Although philosophical approaches to the self are diverse, several of them are relevant to cognitive science. First, the notion of a 'minimal self', a self devoid of temporal extension, is clarified by distinguishing between a sense of agency and a sense of ownership for action. To the extent that these senses are subject to failure in pathologies like schizophrenia, a neuropsychological model of schizophrenia may help to clarify the nature of the minimal self and its neurological underpinnings. Second, there (...) is good evidence to suggest that although certain aspects of the minimal self are primitive and embodied, other aspects may be accessed only in reflective consciousness. Employing a modified concept of the minimal self, it may be possible to construct a robotic form of non-conscious self-reference that depends on an interaction between the robotic body and its environment. In contrast to the minimal self, the narrative self involves continuity over time and is directly relevant to discussions of memory and personal identity. There is growing consensus among philosophers and cognitive scientists about the importance of narrative and its relation to episodic memory and left-hemisphere functions. There are, however, at least two different views of how the narrative self is structured. On one model it is nothing more than an abstract point. On a more extended view, proposed here, the self is a rich amalgam of narratives that allows for the equivocations, contradictions, and self-deceptions of personal life. Even in this case, however, neurocognitive models contribute to our understanding of how narrative identity is structured. (shrink)
The contents of this book addresses the importance of the Quran's aim of disseminating knowledge about human self recognition through various fresh and imaginative ideas. This is a quest for tracing human identity through the ages using the Quran's divine revelations. The author addresses the question "Who am I?" through her interests in science, philosophy, art and religion. Comparisons of the Quranic teachings are matched with proven scientific knowledge, philosophical ideas and artistic theories. Whenever possible views from other (...) contemporary religions are included. This is a challenging and thought provoking book for the readers. (shrink)
Steven French and Decio Krause examine the metaphysical foundations of quantum physics. They draw together historical, logical, and philosophical perspectives on the fundamental nature of quantum particles and offer new insights on a range of important issues. Focusing on the concepts of identity and individuality, the authors explore two alternative metaphysical views; according to one, quantum particles are no different from books, tables, and people in this respect; according to the other, they most certainly are. Each view comes (...) with certain costs attached and after describing their origins in the history of quantum theory, the authors carefully consider whether these costs are worth bearing. Recent contributions to these discussions are analyzed in detail and the authors present their own original perspective on the issues. The final chapter suggests how this perspective can be taken forward in the context of quantum field theory. (shrink)
What justifies our holding a person morally responsible for some past action? Why am I justified in having a special prudential concern for some future persons and not others? Why do many of us think that maximizing the good within a single life is perfectly acceptable, but maximizing the good across lives is wrong? In these and other normative questions, it looks like any answer we come up with will have to make an essential reference to personal identity. So, (...) for instance, it seems we are justified in holding X responsible for some past action only if X is identical to the person who performed that action. Further, it seems I am justified in my special concern for some future person only if he will be me. Finally, many of us think that while maximization within a life affects only one person, a metaphysical unity, maximization across lives affects many different, metaphysically distinct, persons, and so the latter is wrong insofar as it ignores this fundamental separateness of persons. (shrink)
When philosophers address personal identity, they usually explore numerical identity: what are the criteria for a person's continuing existence? When non-philosophers address personal identity, they often have in mind narrative identity: Which characteristics of a particular person are salient to her self-conception? This book develops accounts of both senses of identity, arguing that both are normatively important, and is unique in its exploration of a range of issues in bioethics through the lens of identity. (...) Defending a biological view of our numerical identity and a framework for understanding narrative identity, DeGrazia investigates various issues for which considerations of identity prove critical: the definition of death; the authority of advance directives in cases of severe dementia; the use of enhancement technologies; prenatal genetic interventions; and certain types of reproductive choices. He demonstrates the power of personal identity theory to illuminate issues in bioethics as they bring philosophical theory to life. (shrink)
