Suppose Canada is dissolved, and a country is created, with the same people, in the same place, with the same name, symbols, and political system. Moreover, the new country isn’t like the old one by mere happenstance, but is deliberately modeled on the old. Then very little has been lost, even if it turns out that on the correct metaphysics of countries the new country is a mere replica of Canada.
On the other hand, suppose Jean Vanier is dissolved, and a new person is created, with the same matter and shape, in the same place, with the same name, apparent memories and character. Moreover, the new person isn’t like the old one by mere happenstance, but is deliberately modeled on the old. Then if on the correct metaphysics of persons the new person is a mere replica of Jean Vanier, much has been lost, even if Vanier’s loving contributions continue through the new person.
This suggests an interesting asymmetry between social entities and persons. For social entities, the causal connections and qualitative and material similarities across time matter much more than identity itself. For persons, the identity itself matters at least as much as these connections and similarities.
Perhaps the explanation of this fact is that for social entities there is nothing more to the entity than the persons and relationships caught up in them, while for persons there is something more than temporal parts and their relationships.