Personal Identity  book cover
3rd Edition

Personal Identity

ISBN 9781138092846
Published March 6, 2019 by Routledge
276 Pages

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Book Description

Who am I? What is a person? What does it take for a person to persist from one time to another? What is the relation between the mind and the body? These are just some of the questions that constitute the problem of personal identity, one of the oldest and most fundamental of philosophical questions. Personal Identity, Third Edition is a clear and comprehensive introduction to these questions and more. Harold Noonan places the problem of personal identity in the context of more general puzzles about identity, discussing the major historical theories and more recent debates. The book also includes essential historical and philosophical background to the problem of personal identity as found in the arguments of Locke, Reid and Hume among others.

The third edition of Personal Identity has been thoroughly reviewed in light of advances in the latest literature and research. This includes significant revision to the important problems of the simple and complex distinction and its relation to reductionism; temporal parts; and the distinction between perdurance and endurance theorists. Noonan also includes an up to date examination of personal identity and memory and personal identity and animalism, particularly the work of Shoemaker, Parfit, Olson and hybrid theorists.

Including helpful chapter summaries and annotated further reading at the end of each chapter, Personal Identity, Third Edition is essential reading for all students of philosophy of mind and metaphysics, as well as students interested in ethics.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Edition

Preface to the Second Edition

Preface to the First Edition

1. An Initial Survey

2. Locke

3. Leibniz, Butler and Reid


5. Identity and Personal Identity

6. Identity and Determinacy

7. The Reduplication Problem

8. Quasi-Memory

9. Parfit and What Matters in Survival

10. The Self and the Future

11. Persons, Animals and Human Beings

12. Against the Closest Continuer Theory




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Harold W. Noonan is Professor of Mind and Cognition in the Philosophy Department of the University of Nottingham, UK.


Praise for previous editions:

'Noonan writes with exceptional clarity, has a masterful command of the issues and of the literature, and is judicious, acute and clear-headed in his analysis and criticisms of arguments and positions.' - Times Literary Supplement

'Well informed and sophisticated discussion...very rewarding and challenging.' - Mind

' ideal source book for those seeking a rigorous but accessible introduction to the topic. Noonan's discussions are fair and accurate, and his criticisms are often well-placed. Highly recommended.' - CHOICE