Parfit on Personal Identity

Idealistic Studies 31 (2-3):169-181 (2001)
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Abstract

This paper examines Parfit's argument that personal identity is not what matters, focusing on his case against reductionist theories of personal identity. I argue that Parfit's reasons for rejecting reductionist views do not take the physical criterion for personal identity seriously enough. I outline a thoroughly naturalistic version of the reductionist theory that, if true, would escape Parfit's criticism. Such a view would be a plausible candidate for a relation that would matter as much as, if not more than, the non identity relation advocated by Parfit.

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Deborah Colleen Smith
Kent State University

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