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Reasons and Persons$
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Derek Parfit

Print publication date: 1986

Print ISBN-13: 9780198249085

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019824908X.001.0001

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Why Our Identity Is not What Matters

Why Our Identity Is not What Matters

Chapter:
(p.245) 12 Why Our Identity Is not What Matters
Source:
Reasons and Persons
Author(s):

Derek Parfit (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019824908X.003.0012

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

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