The social nature of personal identity

Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (s 5-6):56-76 (2007)
In this paper the thesis that personal identity is essentially constituted by social relations is defended. To make this plausible the problem of personal identity is broken down into four interrelated sets of problems. Of these, the unity -- and the persistence -- problems cannot be resolved using the notion of a person and therefore personal identity in this sense is not socially constituted. But this paper argues that the conditions of personhood, and the structure of a human being's personality -- which are the other two sets into which the problem of personal identity is dissolved -- are best understood as being constituted by social relations, especially relations of mutual
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