Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?
Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds.
This Page provides (where held) the Abstract of the above Book and those of all the Papers contained in it.
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Amazon Book Description

  1. We take it for granted that a person persists over time: when we make plans, we assume that we will carry them out; when we punish someone for a crime, we assume that she is the same person as the one who committed it. Metaphysical questions underlying these assumptions point towards an area of deep existential and philosophical interest.
  2. In this volume, leading metaphysicians discuss key questions about personal identity, including 'What are we1?', 'How do we persist?', and 'Which conditions guarantee our identity over time?'
  3. They discuss whether personal identity is 'complex', whereby it is analyzable in terms of simpler relations such as physical or psychological features, or whether it is 'simple', namely something that cannot be analyzed in terms of more fundamental relations.
  4. Their essays offer an innovative discussion of this topic and will be of interest to a wide readership in metaphysics.

BOOK COMMENT:

CUP, 15 Nov. 2012



"Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Personal Identity: A Not-So-Simple Simple View"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?


Author’s Abstract
  1. A number of different issues travel under the banner of "the problem of personal identity." My interests, like those of many other philosophers, are metaphysical.
  2. In the first instance, I am not concerned with what is called "narrative identity1," or with how we re-identify a person, or with psychological aspects of personality, or with ascriptions of the word "person."
  3. "The problem of personal identity over time," as formulated by Harold Noonan, "is the problem of giving an account of the logically necessary and sufficient conditions for a person identified at one time being the same person as a person identified at another" time ("Noonan (Harold) - Personal Identity", 2003).
  4. If, as I believe, you and I are essentially persons, then we are persons at any moment that we exist. (We could not change into non-persons and still exist.) This is not uncontroversial, but I have argued at length for this view of persons elsewhere ("Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View", 2000, "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - The Metaphysics of Everyday Life: An Essay in Practical Realism", 2007).
  5. In any case, a metaphysical account of personal identity should be tied to an account of the nature of persons, and that is how I shall proceed.



"Barnett (David) - Chitchat On Personal Identity"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?



"Coliva (Annalisa) - Review of Gasser & Stefan, Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?"

