Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Time, Fission, and Personal Identity

Issue: Issue 09 • Author/s: John Perry
Topics: Metaphysics

I argue that the account I gave of Derek Parfit’s dividing self-case in “Can the Self Divide?” does not depend on a dubious four-dimensionalist metaphysics as claimed by Eric Olson (2006). I explain my metaphysics of time, and then re-describe my solution in “Can the Self Divide?” comparing it to treatments of the dividing selves by Parfit and Lewis.

Parfit’s Metaphysics and What Matters in Survival

Issue: Issue 09 • Author/s: Eric Olson
Topics: Metaphysics

Derek Parfit takes the central principle of his discussions of personal identity to be “reductionism”: that our existence and persistence are not basic facts, but consist in something else. A number of striking claims, including the famous unimportance of identity, are supposed to follow from it. But they don’t follow. The main principle in Parfit’s arguments is something far more contentious that is never mentioned: a capacious ontology of material things. But the capacious ontology makes trouble for Parfit: it weakens his claim about the unimportance of identity and undermines…