The Continuant Argument
February 27, 2015 — 12:05

Author: Michael Almeida  Category: Uncategorized  Tags: ,   Comments: 0

I listed five false consequences of the standard view of personhood. Let me offer the continuant argument that I’m not a person. I mean, of course, that I am not essentially a person in the standard sense of personhood. I’d like to know where the argument goes wrong. I can’t see any place where it does. It’s actually a simple argument.

1. Standard view of personhood. Assumption

2. S and S’ are indiscernible continuants in indiscernible worlds. Assume

3. S and S’ lose the properties of rationality and consciousness at t. Assume

4. S and S’ are in indiscernible psychological states at t – t’. Assume

5. S never regains rationality or consciousness. Assume

6. S’ regains rationality and consciousness at t’. Assume

7. S ceases to exist at t. From 1,2,5

8. S’ ceases to exist at t. From 1,4,7

9. S’ does not cease to exist at t and has the full profile of moral rights at t. Fact,  Contradiction (8, 9)

10. ∴ Standard view of personhood is false. 1,9

11. ∴ S does not cease to exist at t and has the full profile of moral rights at t. 4,9, 10

The only candidate for rejection in the argument is (1). S and S’ are therefore not persons in the standard sense. S and S’ exist without rationality or awareness at t, and have the full profile of moral rights at t.

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