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  1. Torin Alter & Stuart Rachels (2004). Epistemicism and the Combined Spectrum. Ratio 17 (3):241-255.
    Derek Parfit's combined-spectrum argument seems to conflict with epistemicism, a viable theory of vagueness. While Parfit argues for the indeterminacy of personhood, epistemicism denies indeterminacy. But, we argue, the linguistically based determinacy that epistemicism supports lacks the sort of normative or ontological significance that concerns Parfit. Thus, we reformulate his argument to make it consistent with epistemicism. We also dispute Roy Sorensen's suggestion that Parfit's argument relies on an assumption that fuels resistance to epistemicism, namely, that 'the magnitude of a (...)
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  2. Simon Beck (2014). Transplant Thought-Experiments: Two Costly Mistakes in Discounting Them. South African Journal of Philosophy-Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif Vir Wysbegeerte 33 (2):189-199.
    ‘Transplant’ thought-experiments, in which the cerebrum is moved from one body to another have featured in a number of recent discussions in the personal identity literature. Once taken as offering confirmation of some form of psychological continuity theory of identity, arguments from Marya Schechtman and Kathleen Wilkes have contended that this is not the case. Any such apparent support is due to a lack of detail in their description or a reliance on predictions that we are in no position to (...)
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  3. Simon Beck (2010). Morals, Metaphysics and the Method of Cases. South African Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):332-342.
    In this paper I discuss a set of problems concerning the method of cases as it is used in applied ethics and in the metaphysical debate about personal identity. These problems stem from research in social psychology concerning our access to the data with which the method operates. I argue that the issues facing ethics are more worrying than those facing metaphysics.
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  4. Simon Beck (2009). Martha Nussbaum and the Foundations of Ethics: Identity, Morality and Thought-Experiments. South African Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):261-270.
    Martha Nussbaum has argued in support of the view (supposedly that of Aristotle) that we can, through thought-experiments involving personal identity, find an objective foundation for moral thought without having to appeal to any authority independent of morality. I compare the thought-experiment from Plato’s Philebus that she presents as an example to other thought-experiments involving identity in the literature and argue that this reveals a tension between the sources of authority which Nussbaum invokes for her thought-experiment. I also argue that (...)
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  5. Simon Beck (2008). Going Narrative: Schechtman and the Russians. South African Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):69-79.
    Marya Schechtman's The Constitution of Selves presented an impressive attempt to persuade those working on personal identity to give up mainstream positions and take on a narrative view instead. More recently, she has presented new arguments with a closely related aim. She attempts to convince us to give up the view of identity as a matter of psychological continuity, using Derek Parfit's story of the “Nineteenth Century Russian” as a central example in making the case against Parfit's own view, and (...)
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  6. Simon Beck (2004). Our Identity, Responsibility and Biology. Philosophical Papers:3-14.
    Eric Olson argues in The Human Animal that thought-experiments involving body-swapping do not in the end offer any support to psychological continuity theories, nor do they pose any threat to his Biological View. I argue that he is mistaken in at least the second claim.
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  7. Simon Beck (2003). Cognition, Persons, Identity. Alternation 10 (1):195-215.
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  8. Simon Beck (1992). Should We Tolerate People Who Split? Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):1-17.
  9. Stephan Blatti, Animalism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Among the questions to be raised under the heading of “personal identity” are these: “What are we?” (fundamental nature question) and “Under what conditions do we persist through time?” (persistence question). Against the dominant neo-Lockean approach to these questions, the view known as animalism answers that each of us is an organism of the species Homo sapiens and that the conditions of our persistence are those of animals. Beyond describing the content and historical background of animalism and its rivals, this (...)
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  10. Stephan Blatti & Paul F. Snowdon (eds.) (forthcoming). Essays on Animalism: Persons, Animals, and Identity. Oxford University Press.
    Arguably the most significant development in the recent history of the personal identity debate has been the emergence of the view known as "animalism." This volume brings together original contributions on this topic written by both well-known and emerging philosophers. Contributors: Lynne Rudder Baker, Stephan Blatti, David Hershenov, Jens Johansson, Mark Johnston, Rory Madden, Jeff McMahan & Tim Campbell, Eric Olson, Derek Parfit, Mark Reid, Denis Robinson, David Shoemaker, Sydney Shoemaker, Paul Snowdon.
