Derek Parfit's Argument Of The Branch Line Case

1000 Words 4 Pages
In ‘Personal Identity’, Derek Parfit presented the idea that being destroyed and replicated is just as good as ordinary survival. This essay will focus on Parfit’s argument of the Branch Line Case and will examine why personal identity matters, a critical perspective and will discuss an objection and respond to the empty question.

Parfit argued that being replicated then destroyed resulted in the same outcome as ordinary survival. From the analogy of the Branch Line case, a human body was scanned and then replicated. After the process of replication, an implication occurred in the original body which resulted in a quick fatality. Due to the replication, the cloned individual would continue to live an active life even though the original does
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Parfit explored two possible explanations to determine if humans are composed of bodily or psychological continuity. From this statement, he continued to develop his argument to claim that human identity is neither physical or mental. By not determining what personal identity encompassed, Parfit endorsed reductionism. From the use of Relation R, Parfit acknowledged that personal identity is not the important factor, but rather psychological connectedness is. Humans are reducible to more basic components than psychological or bodily continuity. Parfit then introduced the Combined Spectrum Case that analyzed how much of another person one can compose of to still be considered themselves. He then observed that some questions are empty and do not have answers. To make his arguments understandable and relatable he used an analogy of inserting vision into blind eyes. Parfit showed that it does not matter if the eyes are not the person’s original eyes. The only thing that matters, in this case, is that they can see. The point of this example was to prove that even though the original is …show more content…
Many people believe that personal identity and consciousness is what makes people unique and human. From the objection, there is no concrete explanation to why the resulting individual could be composed of both consciousness’s. With the knowledge and understanding of the branch line case, I believe that Parfit’s argument is a more convincing. Parfit discussed that the replica is neither bodily or physically connected. From Parfit’s perspective, I believe that no one can identify what the result would conclude. I think it would be a misleading argument to assume one body could compose of two consciousness’s as it is not understood by humans. Parfit’s thoughts on living in the present moment and not contemplating the past are powerful. From this Parfit rationalized that people are constantly changing mentally and physically. Parfit’s response to the branch line case does not hold him accountable as he states the answer is neither true or false but empty. Experiencing more than one consciousness at once is not a valid answer as no one can claim to understand the experiences as it has never

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