Source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews


Full Text
  1. This valuable collection brings together twelve original contributions and one reply by some of the most prominent theorists working on the issue of personal identity. The question at the heart of the book is whether personal identity is simple or complex.
  2. Part of the problem consists in framing the very question on which it focuses. The four essays making up Part I endeavor to clarify the question's meaning, or at least its multiple facets. In his dialogue "Barnett (David) - Chitchat On Personal Identity", David Barnett highlights the many ways in which we can think of the simple/complex divide. But the most interesting yet disparaging voice is Eric Olson who ("Olson (Eric) - In Search of the Simple View") claims that traditional ways of framing that opposition don't work and that alternative ones don't match the results of the usual ways of drawing it. Hence, the divide between simple and complex views remains quite elusive.
  3. Be that as it may, it is worth summarizing the way in which the divide is usually characterized. Advocates of the complex view will presumably uphold a specific completion of the following formula: Necessarily, if x is a human person at t and y exists at t*, x = y iff and because . . .
  4. For instance, ". . . iff and because x's and y's mental states are in a specific relation to one another, or there is some definite relation among x's and y's physical states." It is important for these reductionist1 views – insofar as they take persons to consist ultimately in something else, such as relations among psychological or physical states – that the right hand-side of the biconditional be informative and noncircular. Supporters of the simple view2, in contrast, deny that our persistence or identity over time consists in anything and therefore deny that the preceding formula can be completed in an informative, non-circular way.
  5. "Wasserman (Ryan) - Personal Identity, Indeterminacy And Obligation" claims that our instinctive reluctance to endorse complex views of personal identity, such as "Parfit (Derek) - Reasons and Persons" (1984), is that it gives rise to the indeterminacy of personal identity and, consequently of obligation. According to Wasserman since the latter view is untenable, so is the former.
  6. Of course the claim is interesting, but two things are worth pointing out.
    1. First, that other theorists (e.g., Carol Rovane (1998)) have endorsed a neo-Lockean account of persons. They do so precisely because on their view it makes better sense than alternative explanations of our practice of finding group persons (e.g., firms, Departments and football teams) accountable for their actions, insofar as they can be seen as carrying them out as part of one specific, rational deliberation, i.e. as part of one single rational point of view.
    2. Second, it isn't clear why an essay that clearly privileges the simple account of personal identity should figure in the volume's section dedicated to framing the question. True, it attempts to provide a diagnosis of our (supposed) reluctance to endorse the complex view (or at any rate one possible specimen of it), but this seems to depend on taking for granted that there is such a divide and that we know where it lies, or at least on which side of it different accounts of personal identity fall.
  7. Similar worries can be raised with respect to placing "Noonan (Harold) - Personal Identity And Its Perplexities" in Part I. Noonan develops an intricate defense of the complex view of personal identity. He takes time to explain what he means by "a complex view of personal identity", namely "the view that there are non-trivial, non-redundant, non-identity-involving diachronic constraints on personhood" (p. 87). But he devotes the bulk of his essay to showing that a neo-Lockean account of diachronic personal identity can respond to several objections, for instance: that such an account is committed to the existence of too many thinkers3 and that it gives rise to the problem of knowing that one is a given person (as specified by the requirements of a neo-Lockean account) and not the human animal4, coincident with it, who is thinking falsely that he is a person (pp. 89-90). Furthermore, Noonan defends the account against the objection that since human animals5 are thinkers and thinkers count as persons for the neo-Lockean view, the latter is incoherent for it "must acknowledge different kinds of person with different persistence conditions6" (p. 90). The key idea, according to Noonan, is distinguishing between thinkers of thoughts and objects of first-person reference. Finally, he defends neo-Lockean accounts from the indeterminacy objection, which we have already seen at work in Wasserman's contribution.
  8. Part II, "Arguments For and Against Simplicity", contains four essays and one reply. In the first of these, "Swinburne (Richard) - How To Determine Which Is The True Theory Of Personal Identity" predictably (see Swinburne and Shoemaker 1984), defends a simple view7 of personal identity in the strong form of mind-body dualism, by means of a battery of arguments concerning logical and a posteriori metaphysical possibilities, and by taking conceivability as a guide to determining what is metaphysically possible8. As far as I can see, all these arguments hinge on the idea that we have direct awareness of ourselves as continuing subjects of experience that can conceivably survive any number of bodily changes and even the disappearance of their bodies.
  9. Equally predictable is Sydney Shoemaker's attack against simplicity ("Shoemaker (Sydney) - Against Simplicity", see Swinburne and Shoemaker 1984), which in fact consists in a defense of his favored version of a neo-Lockean theory of personal identity from various adaptations of the circularity objection, according to which, to put it in E. J. Lowe's terms "conscious states . . . cannot themselves be individuated or identified save in terms which presuppose the identity of persons (or conscious subjects) whose states they are" (Lowe 2009, p. 134; cited p. 132). Shoemaker's key move is to claim that while it is true that a conscious state of a person is necessarily a state of that person (ibid.), this is compatible with the fact that it is a relation between these states "that make(s) it the case that they belong to one and the same person" (p. 133).
