About this topic
Summary Nonreductionist theories of personal identity offer both negative and positive theses about the nature of personal identity. On the one hand, these theories argue that personal identity cannot be reduced or analysed in terms of physical or psychological continuity. On the other hand, they argue that personal identity either is a further fact over and above any continuity relations or else is a simple, primitive concept. This subcategory explores these two theses and their ramifications.
Key works Parfit 1984 offers the distinction between reductionist and nonreductionist theories of personal identity. Reid 1863 and Butler & Halifax 1874 are early defenders of nonreductionism. Chisholm 1976 and Swinburne in Shook & Kurtz 2009 defend a modern version of the view. 
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49 found
  1. Teleology, Narrative, and Death.Roman Altshuler - 2015 - In John Lippitt & Patrick Stokes (eds.), Narrative, Identity and the Kierkegaardian Self. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 29-45.
    Heidegger, like Kierkegaard, has recently been claimed as a narrativist about selves. From this Heideggerian perspective, we can see how narrative expands upon the psychological view, adding a vital teleological dimension to the understanding of selfhood while denying the reductionism implicit in the psychological approach. Yet the narrative approach also inherits the neo-Lockean emphasis on the past as determining identity, whereas the self is fundamentally about the future. Death is crucial on this picture, not as allowing for the possibility of (...)
  2. Nuevas Antropologías: por una antropología de la carne de hondura metafísica.José Antúnez-Cid - 2014 - Teología y Catequesis 129:43-80.
    This study divides some of the philosophical anthropologies developed after the Holocaust into three frameworks. To do this the author shows how the present modern crisis is an anthropological one and unites the sum of the different crisis dimensions mankind is currently facing. The article approaches the postmodern journey from its two routes—the relativistic and the metaphysical. The second is presented as “status quo-oriented” or as a form of modernized democracy. Because of its popularity, the neologism “transhumanism” is here examined (...)
  3. The Identity of the Self, by Geoffrey Madel. [REVIEW]Bruce Aune - 1983 - Review of Metaphysics 36 (3):724-726.
  4. "Survival and Disembodied Existence," by Terence Penelhum.Robert H. Ayers - 1971 - Modern Schoolman 48 (4):395-398.
  5. Personal Survival of Death--An Analysis.Robert H. Ayers - 1970 - Modern Schoolman 47 (3):331-339.
  6. Naturalism and the First-Person Perspective.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2013 - Oxford University Press USA.
    Science and its philosophical companion, Naturalism, represent reality in wholly nonpersonal terms. How, if at all, can a nonpersonal scheme accommodate the first-person perspective that we all enjoy? In this volume, Lynne Rudder Baker explores that question by considering both reductive and eliminative approaches to the first-person perspective. After finding both approaches wanting, she mounts an original constructive argument to show that a non-Cartesian first-person perspective belongs in the basic inventory of what exists. That is, the world that contains us (...)
  7. Why the Mind has a Body: A Rejoinder.C. M. Bakewell - 1904 - Philosophical Review 13 (3):342-346.
  8. A Dilemma for the Soul Theory of Personal Identity.Jacob Berger - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 83 (1):41-55.
    The problem of diachronic personal identity is this: what explains why a person P1 at time T1 is numerically identical with a person P2 at a later time T2, even if they are not at those times qualitatively identical? One traditional explanation is the soul theory, according to which persons persist in virtue of their nonphysical souls. I argue here that this view faces a new and arguably insuperable dilemma: either souls, like physical bodies, change over time, in which case (...)
  9. Persons, Virtual Persons, and Radical Interpretation.Michael Bourke - 2015 - Modern Horizons:1-24.
    A dramatic problem facing the concept of the self is whether there is anything to make sense of. Despite the speculative view that there is an essential role for the perceiver in measurement, a physicalist view of reality currently seems to be ruling out the conditions of subjectivity required to keep the concept of the self. Eliminative materialism states this position explicitly. The doctrine holds that we have no objective grounds for attributing personhood to anyone, and can therefore dispense with (...)
  10. Mereological Nihilism and Personal Ontology.Andrew Brenner - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268).
