Personal Identity

‘Personal Identity’ has two aspects: the first-person perspective of knowing how I identify myself as me, and the other-person (second and third) perspective of how others identify me as who I am – or who they think I am.

It might seem a simple enough concept, but Philosophy has taken the concept to great heights, and it proves to be anything but simple. When one analyses personal identity, a mine-field of questions appear, many of them unanswerable. Many are also ethical, and therefore, worthy of serious investigation.

Like all existing things, persons change over time. So what makes me a person? And if I am constantly changing, am I the ‘same’ person at one time that I was or will be at another? Importantly, is ‘personal identity’ the same thing as the ‘self?’ If this question interests you read on. I don’t guarantee that you will get an answer though!

Writing a thesis involves giving papers at conferences, which allows you to get criticism and feedback. It is quite a challenge, and the feedback can be critical and sometimes demoralising. But it has to be taken in your stride and should motivate you to improve and continue regardless. You don’t get to completion by brilliance, but by perseverance. If you read any of these documents, especially my thesis, drop me a line via the Contact Page and let me know what you think. Enjoy reading!

1998 Post-Graduate Conference: Navigating the Labyrinth – A Critique of Hume’s Bundle Theory of the Self

1999 AAP Conference Paper: A Critique of the Theory of Quasi-Memory

2001 AAP Conference Paper: The Limitations of Thought Experiments

2002 Thesis Abstract and Prologue

2002 PhD Thesis: Complex Persons: A Holistic Solution to Personal Identity

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Between Stimulus and Response, man has the freedom to choose (Stephen Covey)