Personal Identity, Agency and the Multiplicity Thesis
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- Ward, D. Minds & Machines (2011) 21: 497. doi:10.1007/s11023-011-9256-9
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I consider whether there is a plausible conception of personal identity that can accommodate the ‘Multiplicity Thesis’ (MT), the thesis that some ways of creating and deploying multiple distinct online personae can bring about the existence of multiple persons where before there was only one. I argue that an influential Kantian line of thought, according to which a person is a unified locus of rational agency, is well placed to accommodate the thesis. I set out such a line of thought as developed by Carol Rovane, and consider the conditions that would have to be in place for the possibility identified by MT to be realised. Finally I briefly consider the prospects for MT according to neo-Lockean and animalist views of personhood.