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Who am I? A philosophical inquiry - Amy Adkins

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Throughout the history of mankind, the subject of identity has sent poets to the blank page, philosophers to the agora and seekers to the oracles. These murky waters of abstract thinking are tricky to navigate, so it’s probably fitting that to demonstrate the complexity, the Greek historian Plutarch used the story of a ship. Amy Adkins illuminates Plutarch’s Ship of Theseus.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Amy Adkins
  • Director John R. Dilworth
  • Animator Pilar Newton
  • Sound Designer William Hohauser
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Need more about The Ship of Theseus? Find this concept interesting? Confusing? Visit the Khan Academy and watch this lesson from Jennifer Wang a Professor of Philosophy! Did this further clarify this concept? For even more, watch: The Paradox of Theseus’s Ship from 90 second Philosophy!

Are you now wondering, “What is personal identity?” What makes you, YOU? That certainly is a question worth pondering! What if a person has an organ transplant? What if you uploaded your brain to a computer? Would you still be you? Would the computer be you? Read this article and get more to think about! Work your way through this series of notes on The Puzzle of Persisting Personal Identity and maybe you will come to a better understanding!

John Locke also addresses personal identity. Watch this video and get some insight into his ideas too! Follow it up with Part Two and Part Three: Philosophy: John Locke on Personal Identity.

TED Ed also addresses some questions about how you know you actually exist and who “you” really are. Watch the lesson: How do you know you’re real? Find paradox’s thought provoking? Then watch: What is Zeno’s Dichotomy Paradox and The Infinite Hotel Paradox.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Amy Adkins
  • Director John R. Dilworth
  • Animator Pilar Newton
  • Sound Designer William Hohauser
  • Narrator Addison Anderson