Personal identity as a social concept

  • Author / Creator
    Hayman, Edward
  • The Thesis argues that the concept of ‘personal identity’ is developed in social circumstances, relating to ideas about how the self continues through time and to ‘person-directed’ concerns. Chapter one uses William James’s classification of the constituents of the self, and his idea of the ‘stream of consciousness’, as an introduction to the concept. Chapters two and three deal with: George Mead’s ideas about the self arising in social interaction; Eric Olson’s distinction between ‘biological’ and ‘psychological’ continuity; Mark Johnston’s view of ‘wide psychological continuity’ and his ‘relativist’ approach to personal identity; Robert Nozick’s notions of ‘reflective self-reference’ and the ‘closest continuer’; Derek Parfit’s ‘reductionist’ approach; Wesley Cooper’s elaboration of Nozick’s account. Chapter four favours a physicalist account of the self and a flexible approach to the concept of personal identity, accommodating the needs and practices of the society in which the individual finds himself.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Morton, Adam (Philosophy)
    • Linsky, Bernard (Philosophy)
    • Mos, Leo (Psychology)