Philosophy 210/310
Early Modern Philosophy 

Andrew Mills' 
Course Resources
Dept. of Religion
and Philosophy

Study Questions for John Perry, A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality

  1. How does Gretchen criticize Sam's proposal (in the "First Night") that the same person is present on two different occasions just in case (or, exactly when) the same soul is present on those two occasions?

  3. Why is Sam forced, in the "First Night", to agree to the principle, "same body, same self"?  Why must he deny that this principle is "a priori" and claim that it is instead a well-confirmed regularity?

  5. What kind of problems does Sam encounter once he claims that the "same body, same self" principle is a well-confirmed regularity?

  7. In the opening part of the "Second Night", Sam makes an objection to Gretchen's view about personal identity.  (a) What does personal identity consist in for Gretchen?  (b) How does Sam's objection call that view into question? (c) What view of personal identity does Sam end up (later in that night) endorsing?

  9. What is the difference between real and apparent memory?  Which one matters for personal identity?

  11. In what way does Sam's attempt to distinguish between real and apparent memory in the case of the hypnotized person fail?

  13. What is the way in which Dave Cohen tries to make the distinction between real and apparent memories?  In other words, what are his conditions for real memories?

  15. What are the different ways to interpret Cohen's view here, and what are the objections to those interpretations?