Identity and singolarity

Identity and singolarity

I am me and you are you. Apparently it is a simple statement. In reality it is not  because that I” could become a “you” and that “you” could become an “I”. It seems a linguistic game. We are talking instead about genetics and the possible ethical and moral implications of one of the most extraordinary and incredible discoveries of these recent years: cloning. But let’s try to understand something.

Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua were born some weeks ago. We are talking about two nice and funny monkeys. However, they are not twins but clones obtained in a Chinese laboratory through methods that provide for the “duplication of the genetic heritage of a single cell or an entire organism” (see below).


Ecco le scimmiette Zhong Zhong e Hua Hua intente a giocare allegramente. fonte dell’immagine:

The scientists assert that cloning non-human primates could actively contribute to the research of numerous neurodegenerative diseases and therefore also to the discovery of ad hoc therapies.

The advantages therefore would be numerous but we have to consider the risk of the loss of the individual identity, of what distinguishes and characterizes us.

Each of us is different, our singularity is our personal mark. But what could happen if somebody decided that someone’s uniqueness is worth more than someone else’s? What about human diversity and variety? What would happen to what “does not fit”? It seems like a distant scenario but the risk subsists and we shouldn’t underestimated it.

Personally I think that every discovery for the wellness and health of everyone is a blessing. However, we must think about  the possible implications and possible dangers.

What do you think about cloning and the risk to lose the personal identity? Share, if you want, your thoughts with me and the other readers and philosophers.

Thank you so much and enjoy reading!

On freewords you will find an interesting article about this argument written by my colleague and friend Enza Bronzuoli.

Other links: 

Maria Domenica Depalo


Quesito numero cinquantuno

Se la moglie non gli avesse fatto notare il modo in cui il suo naso pendeva, probabilmente la vita di Vitangelo Moscarda sarebbe proseguita come al solito, cioè in modo abbastanza ordinario e quasi noioso.

Abbiamo osato nominare il protagonista di “Uno, Nessuno e Centomila” di Luigi Pirandello per parlare di identità e domandarci chi e che cosa la determina.

“Non mi conoscevo affatto, non avevo per me alcuna realtà mia propria, ero in uno stato come di illusione continua, quasi fluido, malleabile; mi conoscevano gli altri, ciascuno a suo modo, secondo la realtà che m’avevano data; cioè vedevano in me ciascuno un Moscarda che non ero io non essendo io propriamente nessuno per me: tanti Moscarda quanti essi erano”. (da “Uno, Nessuno e Centomila)

Apparentemente criptica ed incomprensibile, attraverso il pensiero di “Gengé”, Pirandello ci pone una serie di domande dalle risposte non per niente ovvie.

  1. Chi sei?
  2. Chi sei per te stesso?
  3. Chi sei per gli altri?
  4. Le risposte alle domande numero due e tre coincidono?
  5. Se le risposte non coincidono, cosa ne è della nostra identità?


Maria Domenica Depalo

English version:

If his wife hadn’t pointed out that his nose was “strange”, probably Vitangelo Moscarda would have continued his ordinary and sometimes boring life.

We talk about the main character of “One, None and One Hundred Thousand” by Luigi Pirandello to talk about identity.

“I didn’t know myself at all, I had no reality of my own for myself, I was in a state of continuous, almost fluid, malleable illusion; the others knew me, each in his own way, according to the reality they had given me; that is, they saw in me each a Moscarda that was not me, since I wasn’t really anyone for me: as many Moscarda as they were “. (from “One, None and One Hundred Thousand”)

Pirandello’s words above seem cryptic and incomprehensible but they could be the right instrument to analyze these questions. Are you ready?

  1. Who are you?
  2. Who are you for yourself?
  3. Who are you for the others?
  4. Do the answers to the questions number two and three coincide?
  5. If the answers don’t coincide, what happens to our identity?


Maria Domenica Depalo




The identity in the relationship between me and the other

The identity in the relationship between me and the other

Who am I? What is my role? What do I think about the idea that the others have about me?

The theme of the identity characterizes our daily path in an alternation of questions and uncertain answers. When we finally think we have understood who we are, a doubt brings us back to the indeterminacy of our limits.

There is no sure definition that describes us in a full and exhaustive way. This happens simply because we are “becoming beings”, subject to the multiplicity and variety of events that changes, like our body.

The mirror, in which our image is reflected, is the enormous witness of our non-fixity. The change of our face, the appearance of wrinkles and the signs of the flow of time seem to remind us constantly that we are “fluent”.

However, it is important to emphasize the positive aspect of this kind of fluidity. We could interpret it as the ability to adapt to what surrounds us.

The presence of the other influences us. The other becomes a mirror, unique and personal, capable of realizing an image of us often different from the one we attribute to ourselves. Everyone in fact develops a personal idea of the other.

So who are we? Are we in the way the others think about our person?

The philosopher Sartre doesn’t offer any definitive answer to this question: “Our human reality requires to be simultaneously for themselves and for others” (cit. From “The Essence and the Nothing”) showing the drama of this unsolvable dichotomy.

We persist in a state of doubt on our personal identity without apparent possibility of solution. Perhaps, however, the insolubility of this dilemma could be our salvation to a staticity that could take to annihilation.

For curiosity, I would recommend:

“L’essere e il Nulla” of Jean – Paul Sartre

“Uno, Nessuno e Centomila” of Luigi Pirandello

Maria Domenica Depalo