    Mereological nihilists hold that composition never occurs, so that nothing is ever a proper part of anything else. Substance dualists generally hold that we are each identical with an immaterial soul. In this paper, I argue that every popular objection to substance dualism has a parallel objection to composition. This thesis has some interesting implications. First, many of those who reject composition, but accept substance dualism, or who reject substance dualism and accept composition, have some explaining to do. Secondly, one (...)
  11. Objects and Persons. [REVIEW]Michael B. Burke - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (4):586-588.
  12. Transformation and Individuation in Giordano Bruno's Monadology.Edward P. Butler - 2015 - SOCRATES 3 (2):57-70.
    The essay explores the systematic relationship in the work of Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) between his monadology, his metaphysics as presented in works such as De la causa, principio et uno, the mythopoeic cosmology of Lo spaccio de la bestia trionfante, and practical works like De vinculis in genere. Bruno subverts the conceptual regime of the Aristotelian substantial forms and its accompanying cosmology with a metaphysics of individuality that privileges individual unity (singularity) over formal unity and particulars over substantial forms without (...)
  13. Changing the Subject: On the Subject of Subjectivity.Troy Catterson - 2008 - Synthese 162 (3):385 - 404.
    In this paper I shall attempt to argue for the simple view of personal identity. I shall first argue that we often do have warrant for our beliefs that we exist as continuing subjects of experience, and that these beliefs are justified independently of any reductionist analysis of what it means to be a person. This has two important implications that are relevant to the ongoing debate concerning the number of persons that are in existence throughout any duration in time: (...)
  14. Identity, Consciousness, and Value.Robert C. Coburn & Peter Unger - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (1):131.
  15. Identity Over Time, Constitution and the Problem of Personal Identity.Benjamin L. Curtis & Harold W. Noonan - 2015 - In Steven Miller (ed.), The Constitution of Phenomenal Consciousness: Toward a science and theory. John Benjamins. pp. 348-371.
    What am I? And what is my relationship to the thing I call ‘my body’? Thus each of us can pose for himself the philosophical problems of the nature of the self and the relationship between a person and his body. One answer to the question about the relationship between a person and the thing he calls ‘his body’ is that they are two things composed of the same matter at the same time (like a clay statue and the piece (...)
  16. Complexity and the Self.Tanya De Villiers - 2002 - Dissertation, University of Stellenbosch
    In this thesis it is argued that the age-old philosophical "Problem of the Self' can benefit by being approached from the perspective of a relatively recent science, namely that of Complexity Theory. With this in mind the conceptual features of this theory is highlighted and summarised. Furthermore, the argument is made that the predominantly dualistic approach to the self that is characteristic of the Western Philosophical tradition serves to hinder, rather than edify, our understanding of the phenomenon. The benefits posed (...)
  17. Embodied Mind Sparsism.S. Clint Dowland - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1853-1872.
    If we are physical things with parts, then accounts of what we are and accounts of when composition occurs have important implications for one another. Defenders of restricted composition tend to endorse a sparse ontology in taking an eliminativist stance toward composite objects that are not organisms, while claiming that we are organisms. However, these arguments do not entail that we are organisms, for they rely on the premise that we are organisms. Thus, sparsist reasoning need not be paired with (...)
  18. Reductionist and Nonreductionist Theories of Persons in Indian Buddhist Philosophy.James Duerlinger - 1993 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 21 (1):79-101.
  19. What Does It Mean to Be a Bodily Soul?C. Stephen Evans & Brandon Rickabaugh - 2015 - Philosophia Christi 17 (2):315-330.
    Evangelical scholars have recently offered criticisms of mind-body dualism from the disciplines of theology, philosophy, and neuroscience. We offer several arguments as to why these reasons for abandoning mind-body dualism fail. Additionally, we offer a positive thesis, a dualism that brings together the best aspects of the Cartesian view and the Thomistic view of human persons. The result is a substance dualism that treats the nature of embodiment quite seriously. This view explains why we, as souls, require a resurrected body (...)
  20. Personal Identity: Complex or Simple? Gasser Georg and Stefan Matthias, Eds. Cambridge University Press, 2012. XI + 259 Pp. $95 (Hardback). [REVIEW]A. R. J. Fisher - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (4):1-3.
  21. The Non-Reductionist's Troubles with Supervenience.Robert Francescotti - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 89 (1):105-124.
