A new argument for the phenomenal approach to personal persistence

Philosophical Studies 177 (7):2031-2049 (2020)

Matt Duncan
Rhode Island College
When it comes to personal identity, two approaches have long ruled the roost. The first is the psychological approach, which has it that our persistence through time consists in the continuance of certain of our psychological traits, such as our memories, beliefs, desires, or personality. The second is the biological approach, according to which personal persistence consists in continuity in our physical or biological makeup. Amid the bipartite reign of these approaches, a third contender has emerged: the phenomenal approach. On this approach, personal persistence consists in continuity in phenomenal consciousness or the capacity for phenomenal consciousness. In this paper I will introduce and defend a new argument for the phenomenal approach. In the process, I will argue against the psychological and biological approaches. I will also address some lingering questions and outline further ways to develop the phenomenal approach.
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-019-01297-x
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