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What does functionalism tell us about personal identity?

By E.T. Olson

Abstract

Sydney Shoemaker argues that the functionalist theory of mind entails a\ud psychological-continuity view of personal identity, as well as providing a defense of that view\ud against a crucial objection. I show that his view has surprising consequences, e.g. that no\ud organism could have mental properties and that a thing's mental properties fail to supervene\ud even weakly on its microstructure and surroundings. I then argue that the view founders on\ud "fission" cases and rules out our being material things. Functionalism tells us little if anything\ud about personal identity

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:1220

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