    I argue that there is a tension between three popular views in the philosophy of mind: (1) mental properties are not identical with physical properties (a version of nonreductionism), but (2) mental properties are had solely by virtue of physical properties (physicalism regarding the mind), which requires that (3) mental properties supervene on physical properties. To earn the title "physicalist," one must hold a sufficiently strong version of the supervenience thesis. But this, I argue, will be a version that undermines (...)
  22. Personal Identity and Self-Consciousness.Brian Garrett - 1998 - Routledge.
    _Personal Identity and Self-Consciousness_ is about persons and personal identity. What are we? And why does personal identity matter? Brian Garrett, using jargon-free language, addresses questions in the metaphysics of personal identity, questions in value theory, and discusses questions about the first person singular. Brian Garrett makes an important contribution to the philosophy of personal identity and mind, and to epistemology.
  23. Introduction: Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?Georg Gasser & Matthias Stefan - 2012 - In Personal Identity: Complex or Simple? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 1-17.
  24. The Irreplaceability of Persons.Christopher Mark Grau - 2003 - Dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University
    Several philosophers have commented on the apparently strange fact that in loving another we tend to value the beloved as irreplaceable. In other words, we are reluctant to "swap" a loved one for another who possesses identical or even superior qualities. Some have gone on to claim that this tendency is in fact irrational. In this dissertation I argue that this natural attitude that we have towards loved ones, where we value them as tokens rather than types, is reasonable and (...)
  25. Personalität, Persönlichkeit und personale Identität: Einführung.Dirk Hartmann - 2011 - In Carl Friedrich Gethmann (ed.), Lebenswelt und Wissenschaft: Deutsches Jahrbuch Philosophie Band 2. Meiner. pp. 583 - 584.
  26. Principles of Liberty: A Design-Based Research on Liberty as A Priori Constitutive Principle of the Social in the Swiss Nation Story.Tabea Hirzel - 2015 - Dissertation, SCM University, Zug, Switzerland
    One of the still unsolved problems in liberal anarchism is a definition of social constituency in positive terms. Partially, this had been solved by the advancements of liberal discourse ethics. These approaches, built on praxeology as a universal framework for social formation, are detached from the need of any previous or external authority or rule for the discursive partners. However, the relationship between action, personal identity, and liberty within the process of a community becoming solely generated from the praxeological a (...)
  27. Die Erschaffung der Realität.Claus Janew - 1998 - Dresden, Germany: Sumari-Verlag.
    The main argument in this book is the undeniable openness of every system to the unknown. And the fundamental question goes: What does this openness produce? We are a part of the infinite universe and an incorporation of its wholeness. Both for us means an individualized reality, through which the universe expresses itself and on the other hand through which it is built up with. It also means our necessity, importance and indestructibility for the sum of its incorporations. Most connections (...)
  28. Non-Reductionism and Special Concern.Jens Johansson - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):641 – 657.
    The so-called 'Extreme Claim' asserts that reductionism about personal identity leaves each of us with no reason to be specially concerned about his or her own future. Both advocates and opponents of the Extreme Claim, whether of a reductionist or non-reductionist stripe, accept that similar problems do not arise for non-reductionism. In this paper I challenge this widely held assumption.
  29. The Conceptual Inexhaustibility of Personhood.Andreas Kemmerling - 2015 - Tsinghua Studies in Western Philosophy 1 (1):368-399.
    Some leading neuro-scientists recently proclaimed an obviously false view that a human person is his/her brain. This falsity arises partly from the conceptual difficulties concerning personhood/a person. By revealing inexhaustible richness of the characteristics of this concept of a person, this essay explains why the concept is so utterly puzzling. The author contrasts Descartes’ concept of a person with Locke’s. For Descartes, the concept has four features: (1) it is the concept of the mind/body-union; (2) it is innate and a (...)
  30. Why Am I Me and Not Someone Else?Tim Klaassen - manuscript
    In this article I discuss the seeming contingency of the fact that one is the specific person that one is. Here, I propose that this contingency is illusory.
  31. A Theory of Personal Identity.John-Michael Kuczynski - 2016 - Amazon Digital Services LLC.
    According to David Hume, there is nothing to the mind other than the various fleeting events that it hosts. According to commonsense, this is false. But the commonsense view has never been meaningfully elaborated. This short work states an analysis of personal identity that combines Hume's position with the position, so far as there is one, of commonsense, thereby giving much needed substance to the latter.
