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Summary Theories of personal identity are, most often, theories of what makes X, a person, at one time numerically identical to Y at another time.  Such theories fall into two very general categories.  On reductionist views, the facts about identity across time simply consist in facts about brains, bodies, or interrelated physical or mental events.  On nonreductionist views, the facts about identity do not consist simply in such facts, but also consist in facts about, e.g., souls or Cartesian egos.  Among reductionist theories, there are two general approaches: psychological and biological.  On psychological approaches, what makes X and Y identical is typically continuity of some subset of psychological features.  On biological approaches, what makes X and Y identical is typically continuity of the person's biological (animal) organism.
Key works Derek Parfit offers and explains the distinction between nonreductionist and reductionist views of personal identity in Parfit 1984 (a distinction he originally labeled as between "simple" and "complex" views in Parfit 1973).  For the original statement of a psychological criterion of identity, see John Locke's "persistence of consciousness" view in Locke 1979.  For nonreductionist rejoinders, see Thomas Reid's Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man and Butler 1736.  For contemporary advocacy of a psychological criterion, see, in addition to Parfit, Harold Noonan's Personal Identity and Sydney Shoemaker's contribution in Shoemaker & Swinburne 1984 (and for contemporary nonreductionism about identity, see Swinburne's contribution).  For contemporary advocacy of a biological criterion, see Olson 1997.
Introductions Good introductions include Perry 1978, Perry 1975, and Olson 2002.
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  1. Adeleke Segun Adeofe (1991). Personal Identity and Reidentification. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
    My focus is on the metaphysical issue of what identity consists in. That is, what it is that supposedly makes a person the same persisting entity. I start by considering whether this issue is one to specially care about. I bring in the views of Thomas Reid and Saul Kripke. I argue that if the focus is on identity simpliciter, then personal identity is not significantly different from identity of numbers, say. I do, however, argue that this does not, and (...)
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  2. Ronald G. Alexander (1997). The Self, Supervenience, and Personal Identity. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
    In this study, I address the problem of personal identity by examining the possibility that a person is ascribed identity on the basis of having a supervenient self. Using the methods of non-eidetic phenomenology and analytic ontology, I argue that the self is supervenient on the physical and psychological properties of the human being. Understood in this manner, the self is not a static entity, but reflects the temporal nature of the person. Instead of trying to find the ground of (...)
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  3. Ronald G. Alexander (1992). Personal Identity and Self-Constitution. The Personalist Forum 8 (Supplement):83-89.
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  4. S. Ali (2010). Human Destiny, Reincarnation, and Personal Identity in Yoruba Metaphysics. Philosophia 39 (1).
    In African metaphysics, with special reference to Yoruba thought, human destiny, reincarnation, and personal identity constitute some of the major philosophical concerns. Given that man is trimorphously considered a composite of body , soul and inner-head , the last is the metaphysical symbol of human destiny which externally is represented by the physical head. The three elements are classifiable into physical and metaphysical entities with êmi and ori taken to be immortal. Do these metaphysical entities reincarnate and in what way? (...)
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  5. Karen Allen (1983). Personal Identity: An Epistemological Assessment and a Metaphysical Theory. Dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University
    The philosophical problem of personal identity seems especially complex since the metaphysical and epistemological issues have been conflated in the standard literature and there is a general tendency to equate the ways the identities of persons are constituted with ways they can be verified. Thus, in an attempt to dispel this sort of confusion and to clarify the fundamental difficulties about personal identity, this dissertation attempts to answer two separate theoretical questions: What makes someone the same person through time? and (...)
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  6. R. Allen (2009). Raymond Tallis and the Alleged Necessity of a Body for Personal Identity. Appraisal 7.
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  7. Gordon W. Allport (1943). The Use of Personal Documents in Psychological Science. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 3 (3):367-369.
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  8. J. J. Altham (1988). Shoemaker, S., "Identity, Cause, and Mind: Philosophical Essays". [REVIEW] Mind 97:285.
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  9. Karl Ameriks (1977). Criteria of Personal Identity. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):47 - 69.
    I defend the claim that bodily continuity is the primary criterion of personal identity by arguing there is an important sense in which it (unlike rival criteria) is a necessary condition of such identity. This claim is shown to be misunderstood in recent discussions because of a confusion of it with the claim that bodily continuity is a sufficient condition of personal identity. In the course of my argument, I criticize williams, Shoemaker, Puccetti, Quinton, Miri, And others.
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  10. Susan L. Anderson (1976). Coconsciousness and Numerical Identity of the Person. Philosophical Studies 30 (July):1-10.
