- In this essay I take issue with Derek Parfit's reductionist account of personal identity.
- Parfit1 is concerned to respond to what he sees as flaws in the conception of the role of 'person' in self-interest theories. He attempts to show that the notion of a person as something over and above a totality of mental and physical states and events (in his words, a 'further fact'), is empty, and so, our ethical concerns must be based on something other than this.
- My objections centre around the claim that Parfit2 employs an impoverished conception of 'life'.
- Parfit3 misconceives the connection between 'I' and one's body, and, so, despite his rejection of a metaphysical conception of 'self', remains within the logic of Cartesianism. What Parfit4 and other reductionists call an 'impersonal' perspective, I shall call the third-person perspective: a perspective which one in general may take.
- Against Parfit5 I shall offer a more complex conception of 'self' through the concept of 'bodily perspective'. I emphasize the irreducible ambiguities of human embodiment in order to show the presuppositions and the limitations of Parfit6's view.
- Of interest is the conception of time and the model of continuity that is appropriate to an embodied subject's life. I employ Paul Ricoeur's concept of 'human time' to argue that the reflective character of human experience demands a model of temporality and continuity that differs significantly from the one Parfit7 employs.
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