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

    The author critically examines derek parfit's arguments that full psychological continuity1 and connectedness provide all that matters to us in our survival. Two arguments are furnished which undermine parfit's conclusion. The first uses a thought experiment2 which demonstrates that even where there is full psychological continuity3 and connectedness between oneself and a future person, there can be a better candidate for one's survivor. The second argument examines the empirical data which parfit adduces in support of his argument. Experimental results are described which undermine parfit's conclusions about actual split-brain patients and suggest that the kind of fission that he describes is quite impossible. The author concludes that there is more to one's survival than full psychological continuity4 and connectedness between oneself and a future person.

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