David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Perspectives 15 (s15):189-209 (2001)
It is easy to become battle-weary in metaphysics. In the face of seemingly unresolvable disputes and unanswerable questions, it is tempting to cast aside one’s sword, proclaiming: “there is no fact of the matter who is right!” Sometimes that is the right thing to do. As a case study, consider the search for the criterion of personal identity over time. I say there is no fact of the matter whether the correct criterion is bodily or psychological continuity.1 There exist two candidate meanings for talk of persisting persons, one corresponding to each criterion, and there is simply no fact of the matter which candidate we mean. An argument schema for this sort of “no fact of the matter” thesis will be constructed. An instance of the schema will be defended in the case of personal identity. But scrutiny of this instance will reveal limits of the schema. Questions not settled by conceptual analysis—in particular, some very difficult questions of fundamental ontology—have answers. So do certain questions that can be settled by conceptual analysis, namely those that would be answered definitively by ideal philosophical inquiry. Whether there is a fact of the matter is not easily ascertained merely by looking to see whether disputes seem unresolvable or questions unanswerable: sometimes the truth is out there, however hard (or even impossible) it may be to discover
|Keywords||Conceptual Analysis Continuity Criteria Existence Metaphysics Persistence Personal Identity|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner (2006). Is Incompatibilism Intuitive? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):28 - 53.
Jiri Benovsky (2011). The Relationist and Substantivalist Theories of Time: Foes or Friends? European Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):491-506.
Michael Bruno & Shaun Nichols (2010). Intuitions About Personal Identity: An Empirical Study. Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):293-312.
Stephan Blatti (2007). Animalism, Dicephalus, and Borderline Cases. Philosophical Psychology 20 (5):595-608.
Jiri Benovsky (2010). Relational and Substantival Ontologies, and the Nature and the Role of Primitives in Ontological Theories. Erkenntnis 73 (1):101 - 121.
Similar books and articles
Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (ed.) (1976). The Identities of Persons. University of California Press.
Michael C. Rea & David Silver (2000). Personal Identity and Psychological Continuity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):185-194.
Eric Olson (2006). Is There a Bodily Criterion of Personal Identity? In Fraser MacBride (ed.), Identity and Modality. Oxford University Press. 242.
J. M. Shorter (1962). More About Bodily Continuity and Personal Identity. Analysis 22 (March):79-85.
Matti Eklund (2002). Personal Identity and Conceptual Incoherence. Noûs 36 (3):465-485.
Theodore Sider (2000). Recent Work on Identity Over Time. Philosophical Books 41 (2):81–89.
R. G. Swinburne (1973). Personal Identity. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 74:231 - 247.
Steven Rieber (1998). The Concept of Personal Identity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (3):581-594.
Trenton Merricks (1999). Endurance, Psychological Continuity, and the Importance of Personal Identity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (4):983-997.
Trenton Merricks (2000). Perdurance and Psychological Continuity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):195-199.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads133 ( #7,442 of 1,102,037 )
Recent downloads (6 months)20 ( #10,587 of 1,102,037 )
How can I increase my downloads?