Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Article contents

On Remaining the Same Person

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 January 2009

Ardon Lyon
Affiliation:
The City University

Extract

People are organisms of a characteristic shape, with individual personalities, abilities and memories. Each of these features varies through time, but does not normally change very abruptly before death. Because these changes are only gradual, we are able to pick out one and the same individual through time, and refer to him, her or it by use of a proper name, just as we are able to refer to one and the same planet, animal or building. In particular, organisms change shape only gradually, and we have every reason to believe in the possibility of our continuing to watch the spatiotemporally continuous life-history of one and the same organism.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Royal Institute of Philosophy 1980

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

1 I have suggested this terminology, and the reasons for it in the light of the current somewhat varied philosophical usage, in ‘Criteria and Evidence’, Mind LXXXIII, No. 330 (04 1974).Google Scholar

2 Swinburne, R. G., ‘Personal Identity’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society LXXIV (1974), 240, 244.Google Scholar

3 See Bambrough, Renford, ‘Universals and Family Resemblances’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society LXI (19601961).Google Scholar

4 Since I wrote the first draft of this paper, Borowski, E. J.'s article ‘Identity and Personal Identity’ has appeared in Mind (10 1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, in which he argues that ‘diachronic’ identity is a family resemblance concept. I agree with almost everything he says in that admirable piece of work.

5 Wiggins, David, ‘Locke, Butler and the Stream of Consciousness: and Men as a Natural Kind’, Philosophy 51, No. 196 (04 1976), 155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

6 I have argued these points in more detail in ‘Family Resemblance, Vagueness, and Change of Meaning’, Theoria XXIV (1968).Google Scholar

7 See my ‘Criteria and Evidence’, op. cit., footnote 1.

8 I have attempted to do this in detail in the doctoral thesis referred to in footnote 14.

9 Shorter, J. M., ‘Personal Identity, Personal Relationships, and Criteria’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society LXXI (19701971).Google Scholar

10 This moral truth is apparently overlooked by Roger Wertheimer in his intelligent and sympathetic ‘Understanding the Abortion Argument’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 1, No. 1 (1971)Google Scholar. Wertheimer is one of the few writers to present a cogent non-religious argument for the extreme conservative position. But the ‘ontological status’ of the foetus is not the only or perhaps even the most important question at issue here, as is conclusively shown by McLachlan, Hugh V. in ‘Must We Accept Either the Conservative or the Liberal View on Abortion?’, Analysis 37, No. 4 (06 1977).CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

11 Williams, Bernard, ‘Personal Identity and Individuation’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society LVII (19561957)Google Scholar. This article, together with replies to criticism, is reprinted in Williams, 's Problems of the self (Cambridge University Press, 1973).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

12 Thus Parfit, Derek in his otherwise excellent ‘Personal Identity’, Philosophical Review LXXX (1971).Google Scholar

13 Janouch, Gustav, Conversations with Kafka (Stuttgart: Fischer Verlag, 1951)Google Scholar, English edition translated by Rees, Goronwy (London: André Deutsch, 1971), 22.Google Scholar

14 This paper is based on part of a doctoral thesis accepted at Cambridge University in 1964. I am much indebted to Renford Bambrough and more specifically to my supervisor John Wisdom for a great deal of help with that work. A first draft of the paper was read at the University of Toronto in September 1976: I am extremely grateful to members of the Faculty there for their helpful criticisms.

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 15 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 28th January 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Hostname: page-component-6585876b8c-kcdpr Total loading time: 0.288 Render date: 2021-01-28T09:47:33.088Z Query parameters: { "hasAccess": "0", "openAccess": "0", "isLogged": "0", "lang": "en" } Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": false }

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

On Remaining the Same Person
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

On Remaining the Same Person
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

On Remaining the Same Person
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *