Ego Theory and Bundle Theory Essay

607 Words Sep 19th, 2012 3 Pages
Intro to Philosophy

Ego Theory and Bundle Theory Derek Parfit's views on personal identity and the Ego and Bundle Theory are all summarized in his article “Divided Minds and the Nature of Persons”. In his article, Parfit explains the distinction between Ego theory and Bundle theory and provides several arguments against Ego Theory. Although it proves to be very difficult to believe the Bundle Theory, Parfit’s critique is convincing and well thought out. In order to defend the Bundle Theory of personal identity Parfit begins to describe it and differentiates it from Ego Theory. Parfit states that there are two theories about what persons are or what a person’s personal identity really is. According to Ego Theory, each person has an
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Parfit asks if that copy is still you or has the “real you” actually died? He then asks; what if only 1% of your cells were replaced? Many would say if only 1% were replaced, the person would still be you but at what percentage of cells is the new being no longer you? Parfit argues that the question is irrelevant and that “these are not here two different possibilities, one of which must be true. These are merely two different descriptions of the very same course of events.” To further support the bundle theory, Parfit references split-brain cases. A split-brain case is what happens when the corpus callosum connecting the two hemispheres of the brain is severed to some degree in order to treat severe epilepsy. A person with a split brain shows to have two separate streams of consciousness. Ego Theory would argue that there are two separate egos but only one person. When separating “ego” from “person” does Ego Theory still hold valid? Parfit and the Bundle Theory state that this is an example of a different awareness of events occurring at the same time, not different egos. According to Parfit there is no “person” involved. Parfit’s distinction between “Ego theory” and “Bundle Theory” and his arguments against “Ego theory” are convincing. He uses many example to help support his claim. Both his thought experiment and the split-brain cases support the idea of bundle theory and disprove the more common “Ego