The Informational Nature of Personal Identity

Minds and Machines 21 (4):549-566 (2011)
Authors
Luciano Floridi
Oxford University
Abstract
In this paper, I present an informational approach to the nature of personal identity. In “Plato and the problem of the chariot”, I use Plato’s famous metaphor of the chariot to introduce a specific problem regarding the nature of the self as an informational multiagent system: what keeps the self together as a whole and coherent unity? In “Egology and its two branches” and “Egology as synchronic individualisation”, I outline two branches of the theory of the self: one concerning the individualisation of the self as an entity, the other concerning the identification of such entity. I argue that both presuppose an informational approach, defend the view that the individualisation of the self is logically prior to its identification , and suggest that such individualisation can be provided in informational terms. Hence, in “A reconciling hypothesis: the three membranes model”, I offer an informational individualisation of the self, based on a tripartite model, which can help to solve the problem of the chariot. Once this model of the self is outlined, in “ICTs as technologies of the self” I use it to show how ICTs may be interpreted as technologies of the self. In “The logic of realisation”, I introduce the concept of “realization” (Aristotle’s anagnorisis ) and support the rather Spinozian view according to which, from the perspective of informational structural realism, selves are the final stage in the development of informational structures. The final “Conclusion: from the egology to the ecology of the self” briefly concludes the article with a reference to the purposeful shaping of the self, in a shift from egology to ecology
Keywords Egopoiesis  Philosophy of information  Personal identity  Self
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DOI 10.1007/s11023-011-9259-6
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References found in this work BETA

The Philosophy of Information.Luciano Floridi - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
The Society Of Mind.Marvin L. Minsky - 1986 - Simon & Schuster.
Minds and Machines.Hilary Putnam - 1960 - In Sidney Hook (ed.), Journal of Symbolic Logic. New York University Press. pp. 57-80.
The Constitution of Selves.Marya Schechtman - 1996 - Cornell University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Inventing the Educational Subject in the ‘Information Age’.Emile Bojesen - 2016 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 35 (3):267-278.
From Individual to Group Privacy in Big Data Analytics.Brent Mittelstadt - 2017 - Philosophy and Technology 30 (4):475-494.
Property Rights of Personal Data and the Financing of Pensions.Francis Cheneval - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-23.
How to Build a Robot That is Conscious and Feels.J. Kevin O'Regan - 2012 - Minds and Machines 22 (2):117-136.

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