Single Idea 5522

[catalogued under 16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / b. Self as mental continuity]

Full Idea

We should revise our view about identity over time: what matters isn't that there will be someone alive who will be me; it is rather that there should be at least one living person who will be psychologically continuous with me as I am now.

Gist of Idea

Over a period of time what matters is not that 'I' persist, but that I have psychological continuity


Derek Parfit (The Unimportance of Identity [1995], p.316)

Book Reference

'Personal Identity', ed/tr. Martin,R /Barresi,J [Blackwells 2003], p.316

A Reaction

Parfit and Locke seem to agree on this, and it is no accident that they both like 'science fiction' examples. Apparently Parfit wouldn't bat an eyelid if someone threatened to cut his corpus callosum. I rate it as a catastrophe for my current existence.