personal identity

Wei Dai (
Wed, 7 Jan 1998 18:48:25 -0800

Here is my tentative philosophy of personal identity: anyone who remembers
being me is me. By "remebers being me" I mean he/she/it has a memory of my
current thoughts and perceptions from my current perspective.

Some examples: I am the person typing at this keyboard a second ago, but
he is not me. If I become unconscious and wake up with total amnesia, the
person who wakes up is not me. If he recovers his (my) memory, then he is
me again. A copy of me is me, an upload of me is me, even a simulacrum of
me made from scratch by a Power is me, as long as it has sufficiently
authentic memories of being me.

With this definition, there is no conflict between growth and identity.
Any transformation, as long as it does not erase my memories, perserves my
identity. To me this philosophy is simply and intuitive, and seems to be
free from inconsistencies and paradoxes. What do you think?