What does functionalism tell us about personal identity?

Noûs 36 (4):682-698 (2002)
Sydney Shoemaker argues that the functionalist theory of mind entails a psychological-continuity view of personal identity, as well as providing a defense of that view against a crucial objection. I show that his view has surprising consequences, e.g. that no organism could have mental properties and that a thing's mental properties fail to supervene even weakly on its microstructure and surroundings. I then argue that the view founders on "fission" cases and rules out our being material things. Functionalism tells us little if anything about personal identity.
Keywords Continuity  Functionalism  Metaphysics  Personal Identity  Psychology  Shoemaker, S
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DOI 10.1111/1468-0068.00407
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Jens Johansson (2007). Non-Reductionism and Special Concern. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):641 – 657.

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