A survival guide to fission

Philosophical Studies 141 (3):299 - 322 (2008)
Abstract
The fission of a person involves what common sense describes as a single person surviving as two distinct people. Thus, say most metaphysicians, this paradox shows us that common sense is inconsistent with the transitivity of identity. Lewis’s theory of overlapping persons, buttressed with tensed identity, gives us one way to reconcile the common sense claims. Lewis’s account, however, implausibly says that reference to a person about to undergo fission is ambiguous. A better way to reconcile the claims of common sense, one that avoids this ambiguity, is to recognize branching persons, persons who have multiple pasts or futures.
Keywords Metaphysics  Fission  Personal identity  Tensed identity  Four-dimensionalism  Temporal parts theory
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References found in this work BETA
Douglas Ehring (1987). Personal Identity and Time Travel. Philosophical Studies 52 (3):427 - 433.
Mark Johnston (1989). Fission and the Facts. Philosophical Perspectives 3:369-97.
David Lewis (1976). Survival and Identity. In Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (ed.), The Identities of Persons. University of California Press. 17-40.

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