Identity and Personal Identity
Borowski (E.J.)
Source: Mind, 1976, 481-502
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

Identity includes a family of relations and is wrongly restricted to what satisfies Leibniz's law1: diachronic and strict identity are related since the criteria of the former are just the criteria of continuity of stages of the strictly identical continuant. A general account can be given in terms of the preservation of a weighted preponderance of properties of the stages. Puzzle cases arise because of contextual shifts in the weightings assigned; in the case of persons this is particularly clear because of change of emphasis between mental and physical, both of which classes of predicate are applicable.

  1. Identity as a “Family Resemblance” Concept
  2. A General Account of Diachronic Identity
  3. Describing Persons
  4. Some Puzzle Cases Reconsidered
    → 4.1 Roland Puccetti’s Brain Transplant2
    → 4.2 Locke’s Prince and Cobbler
    → 4.3 Bernard Williams’s Self and the Future
  5. Conclusion: Personal Identity should not be expected to have the logic of strict identity, but of a weighted majority of relations including spatio-temporal continuity, leading to the Parfitian3 view that survival4 is a matter of degree.

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