Personal identity

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-V024-3
Version: v3,  Published online: 2017
Retrieved October 19, 2018, from

References and further reading

  • Baker, L. (2000) Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (A detailed defence of the constitution theory as a general metaphysical view and as it applies to persons.)

  • Beck, S. (2014) ‘Transplant Thought-Experiments: Two Costly Mistakes in Discounting Them’, South African Journal of Philosophy, 33(2):189-199.

    (A defense of the use of thought experiments in discussions of personal identity.)

  • Blatti, S. (2012) ‘A New Argument for Animalism', Analysis, 72: 685-690.

    (An evolutionary argument for animalism.)

  • Carter, W.R. (1990) ‘Why Personal Identity is Animal Identity', Logos, 11: 71-81.

    (An early defense of animalism.)

  • Davenport, J. (2012) Nattaive, Identity and Autonomy: from Macintyre to Kierkegaard, London: Routledge.

    (A defence of narrative views of practical identity against their critics.)

  • DeGrazia, D. (2005) Human Identity and Bioethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (A complex account of personal identity applied to problems in bioethics.)

  • Dennett, D. (1990) Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

    (A naturalistic account of free will with a discussion of thought experiments.)

  • Dennett, D. (1992) ‘The Self as a Center of Narrative Gravity’, in Frank S. Kessel, Pamela M. Cole and Dale L. Johnson (ed.) Self and Consciousness: Multiple Perspectives, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 103–115.

    (An empirically inspired narrative account of the self.)

  • Häggqvist, S. (2009) ‘A Model for Thought Experiments', Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 39: 56-76.

    (Presents a model for thought experiments that describes how they aspire to create knowledge and considers differences between the use of thought experiments in different contexts.)

  • Hershenov, D. (2005) ‘Do Dead Bodies Pose a Problem for Biological Approaches to Personal Identity?', Mind, 114: 31-59.

    (An argument that animalism can withstand the argument from the ‘corpse problem’.)

  • Hudson, H. (2001) A Materialist Metaphysics of the Human Person, Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press.

    (A fairly technical book that defends a view of the metaphysics of human persons according to which human persons are material objects but not human organisms.)

  • Johnston, M. (1997) ‘Human Concerns without Superlative Selves' in Jonathan Dancy (ed.) Reading Parfit, Oxford: Blackwell, 149-79.

    (A defense of the view that our practices concerning persons do not rest on metaphysical facts.)

  • Korsgaard, C. (1989) 'Personal Identity and the Unity of Agency: A Kantian Reply to Parfit', Philosophy & Public Affairs 18 (2): 101–132.

    (An original and important argument for defining personal identity in terms of agential unity.)

  • Lamarque, P. (2007) ‘On the Distance between Literary Narratives and Real-Life Narratives’, in Daniel Hutto (ed.) Narrative and Understanding Persons, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 117–132.

    (Argues that narrative theorists exaggerate the structural connections between life and literature.)

  • Lewis, D. (1976) ‘Survival and Identity’, in A. O. Rorty (ed.) The Identities of Persons, Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 17–40.

    (A fairly technical account of the four-dimensionalist response to the fission case.)

  • Lindemann, H. (2001) Damaged Identities, Narrative Repair, (as Hilde Lindemann Nelson) Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

    (A view of identities as constituted by social narratives which can be damaged by oppressive master narratives and repaired by counternarratives.)

  • Lindemann, H. (2014) Holding and Letting Go: the Social Practice of Personal Identities, New York: Oxford University Press.

    (An account of the narrative social practices through which identities are constituted and damaged.)

  • Lizza, John P. (2006) Persons, Humanity, and the Definition of Death, Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

    (An argument against a strictly biological understanding of death that includes a constitution view of persons.)

  • Locke, J. (1689) An Essay concerning Human Understanding, ed. P. Nidditch, Oxford: Clarendon Press,1975.

    (II.xxvii contains the classic statement of the modern problem of personal identity and the original statement of central insights behind the psychological approach.)

  • MacIntyre, Alasdair (1984) After Virtue, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.

    (A reflection on the state of moral theorizing which includes a description of a person’s life as a narrative replete with meaning.)

  • Mackie, D. (1999a) 'Animalism vs. Lockeanism: No Contest', Philosophical Quarterly, 49: 369-376.

    (Argues that animalism and Lockeanism are incompatible and that animalism is the superior view.)

  • Mackie, D. (1999b) 'Personal Identity and Dead People', Philosophical Studies, 95: 219-242.

    (An argument that people can exist as corpses and that this has implications for the personal identity debate.)

  • Martin, R. and Barresi, J. (2003) Personal Identity, Malden, MA: Blackwell.

    (An extremely useful collection of recent essays on personal identity.)

  • McMahan, J. (2002) The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life, New York: Oxford University Press.

    (A meticulous argument for a minimalist account of identity and its application to difficult ethical problems.)

  • Noonan, H. (1989) Personal Identity, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul; 2nd edn 2003.

    (An important survey of the major issues in the personal identity debate.)

  • Olson, E. (1997) The Human Animal: Personal Identity without Psychology, New York: Oxford University Press.

    (A clear and well-argued defence of animalism.)

  • Olson, E. (1998) 'There is no Problem of the Self', Journal of Consciousness Studies, 5:645-57.

    (An argument that the word ‘self’ is not used consistently, causes confusion in philosophical discourse, and should therefore be avoided in that context.)

