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2/5/07 5:02 AM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 05-Feb-07
Member Since: 07/04/2002
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One more ttt...
2/7/07 10:34 AM
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vermonter
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Edited: 07-Feb-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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I'll try to respond today! There is much to read through to refresh myself!! -doug-
2/10/07 3:09 PM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 10-Feb-07
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Well this is not the case with persons now is it. The simple fact is that our everyday practices presuppose the continuity of persons through time. Why are they continous is the real question here? What makes for the continuity? What are the characteristics we use to attribute sameness of person over time?
2/11/07 4:12 AM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 12-Feb-07 10:05 AM
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I completely agree, but this completely misses the point. Of course my body goes through gradual changes. But you seem to think that an identity of a PERSON is an identity of his BODY and then claim that a BODY changes all the time and thus we never are the same person. But it is very easy to show that our concept of a person is not a concept of body and personal identity is not just mere bodily identity. Person is a functional word - we attribute personhood in virtue of certain characteristics. Suppose John Smith loses a leg or both of his legs or all the legs and arms . I look at him and perceive diversity. But John Smith is still the same person most people would say. We would still hold him responsible for the bomb he planted which accidentally hurt himself too. Greets, Indrek
2/12/07 1:48 AM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 12-Feb-07
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:) Read my posts again. It is not a REAL METAPHYSICAL question about reality or what we REALLY are. The point is simple. It is a matter of descriptive metaphysics. We all use the concept of a person in our everyday practices. Agree? We all use the concept of personal identity - your mum is still the same person today she was 5 years ago. The law system uses the same thing. Now the question is: what characteristics do we use to pick out the same persons. What does personal identity over time consist of? It is a pure question about our concepts, nothing to do with what there is in the world - if you´d pose the question in your reductionist spirit you can get to smallest particles and claim that only these exist. But that has absolutely no relevance to human life. The characteristics we pick out persons. Character trait continuity, memory continuity are probably among the tops; bodily continuity is a safe marker in the everyday world; being the same centre of action... Greets, I.
2/12/07 7:29 AM
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Giorgos
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Edited: 12-Feb-07
Member Since: 05/08/2006
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Indrek if you haven't read Sider's "4-D" do so. It is by far the best book out there to answer your question...
2/12/07 10:07 AM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 12-Feb-07
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I don´t want "an answer" I want to think about it :) On a more serious note. I know a little about 4D and my teacher sort of convinced me that this is the more sensible pov. But that doesn´t necessarily solve any problems for personal identity though but just helps us understand change and time better.
2/12/07 10:47 AM
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Giorgos
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Edited: 12-Feb-07
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it helps in that it provides a solution to the paradoxes that arise from Leibniz's definition of identity; i.e. "A=B iff all properties of A are shared by B and all properties of B are shared by A".
2/12/07 4:58 PM
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Giorgos
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Edited: 12-Feb-07
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"Idndrek R, If you blew up a building killing people, but before being arrested made a copy of your brain/memories and transplanted all of them into an identically developed clone of yourself, which would be "YOU"? On one hand you'd be in your original body thinking "Hey, Look there's my clone", on the other hand YOU would be in the "clone" body thinking "Oh #### how did I get here, look there's a copy of me". Which person should the cops arrest? Are you not both "the same" person? " typical question that Sider deals with. The 4-D "worm" that is "you" prior to your copying your memories continues uninterupted after the copy correct? Then what's the problem? Even if you commited suicide after making the clone, the clone would not have been "you"; that is a different space-time worm altogether and although it remembers having done all that, HE didn't. "You" extend in time back when "HE" was not present and only "you" actually possess that property and not "HE", even if he would tell you otherwise.
2/12/07 7:06 PM
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Giorgos
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Edited: 12-Feb-07
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^it'd be a weird situation since he would have been innocent but not in his mind and neither in his tendencies for sure. However, an argument could be made in court (and with very good reason) that he is innocent; anyway he did nothing. I guess he would have to go through some form of supervision/treatment etc; he'd be a dangerous person after all. But this is not so much a philosophical issue; it seems more like a legislative/constitutional thing and I am just a metaphysican/ethicist :) As for Sider's "4-D" I don't know if it exists as an e-book. I am quite sure you can get it from Amazon though or what have you... The book is called "Four Dimensionalism, (An ontology of Persistence and Time)", and the author is Theodore Sider. I can't begin to describe the kind of philosophical value that I attach to that book. A MUST READ!
2/13/07 3:28 AM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 13-Feb-07
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My solution would be similar. I think that the concept of a person is a concept of an agent or a centre-of-action. So if you split yourself, you will have another you in a sense. BUT we´d do right do arrest the former guy since it was that centre-of-action who committed the crimes. Depending of course what our view on determinism/character traits and such is we might also arrest the other guy, the other center of action now purely because (a) he is dangerous; (b) he feels that he did it, feels guilty (if the original did) and so on... Greets, I.

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