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About this topic
Summary For many, the motivation to investigate personal identity is its seemingly tight (and perhaps grounding) connection to many normative concerns.  These include moral responsibility, compensation, prudence, various moral emotions (e.g., guilt, shame, and pride), abortion, definition of death, advance directives, genetic manipulation, and population ethics.  The relation between identity and these practical concerns is controversial, however, with several theorists questioning whether identity has much, or any, bearing on them at all.
Key works John Locke first explicitly explored the relation between personal identity and moral responsibility (see Perry 1975).  The first major contemporary explorer of these issues was Derek Parfit, in Parfit 1971, Parfit 1973, followed by a more wide-ranging discussion in Part III of Parfit 1984.  Other significant works on various aspects of the topic include Williams 1981, Johnston 1987, Korsgaard 1989, Jeske 1993, Schechtman 1996, Brink 1997, Olson 1997, Conee 1999, McMahan 2002, DeGrazia 2005, and Shoemaker 2007.
Introductions Encyclopedia entry: Shoemaker 2008.  Introductory books: DeGrazia 2005 and Shoemaker 2008.
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  1. Cordula Brand, Personale Identität oder menschliche Persistenz? Ein naturalistisches Kriterium. [REVIEW]Anne Sophie Meincke - 2012 - Philosophisches Jahrbuch 119:418-424.
  2. Can We Reinvent Ourselves?Bronwyn Finnigan - 2018 - IAI News.
    This brief article presents a Buddhist answer to the question of whether self-transformation possible and, if so, how it can be achieved.
  3. What Matters in “Multimorbidity”? Arguably Resilience and Personal Health Experience Are Central to Quality of Life and Optimizing Survival.Carmel Mary Martin - 2018 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 24 (6):1282-1284.
  4. Letting Go of One's Life Story.Nils-Frederic Wagner - 2018 - Think 17 (50):91-100.
    Persons are widely believed to be rational, planning agents that are both author and main character of their life stories. A major goal is to keep these narratives coherent as they unfold, and part of a fulfilled life allegedly stems from this coherence. My aim is to challenge these convictions by considering two related claims about persons and their lives. Contrary to the widespread theoretical conviction in philosophy of mind and action, persons are fundamentally emotional and affective rather than rational (...)
  5. La conformación de la persona como relación asimétrica en Emanuel Lévinas.Alejandro Ordieres - 2015 - EN-CLAVES Del Pensamiento 9 (18):13-40.
    This article covers the different stages of the constitution of the person that goes beyond selfishness and self-affirmation and is formed as the inseparable unity of the metaphysical subject that is expressed in the "Other-in-the same" and "Being-for-the-other". This leads one to say that the person is intrinsically relation and exteriority that is realized in the language that transcends the inner self. This relationship, considered internally as a footprint, and in the exterior as visage, invokes a third party that establishes (...)
  6. Personal Identity.David Shoemaker & Kevin P. Tobia - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford:
    Our aim in this entry is to articulate the state of the art in the moral psychology of personal identity. We begin by discussing the major philosophical theories of personal identity, including their shortcomings. We then turn to recent psychological work on personal identity and the self, investigations that often illuminate our person-related normative concerns. We conclude by discussing the implications of this psychological work for some contemporary philosophical theories and suggesting fruitful areas for future work on personal identity.
  7. Against Cognitivism About Personhood.Nils-Frederic Wagner - 2018 - Erkenntnis:1-30.
    The present paper unravels ontological and normative conditions of personhood for the purpose of critiquing ‘Cognitivist Views’. Such views have attracted much attention and affirmation by presenting the ontology of personhood in terms of higher-order cognition on the basis of which normative practices are explained and justified. However, these normative conditions are invoked to establish the alleged ontology in the first place. When we want to know what kind of entity has full moral status, it is tempting to establish an (...)
  8. Stephan Blatti and Paul Snowdon . Animalism: New Essays on Persons, Animals and Identity, Reviewed By.Alex Moran - 2017 - Philosophy in Review 37 (3):94-96.
    This is a review of the excellent collection by Stephan Blatti and Paul Snowdon which collates essays pertaining to Animalism: the theory that we human persons are identical with the human animals we share our lives with, and thus have the property of being human animals; perhaps essentially and most fundamentally.
  9. Making a New Case for Voluntary Cooperation-Based Fission-Fusion Structures in Human Society.A. Oleskin - 1996 - Social Science Information 35 (4):619-627.
