Ingmar Persson

in The Retreat of Reason

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780199276905
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603198 | DOI:

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Since it has been found that identity consists in the identity of our bodies, as the subject and object of our experiences, this chapter takes a brief look at the identity of material bodies through time. Although it seems possible to formulate a sufficient condition of this identity in terms of spatio-temporal continuity, the problem is to formulate this condition in a non-circular way. There are also problems about the necessity of such a condition, having to do, for instance, with the fact that the disintegration of a thing into parts followed by a creation of the same sort of thing sometimes amounts to a reappearance of numerically the same thing and sometimes does not. It is suggested that this matter is decided partly by pragmatic considerations and, thus, that the distinction between identity and non-identity is less deep than it might be thought to be. The chapter ends by considering what the account given implies the famous ship of Theseus.

Keywords: identity; material bodies; ship of Theseus; spatio-temporal continuity

Chapter.  5620 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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