Surviving, to some degree

Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3805-3831 (2020)
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In this paper we argue that reflection on the patterns of practical concern that agents like us exhibit strongly suggests that the same person relation comes in continuous degrees rather than being an all or nothing matter. We call this the SP-degree thesis. Though the SP-degree thesis is consistent with a range of views about personal-identity, we argue that combining desire-first approaches to personal-identity with the SP-degree thesis better explains our patterns of practical concern, and hence gives us reason to endorse such an approach. We then argue that the combination of the SP-degree thesis and the desire-first approach are best modelled by a stage-theoretic view of persistence according to which temporal counterpart relations are non-symmetric relations that come in continuous degrees. Ultimately, we think that the overall appeal of this package of views provides reason to accept the package: reasons that outstrip the reasons we have to endorse any particular member of the package.

Author Profiles

Kristie Miller
University of Sydney
David Braddon-Mitchell
University of Sydney


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