No Work for a Theory of Personal Identity
A main element in Richard Swinburne’s (2019) argument for substance dualism concerns the conditions of a person’s continued existence over time. In this commentary I aim to question two things: first, whether the kind of imaginary cases that Swinburne relies on to make his case should be accorded the kind of weight he supposes; and second, whether philosophers should be concerned to give any substantial theory, of the sort that dualism and its competitors are apparently meant to provide, to explain the conditions of personal identity after all. My suggestion, instead, will be that the concept of a person’s continued existence is better taken as philosophically unanalyzable.
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