Meta Treks 5: Rocking the Goatee / by Trek fm

Personal Identity.

iTunes | Stitcher | Download | RSS
Running Time: 1 hour 23 minutes 55 seconds

As characters in Star Trek change over time (think TV Picard versus Movie Picard), what accounts for the persistence of those characters' personal identity?

In this episode of Meta Treks, the continuation of a two-part discussion on the problem of identity in Star Trek, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison consider various responses to the problem of personal identity, including John Locke's views on memory and the continuity of consciousness, David Hume's bundle theory of the self, and Rene Descartes's views on mind-body dualism and personal identity.

Zachary and Mike close out their discussion of personal identity by considering identity issues in alternate timelines, counterfactual scenarios, and the Mirror Universe. Can David Lewis's possible worlds interpretation of counterfactuals, along with Saul Kripke's account of personal names as rigid designators, explain the identity of Star Trek characters across alternate timelines? Is it possible to give any account of why Star Trek characters are somehow connected to their Mirror Universe counterparts? Join Zachary and Mike as they wrestle with these issues in personal identity and more, all told through examples taken directly from the Star Trek universe.


Welcome to Episode 5 (00:01:06)
Introducing the Topic (00:02:23)
Examples of Personal Identity in Star Trek (00:10:40)
Numerical Identity (00:12:56)
Continuity of Consciousness (00:17:57)
The Bundle Theory (00:26:50)
Dualism (00:34:09)
Alternate Universes (00:52:56)
Names as Rigid Designators (01:00:46)
Final Thoughts (01:11:21)


Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison


Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)

Send us your feedback!

Twitter: @trekfm
Contact Form:
Visit the website at
Subscribe in iTunes:

More recent episodes of Meta Treks...