SUBJECTIVE THEORIES OF PERSONAL IDENTITY AND PRACTICAL CONCERNS
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This paper focuses on three theories of personal identity that incorporate the idea that personal identity is the result of a person’s adopting certain attitudes towards certain mental states and actions. The author calls these theories subjective theories of personal identity. He argues that it is not clear what the proponents of these theories mean by “personal identity”. On standard theories, such as animalism or psychological theories, the term “personal identity” refers to the numerical identity of persons and its analysis provides the persistence conditions for persons. He argues that if the subjective theories purport to provide a criterion of numerical personal identity, they fail. A different interpretation may suggest that they purport to provide a non-numerical type of identity for the purpose of providing plausible analyses of certain identity-related practical concerns. The author argues that the criteria the subjective theories provide fail to capture several of the identity-related concerns. As a result, this interpretation must be rejected as well.
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