The essays collected in this volume address a range of issues that arise when the focus of philosophical reflection on identity is shifted from metaphysical to practical and evaluative concerns. They also explore the usefulness of the notion of narrative for articulating and responding to these issues.
The chapters, written by an outstanding roster of international scholars, address a range of complex philosophical issues concerning the relationship between practical and metaphysical identity, the embodied dimensions of the first-personal perspective, the kind of reflexive agency involved in the self-constitution of one’s practical identity, the relationship between practical identity and normativity, and the temporal dimensions of identity and selfhood. In addressing these issues, contributors engage with debates in the literatures on personal identity, phenomenology, moral psychology, action theory, normative ethical theory, and feminist philosophy.
"Narrative conceptions of agency have attracted considerable philosophical interest in recent years, and this book makes a significant contribution to the growing literature on this theme…Along with Mackenzie's introduction, which helpfully contextualizes and thematizes the volumes, these papers treat a rich array of interrelated topics. They are not only individually worth reading, but also resonate with one another and work well together as a collection." -- Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
1. Introduction: Practical Identity and Narrative Agency
Part I: Personal Identity and Continuity
2. Staying Alive: Personal Continuation and a Life Worth Having
3. Personal Identity: Practical or Metaphysical?
4. Narrative Identity and Embodied Continuity
Part II: Practical Identity and Practical Deliberation
5. Personal Identity Management
6. Imagination, Identity and Self-Transformation
7. Why Search for Lost Time: Memory, Autonomy, and Practical Reason
Part III: Selfhood and Normative Agency
8. The Way of the Wanton
J. David Velleman
9. Losing One's Self
10. Normative Agency
Jeanette Kennett and Steve Matthews
11. Remorse and Moral Identity
Part IV: Selfhood, Narrative and Time
12. Shaping a Life: Narrative, Time and Necessity
13. How to Change the Past