The Valuing Theory of Personal Identity over Time: Philosophical Analysis and Practical Applications Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 22, 2019
Creator
  • Davis, Nena Therese
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
Abstract
  • Under what conditions and in virtue of what does a human being remain the same person over time, despite important changes in her psychology? Many ethical and policy issues are connected to this question. For example: Should we consider a patient in the middle or late stages of Alzheimer's disease to be the same person who authored an advance directive when that patient was legally competent? Should we be concerned about altering the identity of an individual when that individual receives psychoactive drugs or drugs that have psychoactive side effects? In this dissertation, I propose a new theory of personal identity over time that avoids the pitfalls of previous theories. According to my theory, a human being is the same person over time if and only if that human being continues to value as that person did previously or what and how the human being values changes as a result of that person's reflection. This project ends with some early applications of my theory, including considering whether changes in a human being's appetites, moods, and connections to reality sometimes transform that human being into another person.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Wolf, Susan
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2012
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