  • Olson, E. (2007) What Are We? A Study in Personal Ontology, New York: Oxford University Press.

    (A consideration of various theories of what we most fundamentally are which looks at the strengths and weaknesses of each view.)

  • Parfit, D. (1984) Reasons and Persons, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (A groundbreaking work that reviews the major positions in the personal-identity debate, offers radical new positions and explores their implications for ethics.)

  • Parfit, D. (2012) 'We are not Human Being', Philosophy , 87:5-28.

    (A defence of Lockean accounts of personal identity against animalist objections using the view that persons are proper parts of human animals.)

  • Perry, J. (1972) ‘Can the Self Divide?’, Journal of Philosophy 69 (16): 463–488.

    (A fairly technical response to the fission case.)

  • Perry, J. (1975) Personal Identity, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

    (An important and useful collection of early papers in the personal-identity debate.)

  • Perry, J. (1976) ‘The Importance of Being Identical’, in A. Rorty (ed.) The Identities of Persons, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

    (A defence of the psychological approach against the argument that it cannot explain future-directed self-concern.)

  • Perry, J. (1978) A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality, Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company.

    (An introduction to the personal-identity debate in dialogue form.)

  • Ricoeur, P. (1990) Soi-méme comme un autre, Paris: Éditions du Seuil; trans. Kathleen Blamey, Oneself as Another, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

    (A detailed hermeneutical narrative account.)

  • Rorty, A. (ed.) (1976) The Identities of Persons, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

    (An important anthology of classic papers on personal identity.)

  • Rudd, A. (2012) Self, Value, and Narrative: A Kierkegaardian Approach, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (A defence of the narrative view of self which makes use of insights from Kierkegaard.)

  • Rovane, C. (1998) The Bounds of Agency: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    (A revisionary account that defines identity in terms of the unity of a rational rather than phenomenological point of view.)

  • Schechtman, M. (1996) The Constitution of Selves, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

    (Argues that the narrative approach is superior to the psychological continuity theory.)

  • Schechtman, M. (2014) Staying Alive: Personal Identity, Practical Concerns, and the Unity of a Life, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (Agues for a view of persons as constituted by the unity of a characteristic kind of life that involves dynamic interaction between biological, psychological, and social features.)

  • Shoemaker, D. (2007) ‘Personal Identity and Practical Concerns’, Mind 116 (462): 317–357.

    (An article exploring the complexity of the relations between personal identity and the practical.)

  • Shoemaker, S. (1984) ‘Personal Identity: A Materialist’s Account’, in S. Shoemaker and R. Swinburne (eds) Personal Identity, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 67–138.

    (A defense of a version of the psychological approach.)

  • Shoemaker, S. (1984) ‘Persons, Animals, and Identity’, Synthese , 162:313-324.

    (A defense of the psychological approach against animalist objections which develops a constitution view of identity and distinguishes between two different senses of ‘animal’.)

  • Snowdon, P. F. (1990) ‘Person, Animals, and Ourselves‘, in C. Gill (ed.) The Person and the Human Mind: Issues in Ancient and Modern Philosophy, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 83-107.

    (A subtle early defense of animalism.)

  • Snowdon, P. F. (2014) Persons, Animals, Ourselves, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (A thorough and forceful challenge to the intuitions that are taken to support psychological accounts of personal identity which claims that presumption should be given to animalism.)

  • Stokes, P. (2015) The Naked Self: Kierkegaard and Personal Identity, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (A fascinating development of a contemporary narrative view using insights from Kierkegaard.)

  • Strawson, G. (2004) 'Against Narrativity', Ratio 17 (4): 428–452.

    (A powerful attack on narrative views of self.)

  • Taylor, C. (1989) Sources of the Self, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

    (A sweeping historical discussion of the notion of personal identity and defence of the hermeneutical narrative view.)

  • Unger, P. (1990) Identity, Consciousness, and Value, New York: Oxford University Press.

    (A thoughtful and wide-ranging argument for a minimalist view of identity.)

  • Van Inwagen, P. (1990) Material Beings, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

    (A metaphysical account of objects which includes a defense of animalism.)

  • Vice, S. (2003) 'Literature and the Narrative Self', Philosophy, Issue 1: 93-108.

    (A spirited challenge to narrative accounts of identity which argues that narrative self-conceptions can be oppressive.)

  • Wilkes, K. (1988) Real People: Personal Identity without Thought Experiments, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    (A compelling argument against the use of science-fiction thought experiments in the investigation of personal identity.)

  • Williams, B. (1973) ‘The Self and the Future’, inProblems of the Self: Philosophical Papers 1956–1972, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (A collection of original and thoughtful papers about self and identity.)

  • Wolf, S. (1986) 'Self-Interest and Interest in Selves', Ethics Vol. 96, No. 4, pp. 704-720.

    (An argument that there are reasons to take a practical interest in persons even if Parfit’s reductionist view is true.)

  • Zahavi, D. (2007) ‘Self and other: The limits of narrative understanding’ in D. Hutto (ed.) Narrative and Understanding Persons, Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 60, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 179-201.

    (An argument that the narrative self depends upon a pre-existing minimal self whose existence is supported by both phenomenology and neuroscience.)

Citing this article:
Schechtman, Marya. Bibliography. Personal identity, 2017, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-V024-3. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2018 Routledge.

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