Personhood, Persistence, and Constitution

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Creator: 

Casey, Daniel

Date: 

2017

Abstract: 

In the following essay I argue that psychological continuity provides the most suitable account of a person’s persistence. This is in accordance with Derek Parfit’s claim that what’s important in cases of survival is not personal identity, but psychological continuity. The essay focuses on a criticism raised by Marya Schechtman. She argues that Parfit’s account doesn’t sufficiently distinguish between the metaphysical and practical concerns of a person’s persistence, which she takes to create significant problems. I respond to her criticisms to show that these problems are not as significant as she claims, and that by attempting to address them, her own view suffers. The difficulty with her view results from too broad a concept of personhood. This is the result of confusing the causal with the constitutive features of personhood. Once these features are distinguished, we can see why psychological continuity provides a better account of a person’s persistence.

Subject: 

Philosophy

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 
M.A.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Philosophy

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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