The Monist 87 (4):457-474 (2004)

Authors
Kristie Miller
University of Sydney
Abstract
Recent work in personal identity has emphasized the importance of various conventions, or ‘person-directed practices’ in the determination of personal identity. An interesting question arises as to whether we should think that there are any entities that have, in some interesting sense, conventional identity conditions. We think that the best way to understand such work about practices and conventions is the strongest and most radical. If these considerations are correct, persons are, on our view, conventional constructs: they are in part constituted by certain conventions. A person exists only if the relevant conventions exist. A person will be a conscious being of a certain kind combined with a set of conventions. Some of those conventions are encoded in the being itself, so requiring the conventions to exist is requiring the conscious being to be organized in a particular way. In most cases the conventions in question are settled. There is no dispute about what the conventions are, and thus no dispute about which events a person can survive. These are cases where we take the conventions so much for granted, that it is easy to forget that they are there, and that they are necessary constituents of persons. Sometimes though, conventions are not settled. Sometimes there is a dispute about what the conventions should be, and thus a dispute about what events a person can survive. These are the traditional puzzle cases of personal identity. That it appears that conventions play a part in determining persons’ persistence conditions only in these puzzle cases is explained by the fact that only in these cases are the conventions unsettled. Settled or not though, conventions are necessary constituents of persons.
Keywords personal identity  conventionalism
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0026-9662
DOI 10.5840/monist200487423
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

References found in this work BETA

Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
The Foundations of Two-Dimensional Semantics.David J. Chalmers - 2006 - In Manuel Garcia-Carpintero & Josep Macia (eds.), Two-Dimensional Semantics: Foundations and Applications. Oxford University Press. pp. 55-140.
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Philosophy 58 (223):118-121.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Temporal Fictionalism for a Timeless World.Sam Baron, Kristie Miller & Jonathan Tallant - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Diachronic Self-Making.David Mark Kovacs - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):349-362.
Surviving, to Some Degree.David Braddon-Mitchell & Kristie Miller - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-27.
Utility Monsters for the Fission Age.Rachael Briggs & Daniel Nolan - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):392-407.
Self-Made People.David Mark Kovacs - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1071-1099.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-12-18

Total views
606 ( #7,811 of 2,325,680 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
33 ( #19,900 of 2,325,680 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes