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Wide content and psychological continuity views of personal identity

Kilcran, AM; (2016) Wide content and psychological continuity views of personal identity. Masters thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Externalism about mental content is the thesis that the content of at least some of a subject’s mental states is individuated by things in the subject’s environment. Psychological continuity accounts of personal identity claim that what it takes for a person to persist over time is to be share a suffi- cient degree of psychological similarity with themselves. I will argue that the truth of externalism about content implies that psychological continuity accounts of personal identity violate a plausible principle about identity, namely the Only x and y principle, which states that an object’s identity and persistence conditions should be not be fixed by anything other than that very object. I will consider whether this result can be avoided by either denying that the Only x and y principle is true or applies in the case of personal identity or by adopting a version of psychological continuity grounded only in narrow content. I argue that taking either of these options means giving up some intuitively plausible views and that this counts against psychological continuity views of personal identity.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Wide content and psychological continuity views of personal identity
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1485771
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