An epistemic argument for enduring human persons

Gary Rosenkrantz
University of North Carolina, Greensboro
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
Keywords Consciousness  Epistemology  Existence  Perdurance  Person
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2005.tb00512.x
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