Criteria of personal identity and the limits of conceptual analysis

Philosophical Perspectives 15 (s15):189-209 (2001)
When is there no fact of the matter about a metaphysical question? When multiple candidate meanings are equally eligible, in David Lewis's sense, and fit equally well with ordinary usage. Thus given certain ontological schemes, there is no fact of the matter whether the criterion of personal identity over time is physical or psychological. But given other ontological schemes there is a fact of the matter; and there is a fact of the matter about which ontological scheme is correct.
Keywords Conceptual Analysis  Continuity  Criteria  Existence  Metaphysics  Persistence  Personal Identity
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DOI 10.1111/0029-4624.35.s15.10
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