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  11. Michael Bruno & Shaun Nichols (2010). Intuitions About Personal Identity: An Empirical Study. Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):293-312.
    Williams (1970) argues that our intuitions about personal identity vary depending on how a given thought experiment is framed. Some frames lead us to think that persistence of self requires persistence of one's psychological characteristics; other frames lead us to think that the self persists even after the loss of one's distinctive psychological characteristics. The current paper takes an empirical approach to these issues. We find that framing does affect whether or not people judge that persistence of psychological characteristics is (...)
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  12. Edgardo D. Carosella & Thomas Pradeu (2006). Transplantation and Identity: A Dangerous Split? The Lancet 368 (9531):183--184.
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  13. Daniel Cohnitz (2003). Personal Identity and the Methodology of Imaginary Cases. In Klaus Petrus (ed.), Human Persons. Ontos
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  14. F. Brian Allen & Coleman & G. Peter (2005). Spiritual Perspectives on the Person with Dementia: Identity and Personhood. In Julian Hughes, Stephen Louw & Steven R. Sabat (eds.), Dementia: Mind, Meaning, and the Person. OUP Oxford
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  15. Stephen R. Coleman (2000). Thought Experiments and Personal Identity. Philosophical Studies 98 (1):51-66.
    Thought experiments are profitably compared to compasses. A compass is a simple but useful device for determining direction. Nevertheless, it systematically errs in the presence of magnets ...it becomes unreliable near the North Pole, in mine shafts, when vibrated, in the presence of metal ...experts will wish to use the compass as one element in a wider portfolio of navigational techniques. Analogously, thought experiments are simple but useful devices for determining the status of propositions. Sadly, they systematically err under certain (...)
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  16. Benjamin L. Curtis (2015). There’s No Need to Rethink Desert: A Reply to Pummer. Philosophia 43 (4):999-1010.
    Pummer : 43–77, 2014) ingeniously wraps together issues from the personal identity literature with issues from the literature on desert. However, I wish to take issue with the main conclusion that he draws, namely, that we need to rethink the following principle: Desert.: When people culpably do very wrong or bad acts, they deserve punishment in the following sense: at least other things being equal they ought to be made worse off, simply in virtue of the fact that they (...)
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  17. Alexander Geddes (2013). Think Twice, It's All Right: Animalism, Disunity and the Self. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3):371-380.
    According to animalism, each of us is numerically identical to a human animal. Disunity cases—cases in which a human animal lacks some form of mental unity—are often thought to pose a problem for animalism. Tim Bayne (2010) has recently offered some novel arguments against animalism based on one particular disunity case, namely Cerberus: a single animal with two heads, each housing its own stream of consciousness. I show that Bayne's arguments are flawed, and that animalism is capable of handling the (...)
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  18. Tamar Szabó Gendler (2002). Personal Identity and Thought-Experiments. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (206):34-54.
    Through careful analysis of a specific example, Parfit’s ‘fission argument’ for the unimportance of personal identity, I argue that our judgements concerning imaginary scenarios are likely to be unreliable when the scenarios involve disruptions of certain contingent correlations. Parfit’s argument depends on our hypothesizing away a number of facts which play a central role in our understanding and employment of the very concept under investigation; as a result, it fails to establish what Parfit claims, namely, that identity is not what (...)
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  19. Sören Häggqvist (1993). Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments Kathleen Wilkes Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988, 264 Pp., £25.00. [REVIEW] Dialogue 32 (01):171-.
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  20. David B. Hershenov (2008). A Hylomorphic Account of Thought Experiments Concerning Personal Identity. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 82 (3):481-502.
    Hylomorphism offers a third way between animalist approaches to personal identity, which maintain that psychology is irrelevant to our persistence, andneo-Lockean accounts, which deny that humans are animals. This paper provides a Thomistic account that explains the intuitive responses to thought experiments involving brain transplants and the transformation of organic bodies into inorganic ones. This account does not have to follow the animalist in abandoning the claim that it is our identity which matters in survival, or countenance the puzzles of (...)
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  21. Douglas C. Long (1974). The Bodies of Persons. Journal of Philosophy 71 (10):291-301.
