Personal identity and practical concerns

Mind 116 (462):317-357 (2007)
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Abstract

Many philosophers have taken there to be an important relation between personal identity and several of our practical concerns (among them moral responsibility, compensation, and self-concern). I articulate four natural methodological assumptions made by those wanting to construct a theory of the relation between identity and practical concerns, and I point out powerful objections to each assumption, objections constituting serious methodological obstacles to the overall project. I then attempt to offer replies to each general objection in a way that leaves the project intact, albeit significantly changed. Perhaps the most important change stems from the recognition that the practical concerns motivating investigation into personal identity turn out to be not univocal, as is typically thought, such that each of the different practical concerns may actually be related to personal identity in very different ways.

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David Shoemaker
Cornell University

Citations of this work

Personal Identity and Ethics.David Shoemaker - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Conceptual fragmentation and the rise of eliminativism.Henry Taylor & Peter Vickers - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):17-40.
The Stony Metaphysical Heart of Animalism.David Shoemaker - 2016 - In Stephan Blatti & Paul Snowdon (eds.), Animalism. Oxford University Press. pp. 303-328.
“Personal identity” minus the persons.Kristie Miller - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (S1):91-109.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
On Certainty (ed. Anscombe and von Wright).Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1969 - San Francisco: Harper Torchbooks. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe, G. H. von Wright & Mel Bochner.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Four Dimensionalism.Theodore Sider - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (2):197-231.
Four Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time.Theodore Sider - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):642-647.

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