At the center of Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons is nestled a famous short story about a person who uses a teletransporter. Parfit argues that his “thought experiment” shows that “personal identity”—as (analytic) philosophy understands it—doesn’t matter. As long as I know that my “self” on Mars is unharmed by the teletransporter, it shouldn’t matter to me that I remain on Earth, soon to die. I use Christopher Priest’s novel The Prestige and the Nolan brothers’ film of it to challenge the method and alleged moral of this “branch-line” teletransportation thought experiment, treating it as a work of literature in miniature.
- School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies - Associate Professor
- Philosophy - Member
- Wittgenstein - Member
Person: Research Group Member, Academic, Teaching & Research