Closer to Truth: Personal Identity
Kuhn (Robert Lawrence), Ed.
Source: Closer To Truth, August 2020
Paper - Abstract

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Notes

  1. This is a set of four series of very short discussions – usually 4 or 5 minutes – between Robert Kuhn and various luminaries on the topic of Personal Identity.
  2. I know a lot about the views of some of the interviewees. Others I know, but didn’t know their views on PID. Some few I’d not heard of at all. Most I respect, and it’s interesting to see them in live action.
  3. In at least one case, there’s a longer version on YouTube. I’ll look the others up in due course and add the links of those found.
  4. I could have set this up as a pseudo-book, and may do in due course if the write-ups warrant it.
  5. For the Series of Series link, see
    Closer to Truth: Personal Identity.
  6. There’s another series of series!
    "Kuhn (Robert Lawrence), Ed. - Closer to Truth: Persons and Selves"

Editor’s Introductions
  1. What is the Nature of Personal Identity?
    Look at an old photo. Then look in the mirror. Those two images are of the same person, right? How so? They don't look the same. Their memories are different. And virtually every atom in their bodies is different. We feel unity across time, but is this solidified sense of self an illusion? If not an illusion, what enables personal identity?
  2. What Makes Personal Identity Continue?
    Personal identity seems so strong. We have the same sense of ourselves throughout our lives, even though everything about our physical bodies and brains is changing constantly. What then causes the continuity of personal identity? Some say personal identity is an illusion, but that seems like cheating. Others credit a nonphysical soul. That seems as though it's cheating too.
  3. What Carries our Personal Identity?
    What makes one a person or a self? If he or she sees, hears, thinks and feels, is that a person or a self? How can separate perceptions bind together into a coherent mental unity of a single person or self? And how does personhood or self persist through time? If persons are all material, what enables the continuity? Is there a 'carrier' of personal identity?
  4. How Does Personal Identity Persist Through Time?
    Think back 5, 10, 20 years — 50 if you're old enough. Physically, you are completely different. Mentally, you feel pretty much the same. Decades roll by and every molecule of your body changes many times over. Yet you sense yourself the same — continuous, a unity. How can this be? Is the self an illusion? If not, what's the commonality that persists through time.
  5. Series links:
    Closer to Truth: What is the Nature of Personal Identity?
    Closer to Truth: What Makes Personal Identity Continue?
    Closer to Truth: What Carries our Personal Identity?
    Closer to Truth: How Does Personal Identity Persist Through Time?

Interview Series 1: Closer to Truth: What is the Nature of Personal Identity?
  1. Peter Van Inwagen (Closer to Truth: Peter Van Inwagen on Personal Identity)
  2. Colin McGinn (Closer to Truth: Colin McGinn on Personal Identity)
  3. John Searle (Closer to Truth: John Searle on Personal Identity)
  4. Michael Tooley (Closer to Truth: Michael Tooley on Personal Identity)
  5. Rudolfo R. Llinas (Closer to Truth: Rudolfo Llinas on Personal Identity)
  6. Ray Kurzweil (Closer to Truth: Ray Kurzweil on Personal Identity)
    "Kurzweil (Ray) & Kuhn (Robert Lawrence) - Closer to Truth: Raymond Kurzweil - What is the Nature of Personal Identity?"
  7. Fred Alan Wolf (Closer to Truth: Fred Alan Wolf on Personal Identity)
  8. Mike Merzenich (Closer to Truth: Mike Merzenich on Personal Identity)
  9. Deepak Chopra (Closer to Truth: Deepak Chopra on Personal Identity)

Interview Series 2: Closer to Truth: What Makes Personal Identity Continue?
  1. Dean Zimmerman (Closer to Truth: Dean Zimmerman on Personal Identity)
  2. Christof Koch (Closer to Truth: Christof Koch on Personal Identity)
  3. Joseph LeDoux (Closer to Truth: Joseph LeDoux on Personal Identity)
  4. Roger Walsh (Closer to Truth: Roger Walsh on Personal Identity)
  5. Alan I. Leshner (Closer to Truth: Alan Leshner on Personal Identity)
  6. Bas Van Fraassen (Closer to Truth: Bas Van Fraassen on Personal Identity)
  7. George Lakoff (Closer to Truth: George Lakoff on Personal Identity)
  8. Natasha Vita-More (Closer to Truth: Natasha Vita-More on Personal Identity)

Interview Series 3: Closer to Truth: What Carries our Personal Identity?
  1. Daniel Dennett (Closer to Truth: Daniel Dennett on Personal Identity)
  2. David Brin (Closer to Truth: David Brin on Personal Identity)
  3. Nancey Murphy (Closer to Truth: Nancey Murphy on Personal Identity)
  4. John Polkinghorne (Closer to Truth: John Polkinghorne on Personal Identity)
  5. Susan Blackmore (Closer to Truth: Susan Blackmore on Personal Identity)
  6. Peter Van Inwagen (Link1)

Interview Series 4: Closer to Truth: How Does Personal Identity Persist Through Time?
  1. Simon Blackburn (Closer to Truth: Simon Blackburn on Personal Identity)
  2. Richard Swinburne (Closer to Truth: Richard Swinburne on Personal Identity)
  3. John Hawthorne (Closer to Truth: John Hawthorne on Personal Identity)
  4. Robert Bilder (Closer to Truth: Robert Bilder on Personal Identity)
  5. Stephen Law (Closer to Truth: Stephen Law on Personal Identity)
  6. Max More (Closer to Truth: Max More on Personal Identity)



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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