    The phenomenon of multiple personality--Like the "split-Brain" phenomenon--Involves a disintegration of the normally unified self to the point where one must question whether there is one, Or more than one, Person associated with the body even at a single moment in time. Besides the traditional problem of determining identity over time, There is now a new problem of personal identity--Determining identity at a single moment in time. We need the conceptual apparatus to talk about this new problem and a test, (...)
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  11. Michael A. Arbib (1987). In Search of the Person: Philosophical Explorations in Cognitive Science. The Personalist Forum 3 (1):78-80.
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  12. D. M. Armstrong (1986). SHOEMAKER, S.: "Identity, Cause, and Mind". Australasian Journal of Philosophy 64:236.
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  13. S. T. Árnadóttir, Thinking Animals.
    Many personal identity theorists claim that persons are distinct from the animals that constitute them, but when combined with the plausible assumption that animals share the thoughts of the persons they constitute, this denial results in an excess of thinkers and a host of related problems. I consider a number of non-animalist solutions to these problems and argue that they fail. I argue further that satisfactory non-animalist solutions are not forthcoming and that in order to avoid these problems we ought (...)
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  14. Ignacio Arriagada (2009). The Primacy of Space in Heidegger and Taylor: Towards a Unified Account of Personal Identity. Appraisal 7.
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  15. Lawrence Raymond Ashley (1973). Personal Identity: Historical and Analytical Considerations. Dissertation, Duke University
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  16. S. Azeri (2011). Locke on Personal Identity: The Form of the Self. Filozofia 66:222-239.
    In line with the empiricist project, Locke tries to describe how unconscious encounters with environment yield to the emergence of consciousness. For Locke the self is identical with consciousness and consciousness is accessible empirically. As far as the identity of human is concerned, identity of the self depends on the consciousness of the person. The person is identical to himself to the extent that he is aware of his own perceptions and thinking. The range of the person’s memory sets the (...)
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  17. Harriet Erica Baber (1980). Person-Stages. Dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University
    In the later chapters of this essay, I attempt to set up the machinery for a reconstructed person-stage theory incorporating the suggestion that person-stage identity is a sortal-relative identity relation. To understand this relation we have to define the class of predicates for which it is an indiscernibility relation. I suggest that this class is to be defined in terms of Perry's notion of a 'basic property,' which, though intuitive, turns out to be highly problematic upon closer examination. Relative identity (...)
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  18. Alan Baddeley (2008). Psychology in the 1950s: A Personal View. In Pat Rabbitt (ed.), Inside Psychology: A Science Over 50 Years. Oup Oxford.
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  19. Archie Bahm (1979). Personal Ethics. Southwest Philosophical Studies 4.
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  20. Patrick Bailey, Concerning Theories of Personal Identity.
    The purpose of this thesis is to provide a brief examination of the historical accounts of philosophical theories of personal identity and show the influence that each has had on the development of contemporary theories. In doing so, the thesis explores the problems associated with these theories, attempting to establish a meta-theory (i.e. a theory about theories) of personal identity. What is demonstrated is that the fundamental problems of personal identity arise from issues related to the use of language, as (...)
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  21. J. Baillie (1998). Olson, ET-The Human Animal. Philosophical Books 39:58-60.
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  22. James Baillie (1992). Identity, Consciousness and Value. Philosophical Books 33 (1):42-44.
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  23. LR Baker, Replies to Reviews of 'Persons and Bodies'.
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  24. Lynne Rudder Baker (2007). Persons and the Metaphysics of Resurrection. Religious Studies 43 (3):333-348.
    Theories of the human person differ greatly in their ability to underwrite a metaphysics of resurrection. This paper compares and contrasts a number of such views in light of the Christian doctrine of resurrection. In a Christian framework, resurrection requires that the same person who exists on earth also exists in an afterlife, that a postmortem person be embodied, and that the existence of a postmortem person is brought about by a miracle. According to my view of persons (the Constitution (...)
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  25. Steven Baldner (1994). David Braine, The Human Person: Animal and Spirit. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 14:381-383.
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  26. James Mark Baley (1976). Personal Identity. Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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  27. Victor Chaim Balowitz (1969). Personal Identity and Bodily Identity. Dissertation, Columbia University
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  28. Joseph A. Baltimore (2006). Got to Have Soul. Religious Studies 42 (4):417-430.
    Kevin Corcoran offers an account of how one can be a physicalist about human persons, deny temporal gaps in the existence of persons, and hold that there is an afterlife. I argue that Corcoran's account both violates the necessity of metaphysical identity and implausibly makes an individual's existence dependent on factors wholly extrinsic to the individual. Corcoran's defence is considered, as well as Stephen Davis's suggestions on how an account like Corcoran's can defend itself against these concerns. It is shown, (...)
