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Phenomenal Self-Identity Over Time

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The analysis of personal identity over time (personal persistence) in terms of properties of the first-person perspective has been neglected for quite a while. However, there seems to be an interesting relation between experiential features on the one hand and the notion of personal persistence on the other hand. This idea is famously spelled out in an argument introduced by Barry Dainton (2000; 2005; 2008), according to which diachronic personal persistence consists in experiential continuity (stream of consciousness). This paper challenges one central claim of the argument, whose main target is to ward o the threat of factual interruptions in the stream of consciousness. It will be objected that this problem cannot be properly solved. However, the relevance of experiential features to personal persistence can be shown if one leaves behind the question of criteria of personal identity over time and instead turns to the question of what it means to have a sense of self-identity over time. It will be argued that not only experiential continuity but also experiential features of episodic memory characterise the sense of self-identity over time.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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