A Humean Argument for Personal Identity

Metaphysica 9 (1):1-16 (2008)
Abstract
Considering various arguments in Hume’s Treatise, I reconstruct a Humean argument against personal identity or unity. According to this argument, each distinct perception is separable from the bundle of perceptions to which it belongs and is thus transferable either to the external, material reality or to another psychical reality, another bundle of perceptions. Nevertheless, such transference (Hume’s word!) is entirely illegitimate, otherwise Hume’s argument against causal inference would have failed; furthermore, it violates private, psychical accessibility. I suggest a Humean thought experiment clearly demonstrating that, to the extent that anything within a psychical reality is concerned, no distinction leads to separation or transference and that private, psychical accessibility has to be allowed in the Humean argument for personal identity or unity. Private accessibility and psychical untransferability secure personal identity and unity. Referring to the phenomenon of multiple personality along the lines of the Humean argument for personal identity or unity, I illustrate both private accessibility and a possible notion of one and the same person distinct from his/her alters or psychical parts. Finally, I show why Parfit’s Humean argument against personal identity must fail
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,351
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Michael C. Rea & David Silver (2000). Personal Identity and Psychological Continuity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):185-194.
    Trenton Merricks (2000). Perdurance and Psychological Continuity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):195-199.
    David Silver (2000). Personal Identity and Psychological Continuity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):185 - 193.
    Deborah C. Smith (2001). Parfit on Personal Identity. Idealistic Studies 31 (2/3):169-181.
    Michael Quante (2007). The Social Nature of Personal Identity. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (s 5-6):56-76.
    Trenton Merricks (2000). Perdurance and Psychological Continuity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):195 - 198.
    Timothy Chappell (1998). Reductionism About Persons; and What Matters. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (1):41-58.
    William R. Carter (1999). Will I Be a Dead Person? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (1):167-171.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2010-08-24

    Total downloads

    15 ( #90,249 of 1,088,370 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    2 ( #42,603 of 1,088,370 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.