Philo 11 (2):133-144 (2008)

Abstract
This essay continues Kafka’s tale of a human being who metamorphoses into a beetle. The tale is developed in the light of some recent theory about personal identity and rational choice, particularly Robert Nozick’s Closest-Continuer theory and Mark Johnston’s Relativism about the self. These are potentially complementary conceptions of relativity about the self, Nozick’s focusing on the individual’s ‘metric’ as a criterion of personal continuity, Johnston’s on social standards. When the individually authentic determination about ‘closeness’ coincides with the community’s standards for continuity, the two accounts are complementary. The tale concludes with reference to applying the concept of personal identity for branching selves in the Many-Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics. Application of the concept of personal identity in an MWI context implies that there is a bad end in store for us all, as David Lewis argued in his last essay
Keywords Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 1098-3570
DOI 10.5840/philo20081127
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