[extropy-chat] Personal Identity, a Personal Choice?
jef at jefallbright.net
Wed Apr 18 18:21:08 UTC 2007
On 4/18/07, Ian Goddard <iamgoddard at yahoo.com> wrote:
> But perhaps over & above those considerations...
> What strikes me these days is a view pointed to by at
> least one critic of my past efforts to derive
> ontological conclusions from a purported holistic
> nature of identity, which is that any logical rule we
> may have to define 'identity' is merely an algorithm
> applied by a computational unit like a person to
> govern the application of names to, and categorization
> of, observed phenomena. In other words, 'identity' is
> all in our heads, it's a mental fabrication governed
> by some construction algorithm and different people
> may execute different identity algorithms. But a
> category error arises when we assume that an identity
> rule reveals ontic truth.
Well said. If we could establish this as our baseline, then these
discussions could proceed, in light of the commonality of our
physical, biological, cultural contexts,.toward pragmatic
extrapolations relevant to social issues of social identity,
decision-making, responsibility, morality, ownership, justice, etc.
All of these hinge on effective understanding of personal identity,
which we've unfortunately seen is firmly mired in today's simple
"common-sense", even the common-sense of many who consider themselves
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