Personal Identity and Ethics provides a lively overview of the relationship between the metaphysics of personal identity and ethics. How does personal identity affect our ethical judgments? It is a commonplace to hold that moral responsibility for past actions requires that the responsible agent is in some relevant respect identical to the agent who performed the action. Is this true? On the other hand, can ethics constrain our account of personal identity? Do the practical requirements of (...) moral theory commit us to holding that persons do remain identical over time? Or is it the case that personal identity is not, in fact, relevant to ethics? -/- Shoemaker provides the first comprehensive examination of these issues for the undergraduate audience. Topics include personal identity and prudential rationality; personal identity's significance for moral responsibility and ethical theory; and the practical consequences of accounts of personal identity for issues such as abortion, stem cell research, cloning, advance directives, populations ethics, multiple personality disorder, and the definition of death. (shrink)
The Early Modern Subject explores the understanding of self-consciousness and personal identity--two fundamental features of human subjectivity--as it developed in early modern philosophy. Udo Thiel presents a critical evaluation of these features as they were conceived in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He explains the arguments of thinkers such as Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Wolff, and Hume, as well as their early critics, followers, and other philosophical contemporaries, and situates them within their historical contexts. Interest in the issues of (...) self-consciousness and personal identity is in many ways characteristic and even central to early modern thought, but Thiel argues here that this is an interest that continues to this day, in a form still strongly influenced by the conceptual frameworks of early modern thought. In this book he attempts to broaden the scope of the treatment of these issues considerably, covering more than a hundred years of philosophical debate in France, Britain, and Germany while remaining attentive to the details of the arguments under scrutiny and discussing alternative interpretations in many cases. (shrink)
Rigid designators for concrete objects and for properties -- On the coherence of the distinction -- On whether the distinction assigns to rigidity the right role -- A uniform treatment of property designators as singular terms -- Rigid appliers -- Rigidity - associated arguments in support of theoretical identity statements: on their significance and the cost of its philosophical resources -- The skeptical argument impugning psychophysical identity statements: on its significance and the cost of its philosophical (...) resources -- The skeptical argument further examined: on resources, allegedly overlooked, for confirming psychological identities. (shrink)
‘Soul’, ‘self’, ‘substance’ and ‘person’ are just four of the terms often used to refer to the human individual. Cutting across metaphysics, ethics, and religion the nature of personal identity is a fundamental and long-standing puzzle in philosophy. Personal Identity and Applied Ethics introduces and examines different conceptions of the self, our nature, and personal identity and considers the implications of these for applied ethics. A key feature of the book is that it considers a range of (...) different approaches to personal identity; philosophical, religious, and cross-cultural, including perspectives from non-Western traditions. Within this comparative framework, Andrea Sauchelli examines the following topics: -Early views of the soul in Plato, Christianity, and Descartes -The Buddhist ‘no-self’ views and the self as a fiction -Confucian ideas of our nature and the importance of self-cultivation as constitutive of the self -Locke’s theory of personal identity as continuity of consciousness and memory and objections to Locke’s argument by Butler and Reid as well as contemporary critics -The theory of ‘animalism’ and arguments concerning embodied concepts of personal identity -Practical and narrative theories of personal identity and moral agency -Personal identity and issues in applied ethics, including abortion, organ transplantation, and the idea of life after death -Implications of life-extending technologies for personal identity. Throughout the book Sauchelli also considers the views of important recent philosophers of personal identity such as Sydney Shoemaker, Bernard Williams, Derek Parfit, Marya Schechtman, and Christine Korsgaard, placing these in helpful historical context. Chapter summaries, a glossary of key terms, and suggestions for further reading make this a refreshing, approachable introduction to personal identity and applied ethics. It is an ideal text for courses on personal identity that consider both Western and non-Western approaches and that apply theories of personal identity to ethical problems. It will also be of interest to those in related subjects such as religious studies and history of ideas. (shrink)