  10. In "Lowe (E.J.) - The Probable Simplicity Of Personal Identity", Lowe indirectly defends one version of the simplicity view, according to which persons are individual substances as opposed to functional entities. He argues that there is no informative and non-circular criterion of personal identity; i.e. the kind of criterion that advocates of the complex view, including Shoemaker, ought to provide. In so doing, he also gives an interesting reply to Shoemaker's previous defense of neo-Lockeanism. Shoemaker, in turn, offers a brief reply to Lowe ("Shoemaker (Sydney) - Reply To E. J. Lowe").
  11. Martine Nida-Rümelin defends her version of the simple view9 in "Nida-Rumelin (Martine) - The Non-Descriptive Individual Nature Of Conscious Beings". Like Swinburne, by going through a number of quite different and complex thought experiments10, she aims to show that we have direct awareness of ourselves as subjects of conscious experience precisely because we undergo such conscious experience. This is supposed to vindicate a form of conceptual mind-body dualism, whereby selves are to be individuated on the basis of such a direct and non-conceptual awareness of themselves as experiencing subjects, while enjoying conscious experiences.
  12. Part III "Reconsidering Simplicity" contains four essays. "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Personal Identity: A Not-So-Simple Simple View" defends a particular version of the simple view11 that I personally find extremely convincing. According to her, there is no place for substance dualism and, as is familiar since Baker (2000), "we are fundamentally persons, who are necessarily embodied", even though "we do not necessarily have the bodies that we in fact have" (pp. 180-1). What makes us persons, according to Baker, is the ability to think first-person thoughts, or to think of ourselves as such, or even to have a first-person perspective essentially. In her view, we are constituted by, even if not identical to, the physical entity that allows us to do that. Persons are therefore emergent, potentially temporally gappy entities, who have ordinary parts (even if they aren't the mereological sum of their parts). They possibly are such that the answer to the question whether they exist at time t is indeterminate.
  13. The last three chapters, by Christian Kanzian, Dean Zimmerman and Hud Hudson, respectively concern
    1. Whether "person" is a sortal12 term ("Kanzian (Christian) - Is 'Person' a Sortal Term?"),
    2. Whether dualism is to be preferred to materialism ("Zimmerman (Dean) - Materialism, Dualism, and “Simple” Theories of Personal Identity") and,
    3. Whether the simple view13 is compatible with a multiplicity of accounts of time, while complex views aren't, so that we should therefore discount the complex views ("Hudson (Hud) - The Morphing Block And Diachronic Personal Identity").
    Here again I couldn't quite see why these accounts would offer a different, somewhat non-standard account of the simple view14 and should thus be grouped together in this section. Surely an explanation of the contribution of each chapter to each of these sections would have been helpful, but there is no trace of it in the "Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias) - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple? Introduction", its other merits notwithstanding.
  14. Finally, let me raise one methodological issue. Personally I have strong sympathy for a non-reductionist15 account of persons and, in particular, for one possible version of the simple view16. Indeed Baker, who avoids substance dualism and whose account seems to fit in with a sensible and scientifically informed account of our place in nature, is my favorite. Yet, the three main versions of the simple view17 positively presented in the volume Swinburne's, Nida-Rümelin's and Baker's revolve around the idea of having a first-person perspective. For the first two, this seems to involve a special kind of (perhaps non-conceptual) awareness of oneself as a subject of experience (possibly continuous in time). But for Baker it amounts to the ability of enjoying first-person thoughts – an ability that clearly depends on the exercise of the first-person concept but that may actually be grounded in further non-conceptual states of an individual.
  15. Whichever view one might favor, it is clear that the nature of a first-person perspective is a topic in the philosophy of mind and of mental content. I think that much would be gained in the metaphysical discussion of personal identity if more attention were paid to the question of what exactly a first-person perspective is and whether it dictates a specific metaphysics, or whether, ultimately, it is compatible with various ones. This would also have the advantage of bringing together these two areas of philosophy and possibly of giving rise to fruitful cross-fertilizations. Yet, for all we have seen so far, it might turn out that possessing a first-person perspective could be compatible, depending on what it means, with mind-body dualism, mind-body monism, or even with the idea that persons are living human animals18 with both physical and psychological properties, or even relations among psychological states, so long as they are capable of enjoying a first-person perspective. As we saw in passing, a notion of first-person perspective such as Rovane's, according to which it amounts to the ability of making rational deliberations, would actually be compatible with some kind of neo-Lockean account.
  16. So, it seems to me that unless we have a firm grip on what it means to enjoy a first-person perspective, it is difficult to reach ultimate decisions about the metaphysical nature of persons, if it is admitted as simple theorists seem to be doing that persons are entities essentially capable of enjoying such a first-person perspective. Moreover, it might turn out that even once we have settled for one particular notion of first-person perspective, such as having an awareness of oneself as a subject of experience, a specific metaphysics isn't mandatory. Swinburne's and Nida Rümelin's respective mind-body dualism and only conceptual mind-body dualism are cases in point19. This leaves us with what I think is the big methodological question concerning the debate about personal identity, i.e. on what grounds exactly is it to be adjudicated, if it can be adjudicated at all? This, I hope, will be grist to another volume's mill20. While this volume doesn't explicitly tackle that issue, it does enough to show the richness and complexity of present day metaphysical debates about personal identity
  17. REFERENCES


