Personal identity, the causal condition, and the simple view

Steve Matthews*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Among theories of personal identity over time, the simple view has not been popular among philosophers, but it nevertheless remains the default view among non-philosophers. It may be construed either as the view that nothing grounds a claim of personal identity over time, or that something quite simple (a soul perhaps) is the ground. If the former construal is accepted, a conspicuous difficulty is that the condition of causal dependence between person-stages is absent. But this leaves such a view open to an objection from the failure to provide a condition of individuation. If, on the other hand something like a soul is said to ground personal identity over time, such an account turns out to be more suited to a kind of continuity view.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-208
Number of pages26
JournalPhilosophical Papers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


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