Nichols and Bruno claim that the folk judge that psychological continuity is necessary for personal identity. In this article, we evaluate this claim. First, we argue that it is likely that in thinking about hypothetical cases of transformations, the folk do not use a unitary concept of personal identity, but instead rely on different concepts of ‘person’, ‘identity’, and ‘individual’. Identity can be ascribed even when post-transformation individuals are no longer categorized as persons. Second, we (...) provide new empirical evidence suggesting that the folk do not consider psychological continuity to be necessary for an individual to be categorized as a person or for ascribing identity over time and through transformations. In this, we assume, along with Nichols and Bruno, that folk judgments about identity can be read off the use of proper names. Furthermore, we raise some doubts about the ability of current experimental designs to adequately distinguish between qualitative and numerical identity jud.. (shrink)
This paper presents a synoptic overview of two key philosophical concepts – self and identity - in Indian tradition. Drawing on both Indian and Western studies on the concept of self-hood and its implications for conceptualising identity, the paper reviews the contemporary scholarship on self-hood and outlines its relation to identity needs to be rethought if ethical possibilities of self-hood are to be given due consideration. This paper asks and addresses the nature and experience of (...) the self in the Indian intellectual tradition, how representative Indian thinkers conceptualised the self, how such a conception of self-hood engages with the overall conception of Western history of self-hood and so on. The paper offers a comparative study of self-hood that not only underscores the significant points of convergence and divergence as theorised in Indian and Western philosophical traditions but also highlights how certain conceptions of self-hood and identity enable the project of the self’s ethical transformation. (shrink)
According to one argument for Animalism about personal identity, animal , but not person , is a Wigginsian substance concept—a concept that tells us what we are essentially. Person supposedly fails to be a substance concept because it is a functional concept that answers the question “what do we do?” without telling us what we are. Since person is not a substance concept, it cannot provide the criteria for our coming into or going out (...) of existence; animal , on the other hand, can provide such criteria. This argument has been defended by Eric Olson, among others. I argue that this line of reasoning fails to show Animalism to be superior to the Psychological Approach, for the following two reasons: (1) human animal , animal , and organism are all functional concepts, and (2) the distinction between what something is and what it does is illegitimate on the reading that the argument needs. (shrink)
In Self-Identity and Powerlessness , Alice Kouobová proposes a conception of human existence that does not essentially depend on the definition of self-identity. She does this by reinterpreting Heidegger’s fundamental ontology and that of other authors.
When philosophers have turned their attention to Europe they have typically done so in order to interrupt geographical and geo-political determinations of its identity, and to stress instead that its cultural - or spiritual - identity is caught up with the Greek idea of philosophy. Europe, on this classical philosophical construal, is not simply the place where philosophy was first elaborated and developed. On the contrary, Europe first arises as a place only in and through the elaboration (...) and development of philosophy. Europe is thus itself a philosophical phenomenon - its identity inseparable from the idea of a project that concerns ‘rational animality’ as such, and hence humanity as a whole. In his book on philosophical approaches to Europe from Husserl to Derrida, Rodophe Gasché introduces and defends the classical idea of Europe's Greek origin. Finding a somewhat different stress in Derrida's own study of Europe as a philosophicalconcept, this review attempts to open up a conception of Europe as a ‘philosopheme’ which resists conceptual clarification in the terms Gasché recommends, enjoining one instead to a task that is always beyond theoretical lucidity: to ‘stick one's neck out’ in the name of Europe. (shrink)
Terence Parsons presents a lively and controversial study of philosophical questions about identity. Because many puzzles about identity remain unsolved, some people believe that they are questions that have no answers and that there is a problem with the language used to formulate them. Parsons explores a different possibility: that such puzzles lack answers because of the way the world is (or because of the way the world is not). He claims that there is genuine indeterminacy of (...)identity in the world. He articulates such a view in detail and defends it from a host of criticisms. (shrink)
Identity and Difference consists of English translations and the original German versions of two little-known lectures given in 1957 by Martin Heidegger, "The Principle of Identity" and "The Onto-theo-logical Constitution of Metaphysics.
The concept of indiscernibility in a structure is analysed with the aim of emphasizing that in asserting that two objects are indiscernible, it is useful to consider these objects as members of (the domain of) a structure. A case for this usefulness is presented by examining the consequences of this view to the philosophical discussion on identity and indiscernibility in quantum theory.