  32. A Continuidade Física Garante a Persistência Pessoal no Tempo.Hugo Luzio - forthcoming - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia.
    Defendemos que a continuidade física garante a persistência pessoal no tempo. Determinamos, primeiro, os fundamentos teóricos e conceptuais do problema metafísico da identidade pessoal no tempo: apuramos a noção relevante de «identidade pessoal», a questão da persistência temporal simpliciter e aquilo em que consistem critérios identitários e princípios de individuação. Examinamos propriedades lógicas e formais do conceito de identidade: as leis da congruência, o princípio lógico da identidade, a reflexividade, simetria e transitividade, distinguimos as relações de identidade qualitativa e numérica (...)
  33. Io E Gli Altri: Dall'identità Alla Relazione.Antonio Malo (ed.) - 2010 - Edusc.
    This essay pretends just to try out the relationship between these realities, seemingly so distant and in reality so close, because - and this is the central thesis - the origin and destiny of human person is in his/her relationship with others. To support this thesis the author uses some data that sciences and humanities offer to anthropological reflection. Psychology, neuroscience and sociology are some of the disciplines from which to take inspiration to deepen this paradoxical relationship present in human (...)
  34. Dualists Needn't Be Anti-Criterialists (nor Should They Be).Duncan Matt - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (4):945-963.
    Sometimes in philosophy one view engenders another. If you hold the first, chances are you hold the second. But it’s not always because the first entails the second. Sometimes the tie is less clear, less clean. One such tie is between substance dualism and anti-criterialism. Substance dualism is the view that people are, at least in part, immaterial mental substances. Anti-criterialism is the view that there is no criterion of personal identity through time. Most philosophers who hold the first view (...)
  35. Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
    Objects and Persons presents an original theory about what kinds of things exist. Trenton Merricks argues that there are no non-living inanimate macrophysical objects -- no statues or rocks or chairs or stars -- because they would have no causal role over and above the causal role of their microphysical parts. Humans do exist: we have non-redundant causal powers. Along the way, Merricks has interesting things to say about mental causation, free will, and various philosophical puzzles. Anyone working in metaphysics (...)
  36. In Defense of Immaterial Persons.James Moulder - 1972 - Philosophical Papers 1 (May):38-55.
  37. La identidad personal, el dialogo y la extensión: Por qué no existe el yo sin los otros.Ignacio Moya Arriagada - 2013 - Intus-Legere Filosofia 7 (1):59-77.
    (ENGLISH) In this paper I propose a concept of the self that allows us to address and solve some of the issues associated with problem of diachronic personal identity. That is, by virtue of what can we consider that I am today the same person I was yesterday? The problem of continuity in time of identity has a long history in analytic philosophy. I argue that the continuity of personal identity over time can be ensured by resorting to the concept (...)
  38. The Primacy of Space in Heidegger and Taylor: Towards a Unified Account of Personal Identity.Ignacio Moya Arriagada - 2009 - Appraisal 7 (4):17-24.
    My aim is to explore how the notion of personhood is tied to the notion of space--both physical and moral space. In particular, I argue against the Cartesian view of the disengaged/disembodied self and in favour of Charles Taylor's and Martin Heidegger's view of the engaged and embedded self. I contend that space, as the transcendental condition for the possibility of human agency, is the place where questions of identity are possible and answers, if any, are to be found. Thus, (...)
  39. In Search of the Simple View.Eric T. Olson - forthcoming - In G. Gasser & M. Stefan (eds.), Personal Identity: Complex or Simple? Cambridge University Press.
    Accounts of personal identity over time are supposed to fall into two broad categories: 'complex views' saying that our persistence consists in something else, and 'simple views' saying that it doesn' t. But it is impossible to characterize this distinction in any satisfactory way. The debate has been systematically misdescribed. After arguing for this claim, the paper says something about how the debate might be better characterized.
  40. Many Doors of New Knowledge That Mankind yet to Knock-At.Abraham J. Palakudy (ed.) - 2015 - Amazon.com.
    see at link: http://www.amazon.com/Many-doors-knowledge-mankind-knock-at/dp/1514354772/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=143 5236004&sr=8-1&keywords=book%2C+many+doors+of+new+knowledge .
