The Irrelevance/Incoherence of Non-Reductionism About Personal Identity

Philo 5 (2):143-160 (2002)
Before being able to answer key practical questions dependent on a criterion of personal identity (e.g., am I justified in anticipating surviving the death of my body?), we must first determine which general approach to the issue of personal identity is more plausible, reductionism or non-reductionism. While reductionism has become the more dominant approach amongst philosophical theorists over the past thirty years, non-reductionism remains an approach that, for all these theorists have shown, could very well still be true. My aim in this paper is to show that non-reductionism is actually either irrelevant – with respect to the practical questions we want answered – or logically impossible. In arguing for this conclusion, I draw from a case Derek Parfit has employed – the Combined Spectrum – and I provide a number of variations to it which ultimately reveal that we have no possible rational recourse other than to become reductionists.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/philo2002529
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,664
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

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

137 ( #31,144 of 1,903,037 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

20 ( #28,997 of 1,903,037 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.