Home :: Problems of Personal Identity

Problems of Personal Identity

Problems of Personal Identity
ISBN
155778521X
Weight
2.00 lbs
Cover
Paper

Pages
172

Size
6x9

Date Available
1999/11/30


Index , Bibliography
Price:
$16.95 (12.71)
Qty
This concise introduction to the topic of personal identity is concerned with what it is to be a person, and with what is involved in being the same person over time. The first few chapters are devoted to placing these questions in historical context, presenting the ideas of Descartes, Locke, Butler, Hume, and Reid, followed by a summary of recent debates between reductionism and non-reductionism, identity and survival, featuring Parfit, Williams, Nozick, Lewis, Brennan, and Unger.

Baillie then scrutinizes the methodological assumptions that have guided these debates. He casts a critical eye over the use of thought experiments, wherein conclusions regarding identity are derived from our responses to various bizarre situations, and argues that many influential arguments are flawed due to a misuse of this methodology.

The remainder of the book, Problems in Personal Identity, discusses issues that remain, once a more modest methodological framework is imposed. The author focuses on real-life conditions, both typical and pathological, and, in individual chapters on amnesia, split-brains, and Multiple Personality Disorder, he shows that the real issues of personal identity are rooted within scientific research rather than imaginative speculation.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgments
Preface

Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION
Prelude • Varieties of Identity • Reductionism and Non-
Reductionism • Reductionist Criteria of Identity • The Menu

Chapter 2. IDENTITY AND SURVIVAL
Williams’ Dilemma • The Closest Continuer Theory •
The Psychological Spectrum • The Physical Spectrum •
My Division • The ‘Only X and Y’ Rule • Appendix: Lewis-
The Indeterminacy of Population

Chapter 3. ASPECTS OF NON-REDUCTIONISM
Butler’s Charge of Circularity • Quasi-Memory • Swinburne’s Simple View • Non-Reductionism and Dualism • The Subjective View • Empirical Grounds for Non-Reductionism?

Chapter 4. WHAT AM I?
Introduction • Locke’s Man/Person Distinction • Natural Kinds and Natural Laws • Once an “f,” Always an “f” ? • Conditions of Survival • Teletransportation Revisited • Is Identity Sortal-Relative? • Appendix: Discontinuous Persons?

Chapter 5. METHODOLOGY MATTERS
Uses of Thought-Experiment • Abuses of Thought-Experiment • Human Freedom and Natural Laws • Thought-Experiments Reassessed • What Matters in Survival?

Chapter 6. MEMORY
Locke’s Criterion • ‘Memory’ Dismantled • Memory Storage • Parfit’s Psychological Criterion Tested • The Sleeping Pill • Varieties of Memory • Two Case Histories • Appendix: Psychogenic Fugue

Chapter 7. COMMISSUROTOMY AND THE UNITY OF MIND
Introduction • Commissurotomy Described • The Experimental Background • Minds, Brains, and Persons • Puccetti’s ‘Two Person’ Theory • Cognition in the Right Hemisphere • Sperry’s ‘Two Mind’ Theory • The Subjective View • Sperry Challenged • Split Brains and Single Minds • Appendix: My Physics Exam

Chapter 8. DEGREES OF PSYCHOLOGICAL INTEGRITY
MPD: Historical Background • Minds, Persons, and Personalities • Mary and Mary • All about Eve • Dissociation and Hypnosis • The Self • A Matter of Degree

In Conclusion
Suggested Further Reading
Bibliography
Index of Names
Index of Subjects

JAMES BAILLIE is assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Portland and the author of numerous papers and articles on personal identity, philosophy of science, and philosophy of psychology.

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