Personal Identity (Fall 1999) / Notes


There is a general dilemma in running a class: either you can put the proper emphasis on important points or you can have an open discussion. Neither is dispensable, but the two goals are in conflict with one another: a free discussion will occasionally involve working through blind alleys and relatively minor points. This is my attempt to square the circle.

These notes attempt to do two things. First, they summarize the main points of each day's class. Thus we can spend a lot of time working through a minor point and everyone will still have a record of what I consider to be the main objective. Second, the notes will often extend the discussion. They frequently contain answers to questions or arguments that have come up after class ends.

It goes without saying that the notes will be addressed to those who have attended the class meetings.

Links to the notes

Identity in general
Locke's memory theory
Historical background on Locke
The substance objection
Circularity objection
Quinton's broader psychological theory
Reading Williams
The reduplication problem
Williams's experiment
Can questions about personal identity have indeterminate answers?
Mid-term review
Impersonal descriptions
Two challenges to the Further Fact View
Physical and psychological fission
Reductionism vs. the Further Fact View
Practical consequences of reductionism
Garrett's combination plate UPDATED (22 Dec 1999)
Lewis and multiple occupancy UPDATED (22 Dec 1999)
Other versions of multiple occupancy UPDATED (22 Dec 1999)
Korsgaard's Kantian view of personal identity UPDATED (22 Dec 1999)

Page and author information

This page was originally posted on 10/11/99; 7:58:09 AM and was last built on 12/22/99; 12:17:43 PM.

Copyright by Michael J. Green, except where noted.

How to contact me: email, mailing address, phone number, and office hours.


Next page: Identity in general

Site outline