Erkenntnis 79 (2):283-296 (2014)
AbstractMost theists believe that they will survive death. Indeed, they believe that any given person will survive death and persist into an afterlife while remaining the very same person. In light of this belief, one might ask: how—or, in virtue of what—do people survive death? Perhaps the most natural way to answer this question is by appealing to some general account of personal identity through time. That way one can say that people persist through the time of their death in the same way that people persist through time in general. Then the obvious question is: how—or, in virtue of what—do people persist through time in general? Many different answers to this question have been proposed. Some philosophers think that personal identity through time consists in something, such as psychological or biological continuity. They think that there are informative necessary and sufficient conditions—i.e., criteria—for personal identity through time. These philosophers are criterialists. Other philosophers are anti-criterialists. Anti-criterialists believe that people persist through time, but they deny that there are any informative criteria for personal identity through time. In this paper I develop a challenge to anti-criterialism. I begin by spelling out the commitments of anti-criterialism. Then I argue that there are good reasons for anyone to reject anti-criterialism. And then I argue that theists have special reasons to reject anti-criterialism (This is particularly important and noteworthy because a substantial portion of those who defend anti-criterialism are theists. Examples include [but may not be limited to] Trenton Merricks, Richard Swinburne, Joseph Butler, and Thomas Reid). I conclude that there is an informative criterion for personal identity through time and death, even if we haven’t heard of it yet
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
Citations of this work
A New Argument for the Phenomenal Approach to Personal Persistence.Matt Duncan - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):2031-2049.
A Defence of Anti-Criterialism.Simon Langford - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (5):613-630.
Similar books and articles
Self: Personal Identity.Eric T. Olson - 2009 - In W. Banks (ed.), Encyclopedia of Consciousness. Elsevier. pp. 301-312.
The Human Animal: Personal Identity Without Psychology.Eric T. Olson - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
Personal Identity, the Causal Condition, and the Simple View.Steve Matthews - 2010 - Philosophical Papers 39 (2):183-208.
Endurance, Psychological Continuity, and the Importance of Personal Identity.Trenton Merricks - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (4):983-997.
A Solution to the Problem of Personal Identity in the Metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas.Bernardo J. Cantens - 2001 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 75:121-134.
Disembodied Minds and Personal Identity.Thomas W. Smythe - 1988 - Philosophy Research Archives 14:415-423.
Anti-Reductionism and the Mind-Body Problem.Claudia M. Murphy - 1984 - Philosophy Research Archives 10:441-454.
Kryteria identyczności a procedury indywidualizacyjne.Adam Andrzejewski - 2009 - Filozofia Nauki 17 (4).
Fission and Personal Identity Over Time.Trenton Merricks - 1997 - Philosophical Studies 88 (2):163-186.
The Insignificance of Personal Identity for Bioethics.David Shoemaker - 2010 - Bioethics 24 (9):481-489.