In this book, Eli Hirsch focuses on identity through time, first with respect to ordinary bodies, then underlying matter, and eventually persons. These are linked at various points with other aspects of identity, such as the spatial unity of things, the unity of kinds, and the unity of groups. He investigates how our identityconcept ordinarily operates in these respects. He also asks why this concept is so cental to our thinking and whether we can (...) justify seeing the world in terms of such a concept. This is the revised and updated edition of a hardback published in 1982. (shrink)
The author attacks the view that identity, Like largeness, Is a relative relation. The primary advocate of the view that identity is relative is p.T. Geach. It is argued that geach has not shown that the failure of the identity of indiscernibles principle, As a truth of logic, Forces us to stop taking indiscernibility within particular formal theories or languages as a sufficient condition for identity. The author also argues that the whole notion of relative (...) class='Hi'>identity, As explicated by geach, Is very probably incoherent. (shrink)
This topical new book by Zygmunt Bauman explores the notion of identity in the modern world. As we grapple with the insecurity and uncertainty of liquid modernity, Bauman argues that our socio-political, cultural, professional, religious and sexual identities are undergoing a process of continual transformation. Identities the world over have become more precarious than ever: we live in an era of constant change and disposability - whether it's last season's outfit, or car, or even partner - and our identities (...) as a result have become transient and deeply elusive. In a world of rapid global change where national borders are increasingly eroded, our identities are in a state of continuous flux. Identity - a notion that by its very nature is elusive and ambivalent - has become a key concept for understanding the changing nature of social life and personal experience in our contemporary, liquid modern age. In this brief book, Zygmunt Bauman explains compellingly why this is so. (shrink)
The topic of this dissertation is one that has been in the forefront of contemporary metaphysics in the Anglo-American philosophical tradition, namely, the problem of personal identity through time. Although we generally believe that we remain the same persons throughout our lives, the answers to questions concerning just what it is that remains the same about us prove to be elusive. Contemporary debate on the subject has its roots in the challenges posed by Locke and Hume to theories (...) which assert that persisting and substantial selves, or souls, constitute the ground for personal identity, and their efforts to suggest alternative theories based on such concepts as memory and causality. It is remarkable that a similar debate, aroused by the "non-self" doctrine of the Buddha, occupied a central position in Indian philosophical discourse during the last centuries B.C.E. and the first millennium C.E. While much historical and philological research has been devoted to Buddhist approaches to this problem, the task of interpreting these materials in the light of recent refinements of philosophical method has not yet been undertaken. It is this task to which the present thesis is devoted, drawing on the works of such Buddhist philosophers as Vasubandhu and Santaraksita , and their Brahmanical opponents such as Uddyotakara , as well as recent contributions to the debate on personal identity by Chisholm, Parfit and others. The dissertation is divided into three main sections: Part One, in six chapters, traces out the history of the problem of personal identity in Indian philosophy, and is especially concerned with the role played by refinements of Indian philosophical method in the developments discussed; Part Two presents a selection of the most important Buddhist and Brahmanical contributions to the problem, newly translated from the Sanskrit for the present dissertation; and Part Three includes three supplementary essays on personal identity in the work of Derek Parfit and Steven Colline, Buddhist idealism, and Buddhist hermeneutics. (shrink)
In the last two decades, interest in narrative conceptions of identity has grown exponentially, though there is little agreement about what a "life-narrative" might be. In connecting Kierkegaard with virtue ethics, several scholars have recently argued that narrative models of selves and MacIntyre's concept of the unity of a life help make sense of Kierkegaard's existential stages and, in particular, explain the transition from "aesthetic" to "ethical" modes of life. But others have recently raised difficult questions both for (...) these readings of Kierkegaard and for narrative accounts of identity that draw on the work of MacIntyre in general. While some of these objections concern a strong kind of unity or "wholeheartedness" among an agent's long-term goals or cares, the fundamental objection raised by critics is that personal identity cannot _be_ a narrative, since stories are artifacts made by persons. In this book, Davenport defends the narrative approach to practical identity and autonomy in general, and to Kierkegaard's stages in particular. (shrink)
Occasions of Identity is an exploration of timeless philosophical issues about persistence, change, time, and sameness. Andre Gallois offers a critical survey of various rival views about the nature of identity and change, and puts forward his own original theory. He supports the idea of occasional identities, arguing that it is coherent and helpful to suppose that things can be identical at one time but distinct at another. Gallois defends this view, demonstrating how it can solve puzzles (...) about persistence dating back to the Ancient Greeks, and investigates the metaphysical consequences of rejecting the necessity and eternity of identities. (shrink)
Among the most interesting features of Homotopy Type Theory is the way it treats identity, which has various unusual characteristics. We examine the formal features of “identity types” in HoTT, and how they relate to its other features including intensionality, constructive logic, the interpretation of types as concepts, and the Univalence Axiom. The unusual behaviour of identity types might suggest that they be reinterpreted as representing indiscernibility. We explore this by defining indiscernibility in HoTT and examine its (...) relationship with identity. We argue that identity types are a primitive component of HoTT and cannot be reduced to indiscernibility. (shrink)
The eleven new papers in this volume address fundamental and interrelated philosophical issues concerning modality and identity, issues that were pivotal to the development of analytic philosophy in the twentieth century, and remain a key focus of debate in the twenty-first. Identity and Modality brings together leading researchers in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of science, and the philosophy of mathematics.
