London Ed says that reincarnation is logically possible. I agree. For my use of the first-person singular pronoun does not refer to my (animated) body alone. Surely I am not identical to my body. If I were, then reincarnation would be logically impossible. As Ed says, there is nothing in the sense or reference of 'I' that entails such an identity. But then Ed says this:
That's not to countenance disembodied egos or anything like that. The possibility of reincarnation does not require there to be a disembodied referent for 'I'. But if there are no disembodied egos, and if reincarnation takes place some time after the death of the previous body, there has to be a time when the 'I' does not exist.
There is a problem here. Suppose I existed 100 years ago with body B1, but I now exist with a numerically different body B2. After B1 ceased to exist, I ceased to exist, but then I began to exist again when B2 came into existence. It would follow that I had two beginnings of existence. But it is not plausible to suppose that any one thing could have two beginnings of existence. John Locke famously maintained (emphasis added):
When therefore we demand whether anything be the same or no, it refers always to something that existed such a time in such a place, which it was certain, at that instant, was the same with itself, and no other. From whence it follows, that one thing cannot have two beginnings of existence, nor two things one beginning; it being impossible for two things of the same kind to be or exist in the same instant, in the very same place; or one and the same thing in different places.
The problem can be cast in the mold of an aporetic triad:
1. It is logically possible that one and the same self (ego, I) have two consecutive but non-overlapping numerically distinct bodies.
2. There are no unembodied or disembodied referents of uses of the first-person singular pronoun.
3. It is not logically possible that one and the same thing have two beginnings of existence.
Each of the limbs of the triad is plausible and yet they cannot all be true. Any two, taken together, entails the negation of the remaining one. Thus (2) and (3), taken in conjunction, entails the negation of (1).
If Ed wants to hold both (1) and (2), then he must reject (3). I would hold (1) and (3) and reject (2).
But is there any good reason to prefer my solution over Ed's?
(1) makes a very weak claim, merely one of logical possibility. So I don't see that it can be reasonably denied. Admittedly, this needs further arguing.
Both 'I' and 'ego' are pronouns. Both both Ed and I are using them as nouns. Is there are problem with that?