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Personal Identity

by: Prafulla Kumar Mohapatra

The research studies the problem of personal identity, dealing with the nature/source of the problem, the approach of traditional/modern philosophers and its proper analysis. It finally shows that bodily continuity is the primary criterion of personal identity.

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ISBN: 9788186921081
Year Of Publication: 2000
Edition: 1st
Pages : xii, 308
Bibliographic Details : Appendices; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: Decent Books
Size: 23 cm.
Weight: 550

Overview

One of the most discussed of current topics in Philosophy of Mind is the problem of personal identity — the problem of what, if any thing, makes a later person the same person as an earlier person. The book is a rare attempt to analyse the problem in its various aspects and develop a theory by way of answering the questions involved. It divides itself into three parts dealings with (1) the nature and source of the problem; (2) how it has been approached by various philosophers, traditional and contemporary; and (3) what a proper analysis of it will amount to. The theory that eventually issues out of this analysis is that bodily continuity is the primary criterion of personal identity and the claim of memory as the sole, or even primary, criterion is definitively disallowed. The ideas of disembodied existence and survival, which imply and rest upon the primacy of the memory criterion, are shown to be what they are, i.e., intelligible only in a secondary sense. Of special interest to philosophers is the finding that the problem at issue is a problem of criterion and not of defining personal identity and also an interesting and original trichotomy between definition, criterion and necessary condition.

Contents

Foreward
Preface
Part One
1. Introduction
The Problem
A Special Problem
Part Two
2. The Traditional Approach
Locke and Hume: The Memory Theorists
Butler and Ried: The Intuitionists
Kant and William James
3. The Contemporary Approach
Criterion
Bernard Williams: Bodily Continuity
Shoemaker and Wiggins: A Preference and a Qualification
Derek Parfit: Memory with a Difference (?)
Part Three
4. The Two Criteria
Bodily Continuity Re-Examined
Memory: Not an Independent Criterion
Disembodied Persons
More about Disembodied Persons
5. Concluding Estimate
Conflict of Criteria and the Relevance of Problem Cases
Must There be an Answer? The Importance of Personal Identity
Appendix I : Special Nature of Personal Identity and the Idea of “privileged Access”
Appendix II : Split-Brain Transplant and Meaningfulness of Personal Identity Judgements
Index

Meet the Author
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1942
P.K. Mohapatra got his Ph.D. from the University of Keele, England where he worked as a Commonwealth Scholar during 1974-77 and had been to the United States as a Fulbright Visiting Professor in 1989. A specialist in ‘Philosophy of Mind’ and ‘Philosophy of Values’, he has authored two books, entitled Personal Identity and Concepts and Problems, edited five books and published a number of articles. He has been the President of the Metaphysics Section of the Indian Philosophy Congress in 1983 and also the General President of the All Orissa Philosophy Association in 1998. Currently, Dr. Mohapatra is the senior-most Professor of Philosophy at Utkal University and the General Editor of Utkal Studies in Philosophy series.
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