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  29. David Banach (1992). Who Do You Think You Are? Relations, Subjectivity, and the Identity of Persons. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 66:109-121.
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  30. G. Barazetti & M. Reichlin (2011). Life-Extension and Personal Identity. In Guy Kahane, Julian Savulescu & Ruud Ter Meulen (eds.), Enhancing Human Capacities.
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  31. Kenneth F. Barber, Jorge Je Gracia, York Press, Andrew Brennan, Caroline Walker Bynum, Michael Carrithers, Roderick M. Chisholm, I. L. La Salle & Frederick C. Doepke (2003). Books on Personal Identity Since 1970. In Raymond Martin & John Barresi (eds.), Personal Identity. Blackwell.
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  32. Evelyn M. Barker (1990). Personal Identity and Concrete Values. Analecta Husserliana 31:115.
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  33. Mary Rose Barral (1990). The Truth and Identity of a Person and of a People. Analecta Husserliana 31:93.
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  34. John Barresi (1999). On Becoming a Person. Philosophical Psychology 12 (1):79-98.
    How does an entity become a person? Forty years ago Carl Rogers answered this question by suggesting that human beings become persons through a process of personal growth and self-discovery. In the present paper I provide six different answers to this question, which form a hierarchy of empirical projects and associated criteria that can be used to understand human personhood. They are: (1) persons are constructed out of natural but organic materials; (2) persons emerge as a form of adaptation through (...)
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  35. William C. Baskin (1980). Personal Identity in Hume's Enlightenment Science of Man. Dissertation, New School for Social Research
    While this approach does not eliminate the difficulties with Hume's positive account of personal identity or resolve the inconsistency noted by Hume himself in the Appendix, it does show that the account of personal identity contains no surprises and is consistent with the rest of Book I. The dissertation tentatively concludes that Hume's comparison of the soul with a republic is the most promising point from which to develop a Humean account of personal identity not subject to the difficulties of (...)
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  36. Kenneth Baynes (2010). Self, Narrative and Self-Constitution: Revisiting Taylor's “Self-Interpreting Animals”. Philosophical Forum 41 (4):441-457.
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  37. Timothy K. Beal & D. M. Gunn (1997). Reading Bibles, Writing Bodies Identity and the Book.
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  38. Tom L. Beauchamp & Laurence B. Mccullough (1985). Medical Ethics: The Moral Responsibilities of Physicians. The Personalist Forum 1 (2):112-115.
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  39. Pierre Marie Beaude & Jacques Fantino (eds.) (2010). Identité Et Altérité: La Norme En Question?: Hommage à Pierre-Marie Beaude. Université Paul-Verlaine, Centre de Recherche Écritures.
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  40. Dene Bebbington (2011). Argument From Personal Incredulity. Think 10 (28):27-28.
    People prefer certainty. There's a psychological need to explain events or phenomena rather than accept one's ignorance, to say ???I don't know??? when faced with insufficient evidence.
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  41. Larry K. Beck (1965). The Lockean Meaning of Self and Personal Identity.
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  42. Richard Beeman, Stephen Botein & Edward C. Carter (1988). Beyond Confederation: Origins of the Constitution and American National Identity. The Personalist Forum 4 (2):55-57.
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  43. David P. Behan (1985). Personal Identity. Philosophical Books 26 (2):112-113.
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  44. Kathy A. Behrendt (1999). Subjects, Identity, and Objective Experience the Neo-Kantian/Reductionist Debate.
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  45. Milorad Belančić (1997). The Attribution of Identity. Theoria 40 (3):83-94.
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  46. Derrick Bell (1988). And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice. The Personalist Forum 4 (2):60-62.
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  47. Robert N. Bellah, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler & Steven M. Tipton (1986). Habits of the Heart. The Personalist Forum 2 (2):153-156.
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  48. Raymond A. Belliotti (1996). Seeking Identity: Individualism Versus Community in an Ethnic Context. The Personalist Forum 12 (2):188-190.
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  49. Christopher Belshaw (2010). Animals, Identity and Persistence. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):401 - 419.
    A number of claims are closely connected with, though logically distinct from, animalism. One is that organisms cease to exist when they die. Two others concern the relation of the brain, or the brainstem, to animal life. One of these holds that the brainstem is necessary for life?more precisely, that (say) my cat's brainstem is necessary for my cat's life to continue. The other is that it is sufficient for life?more precisely, that so long as (say) my cat's brainstem continues (...)
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  50. Ermanno Bencivenga (1983). An Old Problem About Identity. Conceptus. Zeitschrift Fur Philosophie Salzburg 17 (40-41):91-100.
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