Problem of Personal Identity

Topics: Cloning, Identity, Ontology Pages: 4 (1344 words) Published: June 10, 2013
I. Introduction
In this paper, I will investigate the "Problem of Personal Identity". The particular scenario I will respond to is: "Suppose that sometime in the future a crazy scientist creates a perfect clone of you. The clone has a qualitatively identical body to yours and has the same memories as you as well as same voice, character, and so on. How would yo convince a court of law that the clone is not really you? What theory of personal identity would help you to make your case" (Rauhut, 2011, p. 125)? First I will clarify key terms, and then I will apply those terms in my analysis of the question. Then I will close out by reflecting on my conclusion and some insights I gained about the Problem of Personal Identity. II. Conceptual Clarification

Qualitative identity is a state of identity by looking the same or having the “same properties” (p. 107). An example of qualitative identity is two cars that look the same, as in same red paint, same build of car body, same type and brand of tires, etc., but are not one and the same vehicle since there is more than one. In other words, two objects or persons can look very similar but be two different objects or persons. Numerical identity is the condition of being the same if and only if it is truly “one and the same” object or person (p. 108). For example, I have a glass of water that I set on the table. It is the only glass of water on the table and there is no one else around to put another glass on the table, thus when I come back to pick it up, it must be the same glass of water I had originally, and is numerically identical. In other words, if two objects or persons look very similar and even function very similar, they can only be numerically identical if they are one and the same object or person, and there is only one of the object or persons being described. The body theory is “often referred to as animalism;” identity conditions that “we are around as long as our physical bodies are...

References: Rauhut, Nils. Ultimate Questions. 2011. Prentice Hall, New Jersey. Text.
Think Quest. Cloning-The Science and Techniques. 2001. Web. Accessed 15 July 2011.
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