oa Alternation - Cognition, Persons, Identity

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



During the last twenty or so years, one particular view as to what constitutes the identity of a person has come as close as anything is likely to come to being the received view amongst philosophers working on the topic. The trend has been to follow the lines of Derek Parfit's update of Locke's view that what makes someone the same person over time is a matter of facts concerning cognition. Overlapping chains formed most importantly by apparent memories, continuing beliefs, desires, projects, and so on (while not forgetting emotional attachments) are held to form your identity (Parfit 1984:205ff, 222). To be more accurate, this continuity is claimed to be what constitutes personal survival, while its holding in a I: I relationship would amount to personal identity (or strict survival).

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