Personal identity and mental content

Philosophical Psychology 10 (3):323-33 (1997)
In this paper, I attempt to map out the 'logical geography' of the territory in which issues of mental content and of personal identity meet. In particular, I investigate the possibility of combining a psychological criterion of personal identity with an externalist theory of content. I argue that this can be done, but only by accepting an assumption that has been widely accepted but barely argued for, namely that when someone switches linguistic communities, the contents of their thoughts do not change immediately, but only after the person becomes integrated within the new linguistic community. I also suggest that recent work on personal identity, notably by Derek Parfit, has tacitly assumed internalism regarding mental content. I do not intend to argue for either externalism or a psychological criterion. My aim is merely to explicate the issues involved in making them compatible.
Keywords Content  Mental  Personal Identity  Science  Parfit, D
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515089708573223
 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: 16,658
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Tyler Burge (1979). Individualism and the Mental. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
Tyler Burge (1988). Individualism and Self-Knowledge. Journal of Philosophy 85 (November):649-63.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Sven Bernecker (2004). Memory and Externalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (3):605-632.
Sven Bernecker (2004). Memory and Externalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (3):605 - 632.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

182 ( #10,288 of 1,725,935 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

17 ( #44,634 of 1,725,935 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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