COMMENT: Review of "Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?".




In-Page Footnotes ("Coliva (Annalisa) - Review of Gasser & Stefan, Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?")

Footnote 8: On the complex issue of the relationship between conceivability and possibility, see Gendler and Hawthorne (2002).

Footnote 19:
  • Notice, moreover, that recent discussions about immunity to error through misidentification, for instance, proceed by taking for granted that, at least phenomenologically, real memories or quasi-memories (Shoemaker 1970) may be indistinguishable states, insofar as they both deliver the impression, which may be correct or not, that one oneself was F (cf. Coliva 2006, 2012a). So there is actually no need to think of quasi-memories as impersonal (in the way in which "Parfit (Derek) - Reasons and Persons" (1984), for instance, does and Shoemaker doesn't). Hence, they could be an expression of a first-person perspective, even on a phenomenological conception of it, just like ordinary memories, and contribute in whatever ways neo-Lockeans may deem fit to the determination of personal identity (cf. Rovane 2012).
Footnote 20: This issue is at the core of the section on the self in Coliva 2012b, yet more could, and in my view should be done to clarify it.



"Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias) - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple? Introduction"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?



"Hudson (Hud) - The Morphing Block And Diachronic Personal Identity"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?



"Kanzian (Christian) - Is 'Person' a Sortal Term?"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?



"Lowe (E.J.) - The Probable Simplicity Of Personal Identity"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?

COMMENT: See "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Reply To E. J. Lowe" for a Reply.



"Nida-Rumelin (Martine) - The Non-Descriptive Individual Nature Of Conscious Beings"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?



"Noonan (Harold) - Personal Identity And Its Perplexities"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?



"Olson (Eric) - In Search of the Simple View"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?


Author’s Abstract
  1. Accounts of personal identity over time are supposed to fall into two broad categories: ‘complex views’ saying that our persistence consists in something else, and ‘simple views’1 saying that it doesnʼt.
  2. But it is impossible to characterize this distinction in any satisfactory way. The debate has been systematically misdescribed. After arguing for this claim, the paper says something about how the debate might be better characterized.


COMMENT: Printout filed in "Olson (Eric) - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 13 (Olson)".



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Against Simplicity"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Reply To E. J. Lowe"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?

COMMENT: Reply to "Lowe (E.J.) - The Probable Simplicity Of Personal Identity".



"Swinburne (Richard) - How To Determine Which Is The True Theory Of Personal Identity"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?


