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Gone fission

Americans who wish to give 110%, redouble their efforts, thereby getting one up – or two up – on those lazy Brits. Or so says Hugh. What does today's philosopher Barry Dainton say?

In the philosophical literature on self and personal identity, fission examples are ones in which one self splits into two. Imagine, for instance, a Star Trek style scenario in which a person aims to get beamed from a spaceship to a planet’s surface, but, because of a malfunction in the beamer, he winds up being replicated twice on the planet’s surface, rather than just once. In cases like this [and there must be at least two – M. J.] it seems that the pre-fission subject of experience might be diachronically co-conscious with two (or more) subsequent post-fission subjects of experience that are differently embodied and are not currently or subsequently co-conscious with each other. If we imagine further that subsequently one of these fission descendants teaches mathematics at a university in London while the other runs an art gallery in New York, and neither is aware of the existence of the other, then intuitively this would seem to be a paradigm case in which one self has become two. Dainton is committed to the view that such post-fission subjects of experience constitute a single self.

I’m in two minds about it, but I’m put in mind(s) of that scary story of Mr and Mrs Haktak, who fall into a pot and then there are two of each.

Cue for a song (or two):

I'm a nut,
I'm a nut,
I'm a nut, nut, nut-nut-nut.

Called myself on the telephone
Just to see if I was home.
Made a date for half past eight,
Better hurry or I'll be late!
- Chorus

Took myself to the picture show
Sat myself in the very last row
Wrapped my arms around my waist
Got so fresh I slapped my face!
- Chorus

Bought some roses at the store.
Told myself I wanted more.
That's why I broke up with me.
Now I am a nut that's free!
- Chorus

Gee, I miss me all the time.
Wonder if I'm doing fine.
Maybe I'll stop by to see
If I have a chance with me.
- Chorus