fission that he describes is quite impossible.
  4. The author concludes that there is more to one's survival13 than full psychological continuity14 and connectedness15 between oneself and a future person.

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