Date: 01 Sep 2011
The Informational Nature of Personal Identity
- Luciano Floridi
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
In this paper, I present an informational approach to the nature of personal identity. In “Plato and the problem of the chariot”, I use Plato’s famous metaphor of the chariot to introduce a specific problem regarding the nature of the self as an informational multiagent system: what keeps the self together as a whole and coherent unity? In “Egology and its two branches” and “Egology as synchronic individualisation”, I outline two branches of the theory of the self: one concerning the individualisation of the self as an entity, the other concerning the identification of such entity. I argue that both presuppose an informational approach, defend the view that the individualisation of the self is logically prior to its identification, and suggest that such individualisation can be provided in informational terms. Hence, in “A reconciling hypothesis: the three membranes model”, I offer an informational individualisation of the self, based on a tripartite model, which can help to solve the problem of the chariot. Once this model of the self is outlined, in “ICTs as technologies of the self” I use it to show how ICTs may be interpreted as technologies of the self. In “The logic of realisation”, I introduce the concept of “realization” (Aristotle’s anagnorisis) and support the rather Spinozian view according to which, from the perspective of informational structural realism, selves are the final stage in the development of informational structures. The final “Conclusion: from the egology to the ecology of the self” briefly concludes the article with a reference to the purposeful shaping of the self, in a shift from egology to ecology.
Bond, A. H., & Gasser, L. (Eds.). (1988). Readings in distributed artificial intelligence. San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.
Churchland, P. M. (1999). Densmore and Dennett on virtul machines and consciousness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 59(3), 763–767.CrossRef
Densmore, S., & Dennett, D. (1999). The virtues of virtual machines. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 59(3), 747–761.CrossRef
Floridi, L. (1995). Internet: Which future for organized knowledge, Frankenstein or Pygmalion? International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 43, 261–274.CrossRef
Floridi, L. (2005a). Consciousness, agents and the knowledge game. Minds and Machines, 15(3–4), 415–444.CrossRef
Floridi, L. (2005b). The ontological interpretation of informational privacy. Ethics and Information Technology, 7(4), 185–200.CrossRef
Floridi, L. (2006). Four challenges for a theory of informational privacy. Ethics and Information Technology, 8(3), 109–119.CrossRef
Floridi, L. (2007). A look into the future impact of ICT on our lives. Information Society, 23(1), 59–64.CrossRef
Floridi, L. (2008a). Artificial intelligence’s new frontier: Artificial companions and the fourth revolution. Metaphilosophy, 39(4/5), 651–655.CrossRef
Floridi, L. (2008b). A defence of informational structural realism. Synthese, 161(2), 219–253.CrossRef
Floridi, L. (2008c). The method of levels of abstraction. Minds and Machines, 18(3), 303–329.CrossRef
Floridi, L. (2010). Information—a very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Floridi, L. (2011a). The fourth technological revolution. TEDxMaastricht. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-kJsyU8tgI&feature=autofb.
Floridi, L. (2011b). The philosophy of information. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRef
Hayes, P., Harnad, S., Perlis, D., & Block, N. (1992). Virtual symposium on virtual mind. Minds and Machines, 2(3), 217–238.CrossRef
Hume, D. (2007). A treatise of human nature: A critical edition (Vol. 1–2). Oxford: Clarendon.
Locke, J. (1979). An essay concerning human understanding, the Clarendon edition of the works of John Locke. Oxford/New York: Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press.
Martin, R., & Barresi, J. (2006). The rise and fall of soul and self: An intellectual history of personal identity. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Minsky, M. L. (1986). The society of mind. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Perry, J. (2008). Personal identity (2nd ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Proust, M. (1992). In search of lost time. 1, Swann’s way. London: Vintage, 1996.
Putnam, H. (1960). Minds and machines. In S. Hook (Ed.), Dimensions of mind. New York: New York University Press.
Schechtman, M. (1996). The constitution of selves. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Sloman, A., & Chrisley, R. L. (2003). Virtual machines and consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 10(4–5), 133–172.
Sorabji, R. (2006). Self: Ancient and modern insights about individuality, life, and death. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Sycara, K. P. (1998). Multiagent systems. AI Magazine, 19(2), 79–92.
Turkle, S. (1995). Life on the screen: Identity in the age of the Internet. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Warren, S., & Brandeis, L. D. (1890). The right to privacy. Harvard Law Review, 193(4), 193–220.
Wooldridge, M. J. (2009). An introduction to multiagent systems (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, Chichester.
- The Informational Nature of Personal Identity
Minds and Machines
Volume 21, Issue 4 , pp 549-566
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Philosophy of information
- Personal identity
- Industry Sectors
- Luciano Floridi (1) (2)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, University of Hertfordshire, de Havilland Campus, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB, UK
- 2. Faculty of Philosophy and IEG, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK