Michael Longenecker
Wuhan University
I motivate “Origin Conventionalism”—the view that which facts about one’s origins are essential to one’s existence in part depend on our person-directed attitudes. One important upshot of the view is that it offers a novel and attractive solution to the Nonidentity Problem. The Nonidentity Problem typically assumes that the sperm-egg pair from which a person originates is essential to that person’s existence; if so, then for many future persons that come into existence under adverse conditions, had those conditions not been realized, the individuals wouldn't have existed. This is problematic since it delivers the counter-intuitive conclusion that it’s not wrong to bring about such adverse conditions since they don’t harm anyone. Origin Conventionalism, in contrast, holds that whether a person’s sperm-egg origin is essential to their existence depends on their person-directed attitudes. I argue that this provides a unique and attractive way of preserving the intuition that the actions in the ‘nonidentity cases’ are morally wrong because of the potential harm done to the individuals in question.
Keywords nonidentity problem  personal identity  origin essentialism  modal properties  conventionalism  non-identity problem  conativism
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DOI 10.1080/00048402.2022.2061024
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References found in this work BETA

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