Like most people (and unlike some philosophers) I will stick to the view that we are persons. In this post I will try to state clearly what persons are according to the theory of persons I recommend, which I call the Information Theory. I will begin to flesh the theory out, by drawing out some of its consequences.
The Information Theory
Here are some claims of the Information Theory of Persons.
- Persons are entities that can be multiply instantiated, like tunes, dances, literary works, electronic files, computer programs, and genes.
- Like all those things, persons are entities that can be expressed as information. A person can cross a spatio-temporal gap in the form of information carried by any convenient medium, such as electronic files.
- Persons are distinct from the living biological organisms they depend on, as software is distinct from the hardware it runs on. (more…)