Personal Identity Without Personality? Remarks on a Neglected Relation
Meincke (Anne Sophie)
Source: Philosophische Yahrbuch, 114-145, 2016
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Recent decades have seen an increasing tendency to exclude the phenomenon of personality1 from the metaphysical investigation of personal identity. We are advised not to confuse personal identity as a philosophical subject, namely as the metaphysical issue of specifying what it is that makes a person staying numerically identical over time, with the psychological question of ‘personal identity’ which asks what makes someone the individual person she is with her particular character and history.
  2. However, one might be unsatisfied with this. If (as common sense takes for granted) persons are to be conceived of as beings possessing a personality, should there not be some more than superficial connection between personality and personal identity in the philosophical sense?
  3. This paper investigates this question by revealing the guiding – metaphysical – assumptions behind the claim that personality and personal identity must be treated separately as well as by presenting the metaphysical alternative brushed aside by the adherents of this claim. We should not overlook that there are in fact two opposing views of the relation between personality and personal identity, being grounded in two opposing metaphysical models of what a person is:
    1. The substance model and
    2. The bundle model
    of the person.
  4. However, it turns out that ultimately both competing models fail for fundamental reasons, which raises the question of what a way out of the dilemma might look like.

Comment:

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