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Yi, Huiyuhl
Division of General Studies
Research Interests
  • Metaphysical problems concerning personal identity

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Delayed Fission and the Standard Psychological View of Personal Identity

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Title
Delayed Fission and the Standard Psychological View of Personal Identity
Author
Yi, Huiyuhl
Keywords
Delayed fission; Fission; Persistence condition; Personal identity; Psychological approach to personal identity
Issue Date
201305
Publisher
VYDAVATELSTVO SLOVENSKEJ AKAD VIED VEDA
Citation
ORGANON F, v.20, no.2, pp.173 - 191
Abstract
Consider a specific type of fission where psychological continuity takes a branching form, and one of the offshoots comes into being later than the other offshoot. Let us say that the earlier offshoot comes into being in the left branch at t, and the later offshoot comes into being in the right branch at t+1. With regard to the question how many persons are involved in this case, three answers are worth considering: (i) The original subject persists up to t; a distinct person comes into being immediately after t and continues to exist in the left branch; and the third person comes into being in the right branch at t+1. (ii) The original subject persists up to the moment immediately before t+1; a distinct person comes into being at t+1 and continues to exist in the left branch; and the third person comes into being in the right branch at t+1. (iii) The original subject continues to exist in the left branch; a distinct person comes into being in the right branch at t+1. For those who hold that personal identity consists in psychological continuity of some sort, the aforementioned three options exhaust the sensible ways of understanding how one persists in delayed fission. However, I argue that complications arise for each answer. Hence, delayed fission poses a challenge for the psychological approach to personal identity.
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ISSN
1335-0668
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