The essays collected in this volume address a range of issues that arise when the focus of philosophical reflection on identity is shifted from metaphysical to practical and evaluative concerns. They also explore the usefulness of the notion of narrative for articulating and responding to these issues. The chapters, written by an outstanding roster of international scholars, address a range of complex philosophical issues concerning the relationship between practical and metaphysical identity, the embodied dimensions of the (...) first-personal perspective, the kind of reflexive agency involved in the self-constitution of one’s practical identity, the relationship between practical identity and normativity, and the temporal dimensions of identity and selfhood. In addressing these issues, contributors engage with debates in the literatures on personal identity, phenomenology, moral psychology, action theory, normative ethical theory, and feminist philosophy. (shrink)
_Personal Identity and Self-Consciousness_ is about persons and personal identity. What are we? And why does personal identity matter? Brian Garrett, using jargon-free language, addresses questions in the metaphysics of personal identity, questions in value theory, and discusses questions about the first person singular. Brian Garrett makes an important contribution to the philosophy of personal identity and mind, and to epistemology.
This book gathers together thirteen of Peter van Inwagen's essays on metaphysics, several of which have acquired the status of modern classics in their field. They range widely across such topics as Quine's philosophy of quantification, the ontology of fiction, the part-whole relation, the theory of 'temporal parts', and human knowledge of modal truths. In addition, van Inwagen considers the question as to whether the psychological continuity theory of personal identity is compatible with materialism, and defends the thesis that (...) possible states of affairs are abstract objects, in opposition to David Lewis's 'extreme modal realism'. A specially-written introduction completes the collection, which will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in metaphysics. (shrink)
Taking into account significant developments in the metaphysical thinking of E. J. Lowe over the past 20 years, _More Kinds of Being:A Further Study of Individuation, Identity, and the Logic of Sortal Terms_ presents a thorough reworking and expansion of the 1989 edition of _Kinds of Being_ Brings many of the original ideas and arguments put forth in _Kinds of Being_ thoroughly up to date in light of new developments Features a thorough reworking and expansion of the earlier work, (...) rather than just a new edition Reflects the author's conversion to what he calls 'the four-category ontology,' a metaphysical system that takes its inspiration from Aristotle Provides a unified discussion of individuation and identity that should prove to be essential reading for philosophers working in metaphysics. (shrink)
In order to make Mukund Lath’s thoughts on music and identity accessible to a broader audience, and to call attention to links between Hindustānī musical theory and classical Indian philosophical notions, Lath’s paper “Identity Through Necessary Change: Thinking About ‘Rāga-Bhāva,’ Concepts and Characters” is being republished here with an introduction by David Shulman and explanatory notes. Mukund Lath argues that identity is usually understood as something that remains the same despite change. His endeavor is to explore (...) an alternative to this convention. The case study for Lath’s philosophical exploration is rāga music, i.e. Hindustānī classical music. He argues that the identity of the rāga is maintained not despite change, but owing to the necessary change in every execution of “the same” rāga. But how are we to even start thinking about a notion of identity that embraces rather than rejects change, a notion of identity that is based on and is rooted in change, not in stability or perpetuity? Lath explores this alternative and its consequences for the notion of identity at large. (shrink)
This book is part of the growing field of practical approaches to philosophical questions relating to identity, agency and ethics, working across continental and analytical traditions. Kim Atkins explains and justifies the basis of the practical approach through an explication of the structures of human embodiment and an account of how those structures necessitate a narrative model of selfhood, understanding and ethics. She highlights how recent work on agency and autonomy implicitly draws upon conceptions of embodiment and intersubjectivity (...) that underpin the narrative view. (shrink)
This inquiry examines various philosophical conceptions of identity and the clash between different identity narratives in the history of philosophy. The main goal of this paper is to show how the European philosophical idea of identity was developed. This paper explores the emergence of European philosophicalidentity narratives, which have shaped the ideas of justice, truth and community in Europe. It studies the foundational identity narratives that underlie the contested idea of a (...) shared European heritage in law and culture, such as the ideas of equality, tolerance, rule of law, pluralism and the rejection of totalitarianism, and their relevance for current debates on philosophical ideas of self and identity. Identity is an open process. It is a dynamic hermeneutic category, which is constantly reinterpreted and reinvented. There are various philosophical traditions of Cogito – some of them perceive it as foundation of all knowledge and some of them perceive it as a mere illusion. In all these philosophical perspectives, the self is understood only through interpretation. The self is constituted as a narrative, as a text. Understanding oneself means understanding oneself in front of a text. The self is reinterpreted all over again only in light of narratives provided by culture. The task of hermeneutics is not only understanding of a subject, but also rethinking the subject. (shrink)
The Athenian sophist Philostratus completed a romanticised biography of Apollonius of Tyana in the second or third decade of the third century A.D. One of the most striking aspects of the presentation of this firstcentury Pythagorean sage and miracleworker in the Vita Apollonii (VA) is his role as 'politically active philosopher'. Not only does the protagonist of the VA regularly intervene in situa-tions of conflict in Greek cities and instruct their citi-zens on how they ought to live together, but he (...) also appears in contact with Parthian and Indian kings and Roman emperors. The present study deals with this promi-nent facet of Philostratus' portrait of the Tyanean sage. There are three main issues. The first is the question of the extent to which the Apollonius tradition provided support for the image of the contacts of the protagonist of the VA with cities and monarchs. The second is consideration of how the author dealt with and elaborated these elements in his source material. The third is the question of to what extent the protagonist of the VA may be regarded as a spokesman for the explicit political views of Philostratus. In other words, the aim is to analyse the image of the protagonist of the VA as a 'politically active philosopher' as the result of the interaction between the traditions associated with a sage and miracleworker who was regarded as a representative of Pythagorean wisdom, on the one hand, and the paideia, cultural baggage and mentality of a sophist, on the other. (shrink)
Based on the ongoing work of the agenda-setting Future of Minority Studies national research project, Identity Politics Reconsidered reconceptualizes the scholarly and political significance of social identity. It focuses on the deployment of “identity” within ethnic-, women’s-, disability-, and gay and lesbian studies in order to stimulate discussion about issues that are simultaneously theoretical and practical, ranging from ethics and epistemology to political theory and pedagogical practice. This collection of powerful essays by both well-known and emerging scholars (...) offers original answers to questions concerning the analytical legitimacy of “identity” and “experience,” and the relationships among cultural autonomy, moral universalism, and progressive politics. (shrink)
Philosophers have met with many problems in discussing the interconnected concepts being, identity, and truth, and have advanced many theories to deal with them. Williams argues that most of these problems and theories result from an inadequate appreciation of the ways in which the words "be," "same," and "true" work. By means of linguistic analysis he shows that being and truth are not properties, and identity is not a relation. He is thus able to demystify a number of (...) metaphysical issues concerning the meaning of the word "I," the relation between the mental and the physical, objects of thought, times and places, and the nature of reality. Williams presents his views clearly, with a minimum of technicality, and with rich and apt examples, so that they will be accessible to readers not versed in symbolic logic. (shrink)
Introduction -- Cultural theories of people -- Identities in standard English -- Language and social institutions -- The cultural self -- The self's identities -- Theories of identities and selves -- Theories of norms and institutions -- Social reality and human subjectivity.