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Identity

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									 Identity and the Self
The Problem of Personal Identity
 – What makes someone the same person at
   two distinct moments in time?
 – What are some popular answers to this
   question?
 – What are the theories and arguments of
   Locke, Hume, and Reid?
Four Theories of Personal Identity (Perry)

    Same Substance Views:
       Same-Soul View: Person stages A and B belong to the same person iff
       they are stages of the same soul, or immaterial substance.
       Same-Body View: Person stages A and B belong to the same person iff
       they are stages of the same body, or material substance.

    The Memory View (Locke)
        Person stages belong to the same person iff the later could contain an
        experience which is a memory of a reflective awareness of an
        experience contained in the earlier.

    The Bundle View (Hume)
        “For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I
        always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold,
        light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself
        at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but
        the perception.” (Q: 281; Treatise, 4.6)
Problems for Three Theories

   Same-body view: Suppose that two souls inhabit one body.
   (Locke, Q: 272)

   Same-soul view: Suppose that you have the same soul as another
   person but that you have no memory of being that person. (Locke,
   Q: 272)

   Memory view: “Suppose a brave officer to have been flogged
   when a boy at school for robbing an orchard, to have taken a
   standard from the enemy in his first campaign, and to have been
   made a general in advanced life; suppose, also . . . that, when he
   took the standard, he was conscious of having been flogged at
   school, and that, when made a general, he was conscious of his
   taking the standard, but had absolutely lost the consciousness of
   his flogging.” (Reid, Q: 277)
Personal Identity in the Movies: Which theories of personal identity are endorsed,
or rejected, by the following film thought experiments?

  Fight Club
      The Narrator = Tyler Durden?
             Are they the same person?
                      If yes, then this is a counterexample to the memory view.
                                Maybe it supports the same-body view.
                      If no, then this is a counterexample to the same body view.
                                Maybe it supports the memory view.

  Being John Malkovich
      Craig (or Lotte, or Maxine) = John Malkovich?
             Do they share the same body but are distinct persons?
                      If yes, then this is a counterexample to the same-body view.
                                Maybe it supports the same-soul view.
Questions about Being John Malkovich

   What motivates people to want to be John Malkovich? What does
   this tell us about personal identity (or about meaning)?

   What happens to the bodies of persons who inhabit JM? Why is the
   film called Being JM and not Being in JM’s Body?

   If your body changed substantially, if you were „in‟ JM‟s body,
   would you change substantially? Would you still be you? What does
   this tell us about the relationship between the self and the body?

   Is Maxine in control? Why does she always gets what she wants?

   Is it wrong to be JM (or to inhabit his body)? Why?
Comment on these quotes:

   Lotte, on being John Malkovich: “I knew who I was, everything
   made sense!”

   Maxine: “Do you have any idea what it is like to have two people
   look at you with total devotion through the same pair of eyes?”

   John: “I know what my passion taking hold is like!”

   “What happens when a man goes through his own porthole?”

   Craig, on being a puppeteer: “. . . being inside of someone‟s skin and
   seeing what they see, and feeling what they feel.”
Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze, 1999)

John Cusack         ....     Craig Schwartz
Cameron Diaz        ....     Lotte Schwartz
Catherine Keener    ....     Maxine
John Malkovich      ....     John Horatio Malkovich
Orson Bean          ....     Dr. Lester
Mary Kay Place      ....     Floris
Ned Bellamy         ....     Derek Mantini
Eric Weinstein      ....     Father at Puppet Show
Madison Lanc        ....     Daughter at Puppet Show
Octavia Spencer     ....     Woman in Elevator
K.K. Dodds          ....     Wendy
Reginald C. Hayes   ....     Don
Byrne Piven         ....     Captain Mertin
Judith Wetzell      ....     Tiny Woman
Kevin Carroll       ....     Cab Driver
Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999)

Edward Norton                ....   The Narrator
Brad Pitt                    ....   Tyler Durden
Helena Bonham Carter         ....   Marla Singer
Meat Loaf                    ....   Robert „Bob‟ Paulson
Zach Grenier                 ....   Richard Chesler
Richmond Arquette            ....   Intern
David Andrews (I)            ....   Thomas
George Maguire               ....   Group Leader
Eugenie Bondurant            ....   Weeping Woman
Christina Cabot              ....   Group Leader
Sydney 'Big Dawg' Colston    ....   Speaker
Rachel Singer                ....   Chloe
Christie Cronenweth          ....   Airline Attendant
Tim De Zarn                  ....   Inspector Bird
Ezra Buzzington              ....   Inspector Dent

								
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