Changing the subject: on the subject of subjectivity
Catterson (Troy)
Source: Synthese, Vol. 162, No. 3 (Jun., 2008), pp. 385-404
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. In this paper I shall attempt to argue for the simple view1 of personal identity.
  2. I shall first argue that we often do have warrant for our beliefs that we exist as continuing subjects of experience, and that these beliefs are justified independently of any reductionist analysis of what it means to be a person.
  3. This has two important implications that are relevant to the ongoing debate concerning the number of persons that are in existence throughout any duration in time:
    1. The lack of logically or metaphysically necessary and sufficient conditions for distinguishing one person from another should imply neither that there is only one person nor that personhood is not individuative; and
    2. The lack of such universally applicable identity criteria should not imply that the term 'person' is a folk term with no real application.
  4. In other words, lack of reductionist analysis does not entail lack of existence.

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