SOPhiA 2019

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

No Man Is an Island, Some are Archipelagoes
(Metaphysics and Ontology, English)

Being a life or death question, the persistence question of personal identity aims to answer the conditions under which a person persists or survives. We want to know under which conditions does one remains the same person from a certain point in time to another or just to know why a certain person in a certain point in time is the same person in a distinct one. The first real approach to the problem of persistence was made by Locke in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, in which the first psychological criterion -- based on memory -- for personal identity. Building on Locke's foundations, there are several psychological-continuity condition proponents like Lewis, Nagel, Noonan, Nozick, Parfit, Perry and Shoemaker. On the other side of the barricade we have the brute-physical views championed by philosophers like Ayers, Mackie, Olson, van Inwagen and Williams. Between the several theories that try to answer the persistence question, this paper will focus on the lockean psychological-continuity approach and specifically in a paradox presented by David Wiggins (1967) where two functioning halves of a brain are transplanted from their original body to two new ones. This thought experiment -- now commonly referred to as the fission case -- presents a challenge for the psychological-continuity theories, inasmuch as it seems that all of the conditions of survivability are met still, the outcome seems to be two different persons that are different from each other and the pre-procedure one. Moreover, we will try to admit the fission case while preserving a psychological-continuity based view. Analyzing the role of the Rietdijk-Putnam-Penrose argument -- presented in the works by Rietdijk (1966, 1976), Putnam (1967) and Penrose (1989) -- and Einstein's special relativity theory (1905) in showing that if persons extending through space as they do in time, fission cases are unproblematic for the psychological-continuity approaches of personal identity.

Chair: Alexander Gebharter
Time: 14:40-15:10, 20 September 2019 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.003

André Ferreira 
(LanCog Research Group - CFUL, Portugal)

André Alves Ferreira started his career in Philosophy at the University of Porto and now holds a BA (Licenciatura) in Philosophy from the University of Lisbon since 2017 where he currently is a MA student. His BA final thesis had the title "Psychological Continuity: Persistence and Distribution", and is about the implications of the fission problem for a psychological continuity theory of personal identity. André is an active member of the academic and research community, being involved in projects like Argument Clinic and the Nucleus for Political Studies of the University of Lisbon (nepUL) as an invited speaker with a talk titled "Neoliberalism: The Economic Agent and Egoism," as well as the Workshop of Analytic Philosophy. His talks include events such as the LV Congreso de Filosofía Joven at Murcia University, the 32nd European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care of the European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care (ESPMH), the 10th Beyond Humanism Conference at the University of Lower Silesia, the 2018 Ian Ramsey Centre Summer Conference at University of Oxford, the 3rd International Congress of the Portuguese Philosophical Society, and the Cyborg Days Workshop at the University of Zurich.

His main research focus is centered in Philosophical Ethics, more specifically in Personal Identity and Practical Ethics, additionally he has interest in Metaphysics and the persistence of objects and persons. At the moment he's working on the topic of psychological continuity and the practical implications of these thesis.

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