Self and identity

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2022.10.06 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Trenton Merricks, Self and identity, Oxford University Press, 2022, 184pp., $70.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780192843432.

Reviewed by Roy W. Perrett

Trenton Merricks’ latest book addresses what he takes to be an unfortunate fragmentation in the contemporary literature on personal identity between discussions of ethical issues about what matters in survival and metaphysical issues about the numerical identity and persistence of persons. He believes the trouble here is due to a failure to distinguish clearly between the following two (distinct) questions (1):

The What Question: What is it for a person at a future time to have (at that time) what matters in survival for you

The Why Question: What way of being related to a (conscious) person at a future time explains why that person will have (at that time) what matters in survival for you?

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