Explain the puzzle of personal identity why does sam deny


Your so-called friend, Sam, borrowed fifty dollars from you over six months ago and is refusing to repay. He was in a bind, so you were happy to help. But he is now flush and needs to make you whole. Yet, in true Sam fashion, he has a philosophical argument that he claims shows that he owes you nothing. According to him, the person who borrowed money from you six months ago is not the same person you call Sam today. Their hair lengths are different. Their skin tone is different. Today's Sam is also fit, healthy, happy, and employed. The person who borrowed from you is none of these things.

Arguing with Sam in person never gets you anywhere. An email is best. In your email, you examine his argument and try to prove that the Sam from today is, in fact, the very man who borrowed that money from you six months ago. You explain to him the difference between numerical identity and qualitative similarity and use the psychological continuity theory to show how the two Sams are numerically identical.


Write an email to Sam. In your email, do the following:

Explain the puzzle of personal identity. Why does Sam deny that he is identical to anyone from six months ago?

NB: Explaining the puzzle requires discussion of qualitative similarity and numerical identity. Explain each and explain their difference. Failure to do so will result in loss of points.

Solve this puzzle by using the psychological continuity theory.

NB: This assignment is not asking you to discuss each possible response to the puzzle. Only discuss the psychological continuity theory. Failure to ignore this instruction will result in a loss of points.

Some General Philosophy Resources you can utililize for this assignment

The American Philosophical Association

Episteme Links

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Free Philosophy Dictionary

Garth Kemerling's Philosophy Pages


WIPHI Philosophy Videos

HI-PHI Nation

Philosophy Talk

Philosophy around the Web

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