    Much mischief concerning the concept of a human body is generated by the failure of philosophers to distinguish various important senses of the term 'body.' I discuss three of those senses and illustrate the issues they can generate by discussing the concept of a Lockean exchange of bodies as well as the brain-body switch.
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  22. Kristie Miller (2004). How to Be a Conventional Person. The Monist 87 (4):457-474.
    Recent work in personal identity has emphasized the importance of various conventions, or ‘person-directed practices’ in the determination of personal identity. An interesting question arises as to whether we should think that there are any entities that have, in some interesting sense, conventional identity conditions. We think that the best way to understand such work about practices and conventions is the strongest and most radical. If these considerations are correct, persons are, on our view, conventional constructs: they are in part (...)
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  23. Eric T. Olson (2015). Life After Death and the Devastation of the Grave. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 409-423.
    This paper—written for nonspecialist readers—asks whether life after death is in any sense possible given the apparent fact that after we die our remains decay to the point where only randomly scattered atoms remain. The paper argues that this is possible only if our remains are not in fact dispersed in this way, and discusses how that might be the case.
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  24. Eric T. Olson (2014). The Metaphysical Implications of Conjoined Twinning. Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (S1):24-40.
    Conjoined twinning is said to show that the number of human people—the number of us—can differ from the number of human organisms, and hence that we are not organisms. The paper shows that these arguments either assume the point at issue, rely on dubious and undefended assumptions, or add nothing to more familiar arguments for the same conclusion.
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  25. Theron Pummer (2014). Does Division Multiply Desert? Philosophical Review 123 (1):43-77.
    It seems plausible that (i) how much punishment a person deserves cannot be affected by the mere existence or nonexistence of another person. We might have also thought that (ii) how much punishment is deserved cannot increase merely in virtue of personal division. I argue that (i) and (ii) are inconsistent with the popular belief that, other things being equal, when people culpably do very wrong or bad acts, they ought to be punished for this—even if they have repented, are (...)
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  26. Duncan Purves (2015). The Significance of Personal Identity for Death. Bioethics 29 (9):681-682.
    I respond to David Shoemaker's arguments for the conclusion that personal identity is irrelevant for death. I contend that we can accept Shoemaker's claim that loss of personal identity is not sufficient for death while nonetheless maintaining that there is an important theoretical relationship between death and personal identity. I argue that this relationship is also of practical importance for physicians' decisions about organ reallocation.
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  27. Simon Saunders & D. Wallace (2008). Branching and Uncertainty. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):293-305.
    Following Lewis, it is widely held that branching worlds differ in important ways from diverging worlds. There is, however, a simple and natural semantics under which ordinary sentences uttered in branching worlds have much the same truth values as they conventionally have in diverging worlds. Under this semantics, whether branching or diverging, speakers cannot say in advance which branch or world is theirs. They are uncertain as to the outcome. This same semantics ensures the truth of utterances typically made about (...)
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  28. Simon Saunders & David Wallace (2008). Saunders and Wallace Reply. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):315-317.
    A reply to a comment by Paul Tappenden (BJPS 59 (2008) pp. 307-314) on S. Saunders and D. Wallace, "Branching and Uncertainty" (BJPS 59 (2008) pp. 298-306).
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  29. Mark K. Spencer (2010). A Reexamination of the Hylomorphic Theory of Death. Review of Metaphysics 63 (4):843-870.
  30. Bernard Williams (1970). The Self and the Future. Philosophical Review 79 (2):161-180.
  31. Arnold Zuboff (1990). One Self: The Logic of Experience. Inquiry 33 (1):39-68.
    Imagine that you and a duplicate of yourself are lying unconscious, next to each other, about to undergo a complete step-by-step exchange of bits of your bodies. It certainly seems that at no stage in this exchange of bits will you have thereby switched places with your duplicate. Yet it also seems that the end-result, with all the bits exchanged, will be essentially that of the two of you having switched places. Where will you awaken? I claim that one and (...)
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  32. Arnold Zuboff (1978). Moment Universals and Personal Identity. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 52:141-55.
    This paper could be thought of as divided into two parts. In the first I show through a series of thought experiments that it is a mistake to think of one’s individual experience as necessarily belonging to only one particular place, time and organism. In repetitions across a universe large enough to host them, the particular experience that one finds oneself in, which can be individuated only by the detailed type that is the entirety of its momentary subjective content, would (...)
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