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Personal Identity, Minimalism, and Madhyamaka

Personal Identity, Minimalism, and Madhyamaka Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University I The diachronic problem of personal identity is the problem of specifying what it is that makes a person the same person over time. Contemporary Western philosophical theories of diachronic personal identity have tended to be constructed in terms of a quest for the unity relation for persons.1 To specify the unity relation for persons is to specify the relation between person-stages occurring at different times in virtue of which they are all stages of one and the same person. We may think of personstages as temporal slices of persons, or, alternatively, as temporal slices of the biographies of persons. Either way, there are quite a number of theories on offer as to what the unity relation for persons consists in. These theories can all be classified, however, as being instances of two general types. The first, and currently most popular, type of theory of personal identity holds that the unity relation between personstages can be specified in terms of a relation that does not itself presuppose identity. This is what Parfit calls ``Reductionism'': Reductionism: Personal identity just consists in the holding of certain facts that can be http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Personal Identity, Minimalism, and Madhyamaka

Philosophy East and West , Volume 52 (3) – Jan 1, 2002

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1529-1898
Publisher site
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Abstract

Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University I The diachronic problem of personal identity is the problem of specifying what it is that makes a person the same person over time. Contemporary Western philosophical theories of diachronic personal identity have tended to be constructed in terms of a quest for the unity relation for persons.1 To specify the unity relation for persons is to specify the relation between person-stages occurring at different times in virtue of which they are all stages of one and the same person. We may think of personstages as temporal slices of persons, or, alternatively, as temporal slices of the biographies of persons. Either way, there are quite a number of theories on offer as to what the unity relation for persons consists in. These theories can all be classified, however, as being instances of two general types. The first, and currently most popular, type of theory of personal identity holds that the unity relation between personstages can be specified in terms of a relation that does not itself presuppose identity. This is what Parfit calls ``Reductionism'': Reductionism: Personal identity just consists in the holding of certain facts that can be

Journal

Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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