Re: [Fwd: NDPR David Shoemaker, Personal Identity and Ethics: A Brief Introduction]

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 08:51:29 -0800

Quentin Anciaux wrote:
> 2009/2/23 Bruno Marchal < <>>
> The copy could be you in the deeper sense that it could be you even in
> the case where he loses some memory, all memories, or in case he got
> new memories, including false souvenirs. But then it is like in the
> movie "the prestige", your brother can be you. This path leads to the
> idea that we are already all the same person. It is "not being the
> other" which is an illusion in that case. I don't insist on this
> because we don't need to see that arithmetic is the theory of
> everything (and that physics comes from there). But it is needed for
> the "other hypostases" and the whole theological point.
> Bruno
> <>
> If the "copy" has no memory of being me then It's not me... or you
> mean there is something which is not memory but which is "me" (and
> render memory useless as primary property of the self) ?
> It is a matter of semantic but if you accept that memory is not what
> can be ascribe to "you" then "you/I/..." doesn't mean anything... in
> that sense you are me and vice-versa, and everyone is everyone but I
> don't see this as a theory of self identity.
> Regards,
> Quentin
I tend to agree with Quentin that memories are an essential component of
personal identity. But that also raises a problem with ideas like
"observer moments" and "continuity". Almost all my memories are not
being remembered at an given time. Some I may not recall for years at a
time. I may significant periods of time in which I am not consciously
recalling any memories. So then how can memories and continuity be
essential? I practice we rely on continuity of the body and then ask,
"Does this body have (some) appropriate memories?"


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Received on Mon Feb 23 2009 - 11:51:42 PST

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