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Complex persons : a holistic solution to personal identity

Enright, Pauline M.(Pauline Mary) 2002 , 'Complex persons : a holistic solution to personal identity', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The contemporary problem of personal identity can be traced to Locke's initial
formulation of the problem, and to the difficulties inherent in his solution.
Following Locke, the favoured view in contemporary literature is that the
primary locus of personal identity is in a person's psychological states or mind,
to the exclusion of other factors, such as a person's body, or a person's
environment. This thesis critically challenges the view that psychological
continuity alone grounds personal identity.
In addressing the psychological continuity criterion, I argue that the most fully
developed version of this criterion contains untenable presuppositions about
the nature of psychological states. In particular, I argue that the thought
experiments advanced in support of the psychological continuity criterion are
not adequate to establish that psychological continuity alone grounds
personal identity. I also challenge the internalist conception of mental states
implicit in the psychological continuity criterion, and the commitment to an
atomistic, owner-independent characterisation of mental states. I argue
instead for a characterisation that is holistic and owner-dependent. I also
defend the view that the body plays a positive role in personal identity, and
that self-unity is a necessary condition for the possibility of experience. Throughout the thesis there is a strong commitment to the view that conceptual
analysis alone is insufficient to solve the crucial issues involved in personal
identity. There is, therefore, a significant utilisation of current empirical
research and studies to support this commitment. Throughout the thesis also,
attention is paid to the ethical implications of the psychological continuity
criterion's conception of personhood, and to the practical consequences
which are likely to be involved in this conception, were it to be adopted.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Enright, Pauline M.(Pauline Mary)
Keywords: Identity (Philosophical concept), Personality, Self (Philosophy)
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2002 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2002. Includes bibliographical references

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