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Title: The Possibility of Phenomenal Fission
Keywords: phenomenal continuity, personal identity, fission, Dainton
Issue Date: 26-Jul-2009
Citation: HUANG KAI SEN CLEMENT (2009-07-26). The Possibility of Phenomenal Fission. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The problem of personal identity can be expressed as follows: what makes a self existing at one time the same self as someone existing at a later time? Proponents of phenomenal continuity accounts claim that the answer lies in the continuation of phenomenal states over time: self A survives as self B if and only if A?s phenomenal states are continuous with B?s phenomenal states. In this paper, I will discuss one such phenomenal continuity account which is expounded by Barry Dainton. In assessing the viability of a philosophical account, it is useful to see how the account deals with some of the problems that plague the field in general. Personal fission is a well-known issue that philosophers of personal identity have been grappling with since the days of John Locke. My goal in this paper is to show that despite what Dainton claims, his account is not compatible with the possibility of fission. Following which, I will argue that the incompatibility may in fact work to his advantage, since personal fission is absurd for a number of reasons. Indeed, given the absurdity of personal fission, we ought to prefer Dainton?s account over other accounts of personal identity which are compatible with the possibility of personal fission.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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