Monday, October 3, 2016


  • I will have different office hours this week.  My Monday and Friday office hours are cancelled.  I'll have office hours Wednesday (1-2:30) and Thursday (1-2:30).  Come by if you have questions about the midterm.
  • We will discuss the study questions on Wednesday. Make sure you look at them carefully before then.
  • There is no homework for Wednesday.  
First we'll hear from groups about Alice...

Parfit and Teletransportation

Real world non-magical teletransportation--
  1. Scan A on earth
  2. Send scan to Mars
  3. Folks on Mars use scan to build individual B on Mars
  4. Folks on earth destroy A
  5. If A = B, A made it to Mars!
But does A=B???

Qualitative identity--like two white billiard balls (they are not one and the same thing)
Quantitative (or numerical) identity--like how Superman is Clark Kent (they are one and the same person)

Parfit creates extra perplexity by telling three stories

Story 1 - Everything functions normally
Story 2 - Malfunction.  The teletransporter fails to destroy A after A is scanned.  A continues to exist.
Story 3 - Double malfunction.  The scanner damages A's heart.  The teletransporter fails to destroy A after A is scanned.  A continues to exist but will die soon after B is on Mars.

What do the various theories of personal identity say about whether A=B in each story?

Substance theories

  1. Soul
  2. Whole Body
  3. Brain
Psychological theories

  1. Locke
  2. Parfit

Parfit Powerpoint

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