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

From: GŁnther Greindl <>
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 01:57:29 +0100


> Personal identity and memory could be a useful fiction for living. Here
> I was alluding to possible deeper sense of the self, which makes me
> conceive that indeed there is only one person playing a trick to itself.
> Like if our bodies where just disconnected windows giving to that unique
> person the ability to have a sort of stereoscopic view on reality.

I think I agree with this view. At least, in mystic mode ;-)

> Memories, like body and brain are things we possess, and this means, I
> think, that we can still survive without them.
> Suppose that I die tomorrow, and that sometimes after someone find a
> backup of "me" at the age of five, so that "I" am reconstituted from
> that backup. Would you say I am dead, or would you say that I have
> survived, only with a severe sort of amnesy ?

We should be careful here: the "mystic I" survives, but I don't think
that that is what most people have in mind when they talk of personal
identity/survival. Here, the concern is clearly continuity of memory.

In normal discourse, the 5 year old Bruno is clearly not an amnesic
survivor; the older Bruno (with his unique experiences) would be dead.

Best Wishes,

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Received on Thu Feb 26 2009 - 19:56:59 PST

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