Chapter

Why Our Identity Is not What Matters

Derek Parfit

in Reasons and Persons

Published in print January 1986 | ISBN: 9780198249085
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598173 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019824908X.003.0012
 Why Our Identity Is not What Matters

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Presents actual cases of brain bisection; how we might be able to divide and reunite our minds; what explains the unity of consciousness at any time; the imagined case of full division, in which each half of our brain would be successfully transplanted into the empty skull of another body; why neither of the resulting people would be us; why this would not matter, since our relation to each of these people contains what matters in the prudential sense, giving us reasons to care about these people, which are like our reasons to care about our own future;and how it is hard to believe that personal identity, or our own continued existence, is not what matters.

Keywords: brain bisection; brain; fission; personal identity; prudential concern; rationality; reasons; self; survival; unity of consciousness; what matters

Chapter.  18879 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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