more from Derek Parfit

Single Idea 5520

[catalogued under 16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 4. Split Consciousness]

Full Idea

If there is someone with my head and my brother's body, it is a merely verbal question whether that person will be me, and that is why, even if it won't be me, that doesn't matter. ..What matters is not identity, but the facts of which identity consists.

Gist of Idea

If two humans are merged surgically, the new identity is a purely verbal problem


Derek Parfit (The Unimportance of Identity [1995], p.310)

Book Reference

'Personal Identity', ed/tr. Martin,R /Barresi,J [Blackwells 2003], p.310

A Reaction

It strikes me that from the subjective psychological point of view identity is of little interest, but from the objective external viewpoint (e.g. the forensic one) such questions are highly significant, and rightly so.