- In my book "Parfit (Derek) - Reasons and Persons", I defended one view about the metaphysics of persons, and also claimed that personal identity is not what matters.
- In this paper I shall give some further arguments for this second claim, and also try to respond to some forceful objections by Mark Johnston.
- I shall not, however, try to decide what does matter, since that is a much larger and more difficult question1.
For the full text, see Parfit - Is personal identity what matters?.
- My book was published by the Oxford University Press in 1984, but was reprinted in 1987 with minor revisions.
- Since this paper is based on rough drafts written some years ago, it does not attempt to discuss any recent published work.
- The first section of this paper, and some later passages, are taken from my article "Parfit (Derek) - The Unimportance of Identity" which appeared in a collection of mostly non-philosophical papers, "Harris (Henry) - Identity - Essays Based on Herbert Spencer Lectures Given in the University of Oxford" (Oxford University Press, 1995).
- Mark Johnston’s objections to my arguments are in his article "Johnston (Mark) - Human Concerns without Superlative Selves" (1997).
- I have published two other long papers on personal identity:
→ "Parfit (Derek) - Experiences, subjects, and conceptual schemes" (Spring and Fall 1999), and
→ "Parfit (Derek) - Persons, Bodies, and Human Beings" (2008).
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)