A Solution to the Problem of Personal Identity in the Metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas

This paper presents a solution to the problem of personal identity over time in Thomas’s metaphysics. I argue that Professor Gracia’s solution to the problem of personal identity, existence, and Professor Stump’s solution, form or the human soul, are not only compatible but also necessarily interdependent on one another. This argument rests on (1) the special nature of the human soul, and (2) the metaphysical claim that for Thomas the human soul and existence are inseparable. First, I refine the problem of personal identity and briefly clarify some important distinctions. Second, I present Gracia’s arguments for the principle of existence (esse) being the criterion of personal identity over time in Thomas’s metaphysics. Third, I explain Stump’s arguments for form being the principle of personal identity over time in Thomas’s metaphysics, and show how Stump’s solution can answer some of the objections that Gracia presents. Finally, I argue that, according to Thomas, the soul of an individual human person and that person’s existence embrace one another with the strength of self-identity, and that it is correct and not inconsistent to say that both the human soul and existence are the cause and principle of personal identity over time in the metaphysics of Thomas
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/acpaproc20017515
 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: 15,904
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Ned Markosian (2010). Identifying the Problem of Personal Identity. In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry Silverstein (eds.), Time and Identity. MIT Press 129.
John Perry (ed.) (1975). Personal Identity. University of California Press.
Michael Quante (2007). The Social Nature of Personal Identity. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (s 5-6):56-76.
Abraham Sesshu Roth (2000). What Was Hume's Problem with Personal Identity? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):91-114.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

34 ( #94,254 of 1,725,471 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #93,199 of 1,725,471 )

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.