Questions tagged [identity]

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47
votes
14answers
11k views

What is the moral difference between abortion and infanticide?

Many people accept abortion on the grounds that foetuses aren't persons, and that personhood is what defines the right to life. I've always been intrigued about what defines personhood; obviously ...
35
votes
12answers
2k views

How can one differentiate nonexistent entities?

How is it possible for things that do not exist to not be the same? How can one differentiate nonexistent entities? How can I know the difference between ghosts and werewolves if neither exist?
15
votes
9answers
2k views

Why am I this particular human being?

Some philosophers dismiss this as a question about a tautology: when Alice asks "Why am I Alice?", this is equivalent to her asking "Why is Alice Alice?", which is not an interesting question. But ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How can a stream of thoughts and perceptions have freewill?

William James believed that there was no central entity or ego that embodied the "I" in "I feel" or "I think". That the continuous stream of thoughts and sensations generated the illusion of their ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

When and why do we say that two things are the same?

In a preceeding question I have asked about the foundations of rational reasonning. It seems the concept of identity plays a key role. However "identity" is not observed in the real world: our mind ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why should we care about personal identity?

I just read a book about personal identity and it gave me insights in different theories about personal identity. But after all, I still don't get, why we should care about personal identity. Being ...
9
votes
15answers
4k views

If I upload my brain into a computer is it still me?

I think the answer is yes but I know a lot of people disagree. So, I would like to ask these people when exactly does it stop being me. Let's say I want to upload my brain into a computer using the ...
6
votes
3answers
219 views

What's a name for the impossibility of identity?

It appears to me that no two things can ever be identical, yet the notion that they can has been deployed rather without pause about a billion times in theoretical literature in philosophy and ...
6
votes
3answers
918 views

Does a transgender person become a different person after transitioning?

Perhaps this is an odd question, but... Question: Does a transgender person become a different person after transitioning? I'm seeking an answer from a philosophical point of view (hence why I ask ...
6
votes
2answers
384 views

Are there thought experiments about physicalism?

Other than Mary's Room and maybe Searle's Chinese Room are there any other interesting thought experiments against the ideas of physicalism, and the idea our minds are identical to our brains?
6
votes
1answer
683 views

Does the 'too many thinkers' argument cripple Locke's conception of Man and Persons?

Does the too many thinkers problem present a counter-argument to John Locke's account of personal identity, if we apply it to his conceptions of Man and Person? If so, how might Locke answer this ...
6
votes
1answer
850 views

Why is violating “the only x and y principle” a problem in personal identity theory?

The only x and y principle states that the relation between "x=y" only depends on facts about x & y. So if we say something like "Bob is this particular human being" then this relationship is only ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the status of the statement: “I am here now”?

The statement "I am here now" seems to have many peculiar properties that I am not sure how to express. It appears analytically and equally true for any speaker anywhere at anytime. Yet its truth is ...
4
votes
4answers
557 views

The Immortal Jellyfish

I watched an episode of "The Blacklist" which is a popular show on the TV streaming service Netflix. In the episode, the main character refers to a very tiny marine creature commonly known as the "...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a philosophical word to describe “Trigger's Brush”?

In the TV show Only Fools and Horses a character called Trigger has a sweeping brush. He is proud that he has had the same brush for 17 years. However he reveals he's replaced both the head and ...
4
votes
4answers
141 views

Can a reason cost 5 dollars?

Imagine a school where no one can wear a red hat. John goes to school with a red hat costing 5 dollars. Someone says John's red hat "is" the reason why he can't get into the school. What is the ...
4
votes
2answers
72 views

Can fictional entities have capacities?

Can fictional entities have capacities? I think in Buddhism there is a definite trend to claim that every entity is fictional, but has causes and effects. i wouldn't really assent to the idea that ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

How to account for the identity of books or theories? Inquiries into qualitative identity

I'm looking for articles or books that discuss how we account for qualitative identity. The distinction between qualitative and numerical identity is often drawn, but then the discussion tends to veer ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Can a person's continuity of consciousness be broken and a new person arise?

I realize that the person I am as I type these letters and the person I am at the end of this sentence is slightly different. Change occurs all the time and infact change within my brain is the reason ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

Did Locke reject the idea that people had temporal parts?

I'm currently studying Locke's theory of personal identity and wondered if his writing rejected the idea that people had temporal parts. Does anyone have any references that would support the idea ...
4
votes
1answer
605 views

Almost Sure Mind Transfer via Parfit's Identity Theory (interesting thought experiment)

Under Derek Parfit's theory of identity, we should direct our concern to future selves not because they are identical to us, but because they bear some special relation to our current self. He used ...
3
votes
4answers
759 views

“v = 1 m/s”: predicate or relation? Any literature?

This question is partially related to How does "is" work? and What is the difference between the "is" of predication and the "is" of identity?, but more specifically it ...
3
votes
1answer
605 views

Historiography of the Ship of Theseus

Does anybody know of a historiography or review of the discussion of the idea of the Ship of Theseus and things related thereto (I suppose this might also include Alan Gibbard's discussion of the ...
3
votes
1answer
809 views

How does Parfit's “brain division” thought experiment refute the brain theory of personal identity?

Shoemaker proposes that identical persons are individuals who are psychologically continuous and share the same brain. This is the brain theory of personal identity. However, Parfit takes objection to ...
3
votes
4answers
176 views

Is a Reflection on a Bus, part of the Bus?

Riding the bus I wondered to myself what does it mean to be a part of this bus. From a physics/ computer vision interpretation one may collect all parts that are moving in unison with the larger whole ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Why am I myself rather than someone else?

