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|Course Dates||Weeks||Meeting Times||Status||Instructor(s)||CRN|
|July 15, 2013 - July 19, 2013||1||M-F 9A-11:50A||Open||Kateryna Samoilova||10420|
Many of us wonder what makes us the person that we are. But you guaranteed to remain this person "the very same person you are right now" in the future? How does your personal identity exist through time?
The focus of this course is in pinning down our sense of self, which can apparently survive the many changes we might undergo throughout our lives, some more radical than others. In particular, we will be asking:
- What makes you the same person today as your 1-year or your 10-year old self?
- What kind of bodily changes can you sustain without considering yourself to be a different person? Does the loss of a limb result in a change in personal identity? Does a brain transplant result in a change in personal identity?
- What kind of mental or personality changes can you sustain without considering yourself to be a different person? If all your memories were "erased", would you be a different person?
- If you were to be cloned, would the clone be the same person as you? Would you be able to tell whether you are the “original” or the clone?
- If you could be teletransported or "copied" to a different location (as in “Star Trek” or "The Prestige"), would the person on the other end be the same person as the one that stepped into the teletransporter?
This course will include some basic logical reasoning training necessary for philosophical argumentation. There will be regular reading assignments that inform the students about the nature of each philosophical question, and also provide possible solutions to them. The students will be encouraged to provide their own answers to these questions in short writing assignments, once informed about the answers that are already circulating in contemporary philosophical literature. Throughout this course, the students are expected to develop their critical reasoning, expository writing, and argumentation skills.
No prior knowledge of philosophy is required, although having seen some "Star Trek" or watched the film "The Prestige" would be helpful.