Empathic access: The missing ingredient in personal identity

Philosophical Explorations 4 (2):95 – 111 (2001)
Philosophical discussions of personal identity depend upon thought experiments which describe psychological vicissitudes and question whether the original person survives in the person resulting from the described change. These cases are meant to determine the types of psychological change compatible with personal continuation. Two main accounts of identity try to capture this distinction; psychological continuity theories and narrative theories. I argue that neither fully succeeds since both overlook the importance of a relationship I call “empathic access.” I define empathic access and discuss its role in a complete account of personal identity.
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Peter Goldie (2011). Empathy with One's Past. Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):193-207.
Patrick Stokes (2014). Crossing the Bridge: The First-Person and Time. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (2):295-312.
Peter Goldie (2012). The Narrative Sense of Self. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 18 (5):1064-1069.
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