The Identities of Persons: Introduction
Rorty (Amélie Oksenberg)
Source: Rorty (Amelie) - The Identities of Persons, 1976
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Disagreements about the criteria for personal identity have been persistently unresolved, the battle lines repetitively drawn over the same terrain, along familiar geographical strongholds. Although they disagree among themselves about its analysis, defenders of a physical or a spatio-temporal criterion are ranged against defenders of a psychological criterion1, themselves uneasily allied.
  2. Peacemakers who argue that neither the psychological nor the physical criterion can be applied without implicitly reintroducing the other have been drawn into the battle — as peacemakers often are — as third or fourth parties.
  3. Although the controversy has a long history, and although many arguments have been refined by repeated firings, there is little reason to expect a resolution that will not in time lead to renewed hostilities. What is required is not more ingenuity for more elaborate strategies, but an understanding of the conflicting interpretations of what has been at issue.

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