The memory criterion and the problem of backward causation

Lockeans, as well as their critics, have pointed out that the memory criterion is likely to mean that none of us were ever fetuses or even infants due to the lack of direct psychological connections between then and now. But what has been overlooked is that the memory criterion leads to either backward causation and a violation of Locke’s own very plausible principle that we can have only one origin, or backward causation and a number of overlapping people where we thought there was just one. I will argue that such problems cannot be avoided by replacing direct psychological connections with overlapping chains of connectedness—what has been called “psychological continuity.”
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DOI 10.5840/ipq200747241
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