If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Functionalism and Personal Identity

Lawrence H. Davis
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Vol. 58, No. 4 (Dec., 1998), pp. 781-804
DOI: 10.2307/2653722
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2653722
Page Count: 24
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Functionalism and Personal Identity
Preview not available

Abstract

Sydney Shoemaker has claimed that functionalism, a theory about mental states, implies a certain theory about the identity over time of persons, the entities that have mental states. He also claims that persons can survive a "Brain-State-Transfer" procedure. My examination of these claims includes description and analysis of imaginary cases, but-notably-not appeals to our "intuitions" concerning them. It turns out that Shoemaker's basic insight is correct: there is a connection between the two theories. Specifically, functionalism implies that "non-branching functional continuity" is sufficient for personal identity. But there is no implication that it is necessary. And the "BST" procedure may not preserve functional continuity. I consider several possibilities. On what may be the most attractive, the survivor of this-or any similar-procedure is not identical with the original person, but related to him or her as are the survivors in a case of fission.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
781
    781
  • Thumbnail: Page 
782
    782
  • Thumbnail: Page 
783
    783
  • Thumbnail: Page 
784
    784
  • Thumbnail: Page 
785
    785
  • Thumbnail: Page 
786
    786
  • Thumbnail: Page 
787
    787
  • Thumbnail: Page 
788
    788
  • Thumbnail: Page 
789
    789
  • Thumbnail: Page 
790
    790
  • Thumbnail: Page 
791
    791
  • Thumbnail: Page 
792
    792
  • Thumbnail: Page 
793
    793
  • Thumbnail: Page 
794
    794
  • Thumbnail: Page 
795
    795
  • Thumbnail: Page 
796
    796
  • Thumbnail: Page 
797
    797
  • Thumbnail: Page 
798
    798
  • Thumbnail: Page 
799
    799
  • Thumbnail: Page 
800
    800
  • Thumbnail: Page 
801
    801
  • Thumbnail: Page 
802
    802
  • Thumbnail: Page 
803
    803
  • Thumbnail: Page 
804
    804