Introduction (Full Text)
  1. The simple view1 of diachronic personal identity holds that personal identity is not constituted by continuities of mental or physical properties or of the physical stuff (that is, the bodily matter) of which they are made, but is a separate feature of the world from any of the former, although of course it is compatible with personal identity being caused by such continuities. On the simple view, as I shall understand it, a person P2 at t2 can be the same person as a person P1, at an earlier time t1, whatever the physical or mental properties and whatever the body possessed by each person. P2 may not at t2 remember2 anything done or experienced by P1 at t1 or earlier, and may have an entirely different character and a totally different body (including brain) from P1 at t1. The main arguments in favor of the simple view consist in adducing thought experiments in which persons undergo radical changes of mental life and bodily constitution, and in which – it is claimed – it is “possible” that they continue to exist; from which it follows that continuities of the kind mentioned are not necessary for personal identity.
  2. I begin with one example (of very many which have been put forward) to indicate the role of thought experiments in supporting the simple view. Suppose I have a severe brain disease affecting the right brain hemisphere. The only way to keep my body functioning is to replace this hemisphere. So the doctors remove my current right hemisphere and replace it by a right hemisphere taken from a clone of me. The new right hemisphere, let us suppose, contains the brain correlates of (that is the neurons, the states of which are the immediate causes of) similar but slightly different memories and character traits from mine. The resulting person would presumably to some extent behave like me and remember having done what I did and also to some extent behave like my clone and remember having done what my clone did (when what I did was different from what my clone did). Now suppose that the disease spreads to the left hemisphere, and that too – two years later – is replaced by a left hemisphere taken from a different clone of me, again containing the brain correlates of similar but slightly different memories and character from mine. Then my body would be directed by a brain made of totally different matter and sustaining rather different memories and character from those I had two years previously. Yet presumably to some extent, but to a lesser extent than after the first operation, the resulting person would still behave like me and remember having done what I did.
  3. But would the resulting person be me? That person would be a person largely continuous with the earlier me two years ago, apart from having had two large brain operations. One might think that the continuity of many mental and physical properties over this period has the consequence that the same person continues to exist. Yet the resulting person would have none of the brain matter and only some of the memories and character which were previously mine. I suggest that it is totally unobvious whether in this situation the resulting person would or would not be me. Yet the question “Would the resulting person be me?” is logically equivalent to the question “Would I survive the operations?” and so have the (pleasurable or unpleasant) experiences of the resulting person. And surely no one about to have a serious operation can think that the question of whether he will “survive” a brain operation is simply a question requiring an arbitrary decision about which of two senses we should give to the word “survive.” We (or at least most of us) seem to understand the alternatives as mutually incompatible factual alternatives – that I survive, or that I do not survive – in one clear and natural sense of “survive.” Yet it is totally unobvious what is the answer. If you think that – one way or other – the answer is obvious, it is easy to alter the thought experiment in such a way that the answer is no longer obvious. If you think it is obvious that the continuity of at least half the brain matter over each of the operations two years apart insures that I continue to exist, suppose the second operation to be performed after only one year or six months. If you think it obvious that when half my brain matter is removed in one operation I no longer exist, suppose a series of operations replacing only a tenth of the matter each time.
  4. In such a situation, which I call an ambiguous situation, it does seem possible that I have survived (i.e. continued to exist), and possible that I have not survived; and yet that we do not know (and have no further means of finding out) whether I have or have not survived. If what seems possible is indeed possible, my survival does not require any particular degree of strong physical and mental continuities3 which make it obvious that I do survive. It then follows that the difference between the situations of different degrees of continuity consists in the strength of the evidence that I continue to exist. Under normal conditions of very strong continuity of body (and in particular of the brain, the physical sustainer of mental life), memory (of what happened to a person with that body) and character, it is enormously probable that I continue to exist; it becomes less and less probable until we reach the ambiguous situation where it is as probable as not that I continue to exist. Why it is enormously probable that under those normal conditions I continue to exist is first because it is a fundamental epistemological principle that (apparent) memory beliefs are probably true (in the absence of counter-evidence), and my personal memories (that is memories “from the inside” about what I did and experienced) concern the actions and experiences of the person who had a brain strongly continuous with my present brain. Unless memories as such (in the absence of counter-evidence) are probably true (and so do not require to be rendered probable by evidence of some other kind in order to be probably true), we would know very little about the world. For we depend on memory for all the knowledge which we believe that we have acquired from others about history and geography, etc.; and while my memory of these things may coincide with yours, at any time I depend on my own memory of what others have told me for my belief that our memories do coincide, and so the personal memory of each of us must as such be probably true if we are to have virtually any knowledge at all. And the second reason why it is enormously probable that under those normal conditions I continue to exist is that the simplest, and so most probable, hypothesis supported by the strong continuity of memory and character sustained by the same brain is that these are mental properties belonging to the same person. It would be less simple, and so less probably true, to suppose that the memory and character strongly continuous with the previous memory and character sustained by a brain having strong continuity with the previous brain are the memory and character of a different person. So being the same person does not entail strong continuity of brain, character and memory; but the latter is good evidence of the former. This is the simple view.
  5. Some philosophers hold that personal identity, like the identity of artifacts4, can be a matter of degree. On this view a later person can be only partly identical to some earlier person, and so the result of such operations as I have described might be that the resultant person was only partly me. I do not myself think that it is logically possible that some person be partly me. But even if this were a possible result of the operations, it does not seem to be a necessary truth that the operations will have this result, because the history of all the physical bits and all the mental properties associated with them seems compatible with the subsequent person not being partly me. It still seems possible that, just as the resulting person is fully me if I have both heart and liver replaced, so after the half-brain transplants the resulting person is still fully me; and it is also possible that it is not me at all. Yet if we include the subsequent person being partly me as a possible result of the operations, we would now be ignorant about which out of three (rather than two) possible results of the operations had in fact occurred. If what “seems possible” is possible, that I survive the operations not merely in part but wholly (or alternatively not at all), partial survival is compatible with the simple view.
  6. The alternative to the simple view, the complex view, claims that personal identity is constituted (not merely evidenced) by a certain particular degree of continuity of physical and mental properties and of the matter which forms a person’s body. The main arguments in favor of this view are that the paradigm examples of personal identity are all ones in which there is continuity of these kinds, and that the simple view leads to contradictions. There are innumerable varieties of the complex view according to which degrees of continuity ensure the identity of a later person with an earlier person. One variety is the view that the concept of personal identity has no application outside normal situations of strong physical and mental continuities. Another variety of the complex view holds that necessarily (not merely possibly, as in the version of the simple view) personal identity is a matter of degree. The weaker the continuities, the lesser the degree to which the later person is the same as the earlier person. Again there is an issue about this variety of the complex view, as about the similar variety of the simple view, as to whether the notion of partial identity of persons makes any sense.


