Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Eric Yang

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© 2014 Kyle D. Weiss


This paper examines the concept of uploading one’s consciousness on to a computer, and its role in personal identity. I first examine the technology behind uploading, and the likely timeline for that technology to become widespread. Then taking uploading as a given, I examine our intuitions about how we will interact with these uploads on a daily basis. Then, I argue that Derek Parfit’s account of survival and identity is the one best suited for a post-upload world. After explaining the benefits of Parfit’s view in this world, I defend Parfit against criticisms by Eric Olson, and Susan Schneider. Finally, I show why animalism and four-dimensionalism are not as strong of accounts of personal identity as Parfit’s view, in a world where uploading is a reality.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.