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Personal Identity and the Afterlife Identity defines the fundamental nature of everything whether that thing is an objective physical entity or a subjective idea that has to be mentally constructed To understand the nature of these abstract ideas we must first understand the concept of identity When speaking of identity one of the first types most people think of is the identity of the self This self could be the attributes that a person attaches to himself Gender identity is a simple attribute one may place upon the self These certain attributes are so important that a person may find it impossible to imagine himself without In the study of philosophy there are two key notions that divide the definition of the self First philosophers may define the personal identity as a physical form That is the person is described by the material characteristics such as age height nationality gender etc The second notion is rather abstract and is described by the mental properties of a person that cannot be physically grasped These properties can be defined in a general term as the soul People use this word regularly and fail to understand the problem such an abstract idea may cause This analysis will examine the two different notions of the personal identity problem An eternal question posed to philosophy is that of life after death Is there life after death or do we simply cease to exist following our demise If personal identity is defined by either of these will that make someone existing now the same person that will be existing in the future Would it be possible for a person to survive bodily deathJohn Perry author of A Dialogue of Personal Identity and Immortality illustrates the case of a dying philosophy teacher Gretchen Weirob Two friends Sam Miller and Dave Cohen visit Gretchen on three consecutive nights She initiates a conversation on the prospect of life after death Although she
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