COMMENT: For the full text, see Swinburne - How To Determine Which Is The True Theory Of Personal Identity.




In-Page Footnotes ("Swinburne (Richard) - How To Determine Which Is The True Theory Of Personal Identity")

Footnote 2:
  • Ordinary language sometimes assumes that only true beliefs are correctly called “memories.” Thus it assumes that if I am correctly said to have a “memory” that I did so-and-so, I really did so-and-so.
  • I shall not follow that usage here, but shall understand by “memory” what on that usage would only be an apparent memory: it seeming to the subject that he “remembered” so-and-so.
Footnote 3:
  • By brain, memory or character being “strongly continuous” with a previous brain, memory or character, I understand that there exist between them both
  • … what Derek Parfit ("Parfit (Derek) - Reasons and Persons", 1984, ch. 10 – "Parfit (Derek) - What We Believe Ourselves To Be") calls strong “connectedness” (that is strong similarity) and
  • … what he calls strong “continuity” (that is overlapping chains of strong connectedness), the continuity of memory and character being causally sustained by the strong continuity of the brain.



"Wasserman (Ryan) - Personal Identity, Indeterminacy And Obligation"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?



"Zimmerman (Dean) - Materialism, Dualism, and “Simple” Theories of Personal Identity"

Source: Gasser (Georg) & Stefan (Matthias), Eds. - Personal Identity: Complex or Simple?


Author’s Introduction
  1. Derek Parfit1 introduced “the Complex View” and “the Simple View”2 as names for contrasting theories about the nature of personal identity.
  2. He detects a “reductionist tradition”, typified by Hume and Locke, and continuing in such twentieth‐century philosophers as Grice, Ayer, Quinton, Mackie, John Perry, David Lewis, and Parfit3 himself. According to the Reductionists, “the fact of personal identity over time just consists in the holding of certain other facts. It consists in various kinds of psychological continuity4, of memory, character, intention, and the like, which in turn rest upon bodily continuity.”
  3. The Complex View comprises “[t]he central claims of the reductionist tradition” (Parfit5 1982, p. 227). The Complex View about the nature of personal identity is a forerunner to what he later calls “Reductionism”.
  4. The Complex View favoured by Reductionists is contrasted with the Simple View6 of an opposing “non‐reductionist tradition”. According to Non‐Reductionists, ‘personal identity does not just consist in these [psychological and physical] continuities, but is a quite separate “further fact” (Parfit7 1982, p. 227; see also Parfit8 1984, p. 210).



Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
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