Indiscernible Persons
Steinhart (Eric)
Source: Metaphilosophy, 33, Number 3, April 2002, pp. 300-320(21).
Paper - Abstract

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Author's Abstract

  1. In this article I discuss identity and indiscernibility for person-stages and persons.
  2. Identity through time is not an identity relation (it is a unity relation).
  3. Identity is carefully distinguished from persistence1. Identity is timeless and necessary.
  4. Person-stages are carefully distinguished from persons2. Theories of personal persistence are not theories of identity for persons.
  5. I deal not with the persistence of persons through time but with the timeless and necessary identity and indiscernibility of persons.
  6. I argue that it is possible that there are non-identical but indiscernible temporally whole persons.
  7. I discuss the biographies of persons and develop the type or token distinction for persons. Twins3 in symmetrical or eternally recurrent universes are examples of indiscernible persons.
  8. I discuss temporal and modal4 branching, and I end with survival for person-tokens and eternity for person-types.

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