An epistemic argument for enduring human persons

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (1):209-224 (2005)
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A typical human person has privileged epistemic access to its identity over time in virtue of having a first-person point of view. In explaining this phenomenon in terms of an intimate relation of self-attribution or the like, I infer that a typical human person has direct consciousness of itself through inner awareness or personal memory. Direct consciousness of oneself is consciousness of oneself, but not by consciousness of something else. Yet, a perduring human person, $S_p$, i.e., a human person with temporal parts, is identical with the complete series of its temporal parts. I argue that because $S_p$ is diverse from any incomplete series of its temporal parts, and because $S_p$ cannot be conscious of all of its temporal parts through inner awareness or personal memory, $S_p$ cannot have direct consciousness of itself. I conclude that a human person endures, i.e., wholly exists at each of the times it exists



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Gary Rosenkrantz
University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Citations of this work

Temporal Parts.Katherine Hawley - 2004/2010 - Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy.
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