Saturday, June 15, 2013

Alexander Pruss's Blog: Psychological theories of personal identity and transworld identity


On psychological theories of personal identity, personal identity is constituted by diachronic psychological relations, such as memory or concern. As it stands, the theory is silent on what constitutes transworld identity: what makes person x in world w1 be the same as person y in world w2. But let us think about what could be send in the vein of psychological theories about transworld identity.
Perhaps we could say that x in w1 is the same as y in w2 provided that x and y have the same earliest psychological states. But now sameness of psychological states is either type-sameness or token-sameness. If it's type-sameness, then we get the absurd conclusion that had your earliest psychological states been just like mine, you would have been me. Moreover, it is surely possible to have a world that contains two people who have the same earliest types of psychological states. But those two people aren't identity.
Alexander Pruss's Blog: Psychological theories of personal identity and transworld identity