The Metaphysics and Metapsychology of Personal Identity: Why Thought Experiments Matter in Deciding Who We Are
Kolak (Daniel)
Source: American Philosophical Quarterly, 30 #1, 1993: 39-50
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

  1. What are the metaphysical and metapsychological boundaries of a person? How do we draw our borders?
  2. This much is clear: personal identity without thought experiments1 is impossible.
  3. I develop a new way of conceptualizing physiological and psychological borders leading to a re-evaluation of the problem of personal identity within the contemporary literature, especially Parfit2, arguing that we must, necessarily, turn to the conceptual analysis of metaphysical and metapsychological borders.
  4. I offer an explanation of the persistence of common sense against philosophical analysis, criticize Kathleen Wilkes's position, and provide a foundation for the proper use of thought experiments3 in analytic metapsychology and metaphysics.

  1. Physiological and Psychological Borders;
  2. Why Personal Identity Without Metaphysics and Metapsychology is Impossible;
  3. Metaphysical Decision-Making: Choosing Our Personal Identity;
  4. The Persistence of Common Sense: Philosophical Self-Defense?
  5. Thought Experiments4 About Persons

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