  10. Does Anything Really Matter?: Essays on Parfit on Objectivity.Peter Singer (ed.) - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    In On What Matters Derek Parfit argues that there are objective moral truths, and other normative truths about what we have reasons to believe, and to want, and to do. He further argues that if he is wrong, nihilism follows, and nothing matters. In Does Anything Really Matter? leading philosophers present a fascinating set of responses to Parfit.
  11. 3D Cohabitation.Simon Langford - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1195-1210.
    The cohabitation theory is a popular solution to the problem of personal fission. It affirms that all the people who result from fission were there cohabiting the pre-fission body all along. Adopting this solution is an uncontroversial move for four-dimensionalists, but is it open to three-dimensionalists too? Some have thought so, but Katherine Hawley, Mark Johnston, and Eric Olson have argued to the contrary. They claim three-dimensionalists simply cannot be cohabitation theorists. In this paper, I explain how they can.
  12. Review of Why Discourse Matters: Negotiating Identity in the Mediatized World. By Yusuf Kalyango, Jr. And Monika Weronika Kopytowska. [REVIEW]Svetlana Kurteš - 2015 - Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 11 (1):127-131.
  13. Matters of Metaphysics.Alex Byrne & D. H. Mellor - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (2):285.
  14. Conditions of Identity: A Study of Identity and Survival, by Andrew Brennan. [REVIEW]James Van Cleve - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):411.
  15. Values for Survival.Stuart M. Brown & Lewis Mumford - 1946 - Philosophical Review 55 (4):477.
  16. The Yezidis: A Study in Survival.Matti Moosa & John S. Guest - 1989 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 109 (3):447.
  17. Parfit On What’s Wrong.Thomas W. Pogge - 2004 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 12 (1):52-59.
  18. Personal Identity and Survival.John Robinson - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (6):319.
  19. II?Prolifers for Survival.Susan Dowell - 1985 - New Blackfriars 66 (776):67-72.
  20. The Survival of Blessed Thomas More.Richard O'Sullivan - 1934 - New Blackfriars 15 (175):695-699.
  21. Heterogeneous Nucleation of Fission Gas Bubbles and Gas Migration in Uranium Dioxide.A. D. Whapham - 1972 - Philosophical Magazine 26 (2):399-407.
  22. The Growth of Fission Gas Bubbles in Irradiated Uranium Dioxide.R. M. Cornell - 1969 - Philosophical Magazine 19 (159):539-554.
  23. Fission Fragment Tracks in Semiconducting Layer Structures.D. Vernon Morgan & L. T. Chadderton - 1968 - Philosophical Magazine 17 (150):1135-1143.
  24. Creep of Thorium During Fission.J. J. Holmes & L. O. Petersen - 1967 - Philosophical Magazine 16 (142):845-848.
  25. Fission Fragment Damage to Metallic Crystals.D. Van Vliet & L. T. Chadderton - 1967 - Philosophical Magazine 16 (140):275-290.
  26. Fission Fragment Damage to Metallic Crystals.D. Van Vliet & L. T. Chadderton - 1967 - Philosophical Magazine 16 (140):291-295.
  27. Fission Fragment Damage in Tungsten.K. M. Bowkett, L. T. Chadderton, H. Norden & B. Ralph - 1967 - Philosophical Magazine 15 (134):415-421.
  28. A Study of Fission Fragment Damage in Tungsten with the Field-Ion Microscope.K. M. Bowkett, L. T. Chadderton, H. Norden & B. Ralph - 1965 - Philosophical Magazine 11 (111):651-656.
  29. The Damage of Crystals by Collimated Fission Fragments.F. P. Bowden & P. E. Caspar - 1963 - Philosophical Magazine 8 (96):2091-2095.
  30. The Nature of Fission Fragment Tracks in Uranium Dioxide.A. D. Whapham & M. J. Makin - 1962 - Philosophical Magazine 7 (81):1441-1455.
  31. Examination of Fission Fragment Tracks with an Electron Microscope.E. C. H. Silk & R. S. Barnes - 1959 - Philosophical Magazine 4 (44):970-972.
  32. II—Parfit on Persons.Quassim Cassam - 1993 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 93 (1):17-38.
  33. The Health of a City: Oxford, 1790-1974. Jessie Parfit.Lindsay Granshaw - 1990 - Isis 81 (2):324-325.
  34. Parfit on Personal Identity: Its Analysis and Importance.Ingmar Persson - 2016 - Theoria 82 (2):148-165.
    This article examines Derek Parfit's claim in Reasons and Persons that personal identity consists in non-branching psychological continuity with the right kind of cause. It argues that such psychological accounts of our identity fail, but that their main rivals, biological or animalist accounts do not fare better. Instead it proposes an error-theory to the effect that common sense takes us to be identical to our bodies on the erroneous assumption that our minds belong non-derivatively to them, whereas they in fact (...)
