My Beginnings

Belshaw, Christopher (2006). My Beginnings. The Monist, 89(3) pp. 371–389.



Could I have had different parents? In practice, no, but in principle, yes. And could I have been born at a different time? Again, in practice no, but in principle, yes. These are, perhaps, common sense verdicts on such questions. But they go against what may be seen as some prevailing philosophical orthodoxies. I defend versions of the common sense verdicts, and argue against the orthodoxies, here. These arguments are neither technical nor particularly complex. What I want to suggest here is that these rather ordinary questions are best answered by rather ordinary means.

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