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Fission, Self-Interest and Commonsense Ethics

Noonan, Harold

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Professor of Mind and Cognition


Jacob Ross argues that the fission cases discussed in the personal identity literature cannot be accommodated without rejecting basic intuitions of everyday ethical thinking. He notes that many philosophers have responded to the challenge of fission ‘by rejecting the metaphysical assumptions on which it rests’. In particular, that many have denied that in fission one ceases to exist. He contends that these denials do not meet the challenge to commonsense ethical thinking. I reject these claims. One of the metaphysical views he considers is the multiple occupancy view of Lewis and Robinson, according to which in fission there are all along two numerically distinct, initially collocated, persons. I claim that Ross has not shown that this view has counterintuitive ethical implications.


Noonan, H. (2023). Fission, Self-Interest and Commonsense Ethics. Philosophia,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 4, 2023
Online Publication Date Feb 2, 2023
Publication Date Feb 2, 2023
Deposit Date Feb 3, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 3, 2023
Journal Philosophia
Print ISSN 0048-3893
Electronic ISSN 1574-9274
Publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Philosophy
Public URL
Publisher URL


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