  41. Reductionism and Personal Identity.Derek Parfit - 2002 - In David J. Chalmers (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings. Oxford University Press. pp. 655-51.
  42. Persons and Popper's World 3: Do Humans Dream of Electric Sheep?Ray Scott Percival - 2004 - In Jeffrey A. Schaler (ed.), Szasz Under Fire: The Psychiatric Abolitionist Faces His Critics. Open Court Publishing Company. pp. 119-130.
    In the film classic Blade Runner, the story explores the notion of personal identity through that of carefully crafted androids. Can an android have a personality; can androids be persons? The title of the original story by Philip K. Dick is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The story suggests that our sense of being a person depends on our having memories that connect us with our childhood. In the movie, the androids are only a couple of years old, but (...)
  43. How Many Thoughts Are There? Or Why We Likely Have No Tegmark Duplicates $$ 10^{{10^{115} }} $$ M Away.Douglas V. Porpora - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (1):133-149.
    Physicist Max Tegmark argues that if there are infinite universes or sub-universes, we will encounter our exact duplicates infinite times, the nearest within $$ 10^{{10^{115} }} $$ m. Tegmark assumes Humean supervenience and a finite number of possible combinations of elementary quantum states. This paper argues on the contrary that Tegmark’s argument fails to hold if possible thoughts, persons, and life histories are all infinite in number. Are there infinite thoughts we could possibly think? This paper will show that there (...)
  44. Ambivalence: A Philosophical Exploration.Hili Razinsky - 2016 - Rowman & Littlefield International.
    Ambivalence (as in practical conflicts, moral dilemmas, conflicting beliefs, and mixed feelings) is a central phenomenon of human life. Yet ambivalence is incompatible with entrenched philosophical conceptions of personhood, judgement, and action, and is denied or marginalised by thinkers of diverse concerns. This book takes a radical new stance, bringing the study of core philosophical issues together with that of ambivalence. The book proposes new accounts in several areas – including subjectivity, consciousness, rationality, and value – while elucidating a wide (...)
  45. Getting the Story Right: A Reductionist Narrative Account of Personal Identity.Jeanine Weekes Schroer & Robert Schroer - 2014 - Philosophical Studies (3):1-25.
    A popular “Reductionist” account of personal identity unifies person stages into persons in virtue of their psychological continuity with one another. One objection to psychological continuity accounts is that there is more to our personal identity than just mere psychological continuity: there is also an active process of self-interpretation and self-creation. This criticism can be used to motivate a rival account of personal identity that appeals to the notion of a narrative. To the extent that they comment upon the issue, (...)
  46. The Irrelevance/Incoherence of Non-Reductionism About Personal Identity.David W. Shoemaker - 2002 - Philo 5 (2):143-160.
    Before being able to answer key practical questions dependent on a criterion of personal identity (e.g., am I justified in anticipating surviving the death of my body?), we must first determine which general approach to the issue of personal identity is more plausible, reductionism or non-reductionism. While reductionism has become the more dominant approach amongst philosophical theorists over the past thirty years, non-reductionism remains an approach that, for all these theorists have shown, could very well still be true. My aim (...)
  47. More Kinds of Being: A Further Study of Individuation, Identity, and the Logic of Sortal Terms. By E. J. Lowe. [REVIEW]Tuomas E. Tahko - 2013 - Mind 122 (485):302-305.
    Book review of 'More Kinds of Being: A Further Study of Individuation, Identity, and the Logic of Sortal Terms'. By E. J. LOWE.
  48. Personas en el mundo: la perspectiva de la primera persona y el naturalismo.Agustin Vicente & Adrian Sampedro Leon - 2014 - Análisis: Revista de Investigación Filosófica 1:161-180.
    In this paper we examine different answers to the question of what we are, focusing in particular on eliminative and reductivist proposals about persons or selves. We conclude that, as of today, dualism seems more reasonable than naturalism, if by naturalism we understand the thesis that psychological entities can be reduced or eliminated.
  49. Ein bemerkenswerter Unterschied zwischen Personen und Schiffen.Daniel von Wachter - 1999 - In E. Runggaldier & W. Löffler (eds.), Vielfalt und Konvergenz der Philosophie. Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky. pp. 243-247, http://epub.ub.uni-muen.
    Argues that persons have determinate conditions of diachronic identity, but not material things do not. That is evidence for the soul.