Introduction to Part Three: Personal identity

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Derek Parfit groups theories of personal identity into two families, that is, reductionist and non-reductionist views. Parfit’s strategy to argue for the conclusions, especially those related to his views on personal identity, relies on a series of thought experiments. In research and development, Parfit seems to draw the distinction in metaphysical terms, more precisely, in terms of the difference in the alleged metaphysical dependence or constitution of the metaphysical fact(s) of identity. Parfit claims that ‘recent’ findings further support the reductionist view. In considering whether both psychological connectedness and continuity matter, Parfit seems to believe that caring about only psychological continuity may involve deep regret. Parfit claims that there are different ways in which reductionism can be combined with our preferred principles of distribution; for instance, reductionism may justify changes to the scope or to the weight of these principles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDerek Parfit's Reasons and Persons : An Introduction and Critical Inquiry
EditorsAndrea SAUCHELLI
ISBN (Electronic)9780429948954, 9780429488450
ISBN (Print)9781138595118
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


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