- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Clones1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 04/12/2020 09:10:05): Clones
- Cloning is related to – or is involved in the analysis of – topics such as4
→ Resurrection8 / Reincarnation9,
→ Teletransportation10 (Note11).
- Cloning also features in12 several TEs13.
- We need to contrast:-
- The metaphysical possibility of atom-by-atom cloning, with …
- Biological cloning which uses existing structures, and interferes unnaturally in a fairly minor way.
- I am not concerned (as far as my thesis goes) with the medical ethics of biological cloning. There is never any suggestion that clones in this sense are logically identical, any more than so-called identical twins are.
- That said, there is something of a link – in the metaphysics, if not the ethics – with a critique of Parfit14’s “identity doesn’t matter” account of personal identity.
- Since my clone has my (innate) properties and capacities, Parfit might think I have all that matters (or much of what matters) to me if my clone, rather than I myself, survives and I do not.
- The papers by Nicholas Agar and Andrew Brennan cited below seem to follow this approach.
- In particular, the paper by Andrew Brennan suggests that persons might be types rather than tokens which – while an interesting proposal – is about as far from the truth as you can get. Tokens suffer, types do not, qua types. One token of the same type may be luxuriating white another is being tortured.
- What I am interested in is whether atom-by-atom cloning (where the original exemplar is destroyed) can ever preserve identity. Because of the logical possibility of the non-destruction of the “original”, I take it that it cannot. This argument depends on modal logic15 – and the rejection of the possibility of contingent identity16. For further discussion, see under Teletransportation17.
- We may also need to discuss causality18 to further explain why identity is not preserved. This is particularly the case when discussing Dean Zimmerman’s Falling Elevator model of resurrection19, where – it is supposed – there is a causal connection between the expiring body and its clone20 in the next world.
- The very term CLONING seems to deny the possibility of the logical identity of an original and its clone. It implies that there are two things – the original and the clone – and two things can never be one thing, so cannot be logically identical.
- I note here – for want of a better place – that there’s a “no-cloning” principle21 in Quantum Mechanics22, which forbids the making of an exact copy of an unknown quantum state. This is relevant to the difficulties for error-correction in Quantum Computing.
- For a Page of Links23 to this Note, Click here.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read24 include the following:-
- "Dennett (Daniel) - The Mind's I - Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul: Introduction", Dennett
- "Dworkin (Andrea) - Sasha", Dworkin
- "Gale (Richard) - On Some Pernicious Thought-Experiments", 1991, Gale
- "Ishiguro (Kazuo) - Never Let Me Go", 2005, Ishiguro25
- "Nussbaum (Martha) & Sunstein (Cass R.) - Clones and Clones - Introduction", Nussbaum & Sunstein
- "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity and Immortality", 2009, Shoemaker
- "Tuttle (Lisa) - World of Strangers", Tuttle
- The categorised reading-list below includes a lot of irrelevant items to do with the ethics of biological cloning. A further reading list might start with:-
- "Agar (Nicholas) - Cloning and Identity", 2003, Agar
- "Brennan (Andrew) - Survival", 1984, Brennan
- "Briggs (Rachael) & Nolan (Daniel) - Utility Monsters for the Fission Age", Briggs & Nolan
- "Johnston (Mark) - A New Refutation Of Death", 2010, Johnston
- "Kamm (F.M.) - Moral Status and Personal Identity: Clones, Embryos, and Future Generations", 2005, Kamm
- "Nussbaum (Martha) & Sunstein (Cass), Eds. - Clones and Clones: Facts and Fantasies About Human Cloning", 1998, Nussbaum26
- "Swinburne (Richard) - How To Determine Which Is The True Theory Of Personal Identity", Swinburne
- "Wiggins (David) - Identity, Individuation, and Substance", Wiggins
- This Note is mostly a place-holder27.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (04/12/2020 09:10:05).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- I’ve included the papers primarily treating of these topics under the reading list for this topic where they mention cloning, though they will feature elsewhere.
Footnote 12: Footnote 20: Footnote 21: Footnote 25:
- This is sometimes rather tendentiously referred to as “Telecloning”.
- Yet, calling it “Teletransportation” is equally tendentious, and
- “Telecloning” has at least the virtue of being the correct description!
- See "Brennan (Andrew) - Survival".
- This is even less relevant than Nussbaum – being a novel. It raises ethical questions in a futuristic situation.
- This book is concerned with the ethics of medical cloning, so is mostly tangential to my concerns.
- However, the items in Part I: Science, and Part II: Commentary are likely to be of use.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020