Personal Identity and the Preservation of Mind
Alexander Geddes (King's College London)

May 19, 2022, 12:15pm - 1:45pm
Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv


Tel Aviv University

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On May 19 (Thursday), Alexander Geddes (King's College London) will give a Zoom talk at Tel Aviv University. Interested parties should contact the organizer, David Kovacs ([email protected]) for the Zoom link. Below are further details.

Time: 19 May, 10:15-11:45 (UK) / 12:15-13:45 (Israel) / 19:15-20:45 (Sydney)

Speaker: Alexander Geddes (Research Associate at King's College, London)

Title: "Personal Identity and the Preservation of Mind"

Abstract: The personal identity debate revolves around the apparent tension between the claims that we are animals and that we must go where our minds go. These are taken to be in tension on the basis that there are possible separation cases: cases in which a human animal and a human mind part ways. The tension therefore depends both on assumptions about the persistence conditions of human animals and on assumptions about the preservation of mind. In the present paper, I focus on the latter.   I show that a mind should be taken to go somewhere in a would-be separation case only granted a certain sort of account of the preservation of reference-involving mental properties. I argue that this sort of account is without support, and motivate an alternative, according to which identity of subject is a requirement on the preservation of all such properties. Accepting this requirement is shown to involve no incoherence or implausibility, and to have considerable intuitive and explanatory appeal. Finally, I argue that this not only allows us to resolve the tension above in a novel way, it also suggests that, in order to arrive at a principled verdict about the mental facts in would-be separation cases, we may have to bring to bear an account of our nature—precluding any attempt to develop an account of our nature on the basis of such cases.

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May 18, 2022, 9:00pm IST

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