Authors
John Schwenkler
Florida State University
Nick Byrd
Stevens Institute of Technology
1 more
Abstract
Ordinary judgments about personal identity are complicated by the fact that phrases like “same person” and “different person” have multiple uses in ordinary English. This complication calls into question the significance of recent experimental work on this topic. For example, Tobia (2015) found that judgments of personal identity were significantly affected by whether the moral change described in a vignette was for the better or for the worse, while Strohminger and Nichols (2014) found that loss of moral conscience had more of an effect on identity judgments than loss of biographical memory. In each case, however, there are grounds for questioning whether the judgments elicited in these experiments engaged a concept of numerical personal identity at all (cf. Berniūnas and Dranseika 2016; Dranseika 2017; Starmans and Bloom 2018). In two pre-registered studies we validate this criticism while also showing a way to address it: instead of attempting to engage the concept of numerical identity through specialized language or the terms of an imaginary philosophical debate, we should consider instead how the identity of a person is described through the connected use of proper names, definite descriptions, and the personal pronouns “I”, “you”, “he”, and “she”. When the experiments above are revisited in this way, there is no evidence that the differences in question had an effect on ordinary identity judgments.
Keywords personal identity  experimental philosophy  Phineas Gage effect  psychometrics  moral psychology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-021-01739-5
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Personal Identity and Persisting as Many.Sara Weaver & John Turri - 2018 - In Tania Lombrozo, Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, volume 2. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 213-242.
The Crucial Relation in Personal Identity.Patricia Kitcher - 1978 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):131 - 145.
The Concept of Personal Identity.Steven Rieber - 1998 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (3):581-594.
Substance and the Concept of Personal Identity.Jens Kipper - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3.
A Defence of Quasi-Memory.Rebecca Roache - 2006 - Philosophy 81 (2):323-355.
Personal Identity.R. G. Swinburne - 1974 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 74:231 - 247.
The Concept of Personal Identity.Steven Rieber - 1998 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 58 (3):581-594.
Ethics, Identity and the Boundaries of the Person.Oliver Black - 2003 - Philosophical Explorations 6 (2):139 – 156.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-06-30

Total views
153 ( #70,388 of 2,455,349 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
153 ( #3,555 of 2,455,349 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes