Charles Jansen (UCL) - 2015-16 Students

Persons, Interpretation and Practical Reasoning

Typically, when people hear the phrase ‘Personal Identity’, they have very definite ideas about just what this means (whether it be an account of one’s self-experience, the roles one occupies in society or of one’s character). Whatever ideas they have, they show a striking disconnect with the topics discussed by contemporary metaphysicians working on the self (roughly questions about what type of thing it is, and what changes are consistent with the continued existence of a single person). My aim is to suggest that these topics are not, however, as removed from one another as one might ordinarily think; an account of the metaphysics of the self has much to contribute to our understanding of ‘personal identity’ as it is more colloquially understood.

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