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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Genetic Essentialisim and Embroy Identitiy.

This is a difficult position to defend, even from a standpoint to embryonic identity. However this situation only worsens when we begin to consider things other than embryo’s. It seems difficult to suggest that a persons identity is constituted by his genome and whenever there is a mutation or alteration in it occurs then his identity changes. This seems strange, if this was the case then our identity would change regularly, I would not be the same person on a regular basis. Admittedly Zohars attempts to limit his claims to embryo’s but even here there appears to be problems. Yes he is right in that if a small portion of genetic material is changed or mutated from one moment to the next with and embryo that the embryo’s are no longer strictly identical, in the sense that everything about them is the same. Almost everything about them is identical to what it was previously, they are continuous spatio-temporally and are still perform the same functions as they did previously.As with persons changes, even some quite radical changes, such as the loss of limbs or sight do not by themselves change a persons identity from what it was previously.

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