Lesswrong Philosophy and Personal Identity

byCarinthium6y23rd Aug 201355 comments

10


Although Elizier has dealt with personal identity questions (in terms of ruling out the body theory), he has not actually, as far as I know, "solved" the problem of Personal Identity as it is understood in philosophy. Nor, as far as I know, has any thinker (Robin Hanson, Yvain, etc) broadly in the same school of thought.  

Why do I think it worth solving? One- Lesswrong has a tradition of trying to solve all of philosophy through thinking better than philosophers do. Even when I don't agree with it, the result is often enlightening. Two- What counts as 'same person' could easily have significant implications for large numbers of ethical dilemnas, and thus for Lesswrongian ethics.   

Three- most importantly of all, the correct theory has practical implications for cryonics. I don't know enough to assert any theory as actually true, but if, say, Identity as Continuity of Form rather than of Matter were the true theory it would mean that preserving only the mental data would not be enough. What kind of preservation is necessary also varies somewhat- the difference in requirement based on a Continuity of Consciousness v.s a Continuity of Psyche theory, for example should be obvious.

I'm curious what people here think. What is the correct answer? No-self theory? Psyche theory? Derek Parfit's theory in some manner? Or if there is a correct way to dissolve the question, what is that correct way?