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Lecture 12

PHL201H1 Lecture 12: Personal Identity: Overview of Cartesianism, Locke's Simple Memory Theory, Causal Memory Theory, Bodily Identity
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Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHL201H1
Professor
Mark Schranz

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PHL201H1-S 2016-02-24 Lecture 12 Personal Identity: Overview The Goal: Convince the dying professor of 2 things: o (1) She can survive her death o There will be some future person (someone who looks like her with similar memories as her) o Prove that that future person is her in some sense o Makes sense for her to look forward to future experiences of that person o Would make sense for her to care about that persons welfare in the future o She seems to say that exact similarity is not enough Carbon copy of you in the future doesnt seem enough, needs the right sort of relationship o (2) Convince her of the possibility that she could be the same as or identical with some future person (A) 2 is necessary for 1 Wedding ring example Strategy #1: Cartesianism You are same person in future and can survive your death You are not just the soul but there are other elements (personality, character traits) Soul is container in which these elements are in Soul doesnt decompose when brain dies Then soul could be then paired to some future body when you die Person = immaterial soul that can survive death Problem with this strategy: o (1) If accept this view, that person is the soul, then doesnt seem to fit with judgement we make about being same person over time When make judgement over someone else that theyre the same person over time You cant actually tell if thats true Your senses cant say for sure Soul doesnt have a smell, sound, touch And maybe the container (soul) changed over some time IF its true that when we judge that Bob is the same person over time, cant have access, and cant have any information on whether its the same soul Cant tell if its the same soul over time Need to have different criteria in mind Maybe need another requirement? Recall need to do to things: (1) Its right for her to anticipate her future (2) And shes the same person as that future person Upshot: She says personal identity is bodily identity, theres no survival after death o Alternative theory left Strategy #2a: Lockes Simple Memory Theory (Night 2) The Strategy: o Same person = memories + character traits + dispositions to be good or bad + beliefs etc. o On this theory, this is what you are o Can there be an entity in the future with that set of mental states? o Say you die on earth, then you go to heaven, then God gives resurrected person all these things o Is that enough for us to say that that is you?
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