  35. Parfit on Selves and Their Interests. Bodanszky - 1987 - Analysis 47:47-50.
  36. Does Anything Really Matter?: Parfit on Objectivity.Peter Singer (ed.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    In the first two volumes of On What Matters Derek Parfit argues that there are objective moral truths, and other normative truths about what we have reasons to believe, and to want, and to do. In defending his view, Parfit argues that if there are no objective normative truths, nihilism follows, and nothing matters. He criticizes many leading contemporary philosophers working on ethics, including Simon Blackburn, Stephen Darwall, Allen Gibbard, Frank Jackson, Peter Railton, Mark Schroeder, Michael Smith, and Sharon Street. (...)
  37. The Survival of the Sentient.Peter Unger - 2000 - Noûs 34 (s14):325-348.
    No categories
  38. Is Connectedness Necessary to What Matters in Survival.Scot Campbell - 2001 - Ratio 14 (3):193-202.
  39. Review: On What Matters. [REVIEW]Fritz J. McDonald - 2012 - Metapsychology Online Reviews 16.
  40. Antonio pavan (ed.), Dire persona. Luoghi critici e saggi di applicazione di un'idea (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2003). [REVIEW]Lorenzo Greco - 2004 - Rivista di Filosofia 95 (3):529-30.
  41. On What Matters: Volume Three.Derek Parfit - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Derek Parfit presents the third volume of On What Matters, his landmark work of moral philosophy. Parfit develops further his influential treatment of reasons, normativity, the meaning of moral discourse, and the status of morality. He engages with his critics, and shows the way to resolution of their differences.
  42. Einstein's Quandary, Socrates' Irony, and Jesus' Laughter: A 'Post-Modern' Meditation on Faith, Reason, Love, and the Paradox of the One and the Many.Richard Oxenberg - manuscript
    The paradox of 'the One and the Many' might, more generally, be understood as the paradox of relationship. In order for there to be relationship there must be at least two parties in relation. The relation must, at once, hold the parties apart (otherwise they would collapse into unity) while holding them together (otherwise relationship itself would cease). It must do so, further, without itself becoming a third party which would then, itself, need to be related. This paper considers this (...)
  43. Maria Chiara Pievatolo, La giustizia degli invisibili. L'identificazione del soggetto morale, a ripartire da Kant (Roma: Carocci Editore, 1999). [REVIEW]Lorenzo Greco - 1999 - SWIF Recensioni Filosofiche 1 (3).
  44. Parfit the Perfectionist.Roger Scruton - 2014 - Philosophy 89 (4):621-634.
  45. L’identità personale in David Hume: dalle passioni all’etica.Lorenzo Greco - 2014 - Thaumàzein 2:247-64.
  46. Belief Update Across Fission.Wolfgang Schwarz - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):659-682.
    When an agent undergoes fission, how should the beliefs of the fission results relate to the pre-fission beliefs? This question is important for the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics, but it is of independent philosophical interest. Among other things, fission scenarios demonstrate that ‘self-locating’ information can affect the probability of uncentred propositions even if an agent has no essentially self-locating uncertainty. I present a general update rule for centred beliefs that gives sensible verdicts in cases of fission, without relying on (...)
  47. Utility Monsters for the Fission Age.Rachael Briggs & Daniel Nolan - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):392-407.
    One of the standard approaches to the metaphysics of personal identity has some counter-intuitive ethical consequences when combined with maximising consequentialism and a plausible doctrine about aggregation of consequences. This metaphysical doctrine is the so-called ‘multiple occupancy’ approach to puzzles about fission and fusion. It gives rise to a new version of the ‘utility monster’ problem, particularly difficult problems about infinite utility, and a new version of a Parfit-style ‘repugnant conclusion’. While the article focuses on maximising consequentialism for simplicity, the (...)
  48. On Parfit's View That We Are Not Human Beings.Eric T. Olson - 2015 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 76:39-56.
    Derek Parfit claims that we are not human beings. Rather, each of us is the part of a human being that thinks in the strictest sense. This is said to solve a number of difficult metaphysical problems. I argue that the view has metaphysical problems of its own, and is inconsistent with any psychological-continuity account of personal identity over time, including Parfit's own.
  49. On Martha Nussbaum’s “Aeschylus and Practical Conflict”.Hili Razinsky - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):1164-1167.
  50. Panajotis Kondylis’ Philosophy of Survival.Dietrich Harth - unknown
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