Why am I myself rather than someone else? I think I read something like this in an encyclopedia; that it's a question in philosophy. Not asking what makes me myself, my body, psychology, and ...
3
votes
2answers
123 views

Is the permanent self still tenable? [closed]

I wonder what a possible objection could be: P1) The self is static in change; P2) If P1 is true then change cannot be the self otherwise the self wouldn't be static; C) Therefore, change is the ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Where does 'numerical' in 'numerical identity' come from?

L.S., the word numerical has several meanings. E.g. numerical in the meaning ''given by numbers', and when saying Numerical Identity, meaning 'only one'. When was the first time the word was ...
3
votes
1answer
362 views

What's the difference between cloning and metabolism in terms of affecting personal identity?

Suppose I'm cloned when I am alive. Provided there is a technology that can copy ALL my mental states into the clone, such as memories, values, beliefs and the like. No more, no less. Also there is ...
3
votes
2answers
247 views

Books/Pieces/Essays about self-worth? [closed]

I'm interested in reading some good books/pieces/essays about self-worth (ultimate meaning of life, learning, working, etc). It's hard to precisely define the topic, but anything you think is ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

Does Edward Said offer a solution to Orientalism and could a possible solution relate to Charles Taylors term "Politics of Recognition?

I've recently read Edward Said's book Orientalism but throughout reading, I didn't really find an explicit solution to Orientalism. Though the thing I could see take form as a solution would be his ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Definition of social personality from Dennett still working with digital Identities?

I am not sure how familiar you are with the definition of social personality from Dennett. It consits of 6 steps, like you can read here. (1) persons are rational. (2) they are the subjects of ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

How do modern moralities obscure connections between identity and the good?

Charles Taylor writes in the preface of Sources of the Self (p. x, Harvard University Press 1989), emphasis mine: But because my entire way of proceeding involves mapping connections between senses ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

identity and self

From "The Craft of Family Therapy" by Salvador Minuchin, etc.: A self is created in a context populated by significant "others" at different historical periods in the life of a person, but it has ...
2
votes
4answers
772 views

What would be the implications if the equality of opposites was true?

Heraclitus famously believed in the equality of opposites, as do I. Would the truth of the equality of opposites have any significant implications for reason and logic?
2
votes
4answers
334 views

Question of Identity

Conversing with someone trying to convince me that 2 and 1+1 are not the same thing. His argument was that although 1+1 = 2, they are in fact different because the notation is different. We see "1+1" ...
2
votes
3answers
124 views

Circularity in identity definition

It is written in the SEP: Identity is often said to be a relation each thing bears to itself and to no other thing (e.g., Zalabardo 2000). This characterization is clearly circular (“no other ...
2
votes
3answers
131 views

can you rationally believe in an ever changing identity, but also believe that parts of us persevere?

Is it possible to rationally believe that certain aspects of the identity don't change, while still acknowledging the fact that we are not the same person we were an instant ago? In other words, is it ...
2
votes
2answers
405 views

Where do thoughts come from?

When the next thought comes, try to catch its source. Is there an entity "you" there? Or does the thought come from silence/nothingness? Is this "you" is just a thought that comes from this silence/...
2
votes
2answers
465 views

Is there any evidence for 'identity epistomology'?

Thomas Chatterton Williams writes: For having the temerity to defend himself, Mr. Packer was accused on social media of “excusing racism” and “whitesplaining.” Such logic extends a disturbing trend ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Could Napoleon have been born to different parents?

According to Kripke, things get their identities by being "baptized" with a rigid designator, and we refer to them by way of a causual chain. So it is not the case that Napoleon had to become Emperor ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

What are objections to personality-theoretic identity branching? [duplicate]

I am currently watching the Yale open course "Philosophy of Death" with Shelly Kagan. So far he has made the case that there is not good enough reason to believe in the existence of an immaterial soul....
2
votes
1answer
243 views

Mind-body problem: supervenience vs dependence vs realisation

Could someone shed some light on the differences of these 3 hypotheses? For me, it seems all 3 relations mean the same. I can't seem to grasp the difference between supervenience physicalism and ...
2
votes
4answers
236 views

Is there a philosophical definition for “difference” and “similarity”? When are 2 logical arguments “different” or “similar”? [closed]

Is there a philosophical definition for "difference" and "similarity"? When are 2 logically valid arguments "different" or "similar"?
2
votes
1answer
160 views

The identity problem

Considering that I cannot feel my future self, why should I care for it more than I care about other people? In other words, from my present perspective, what differs future "me" from a different ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Is there a branch of philosophy that rejects identity per se?

I see references to arguments against the concept of identity itself (Hegel, Wittgenstein) here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_(philosophy). But based on discussions under my question here: ...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

Questions about personal identity and materialism with QM and spacetime

Let's assume for a moment that the materialistic view of the universe is correct. There exists a universe that contains energy in various states spread out in the dimensions of space and time that is ...
2
votes
2answers
320 views

What's an intuitive way of thinking about type versus token identity?

What's an intuitive way of thinking about type versus token identity? I have read and understand the difference between those two terms: tokens are things in space and time; types are abstract and ...
2
votes
1answer
418 views

Are the laws of thought still accepted as the basis of logic?

The "laws of thought" refers to the three traditional principles said to underlie logical reasoning: identity, non-contradiction, and excluded middle. Are these principles still generally accepted? Is ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Is there a philosophical categorization of mindsets?

This question is about personality and mindsets. I'm interested in categories of opinions, something more than left vs. right, conservative vs. liberal. Is there a set of basic questions that once ...