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    The question of personal identity

    James, Susan (2022) The question of personal identity. In: Maitra, K. and MacWeeney, J. (eds.) Feminist Philosophy of Mind. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190867614.

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    This chapter explains how a hierarchical and gendered opposition between mind and body is at work in philosophical discussions of personal identity within the analytic tradition. It focuses on a prominent tendency to center the question of what constitutes survival of a self from t1 to t2 and goes on to show that imaginary examples of character transplant are designed to demonstrate that survival is a matter of psychological continuity. On these accounts, bodily continuity seems irrelevant for personhood or its survival. Drawing on feminist research into the effects of bodily trauma, the chapter proposes that, in hypothetical cases of transplant, psychological continuity could be shattered. Insofar as a trauma victim’s sense of self can only be restored through the recognition of others, personal identity is socially constructed. Book synopsis: This is the first collection of essays to focus on feminist philosophy of mind. It brings the theoretical insights from feminist philosophy to issues in philosophy of mind and vice versa. Feminist Philosophy of Mind thus promises to challenge and inform dominant theories in both of its parent fields, thereby enlarging their rigor, scope, and implications. In addition to engaging analytic and feminist philosophical traditions, essays draw upon resources in phenomenology, cross-cultural philosophy, philosophy of race, disability studies, embodied cognition theory, neuroscience, and psychology. The book's methods center on the collective consideration of three questions: What is the mind? Whose mind is the model for the theory? To whom is mind attributed? Topics considered with this lens include mental content, artificial intelligence, the first-person perspective, personal identity, other minds, mental illness, perception, memory, attention, desire, trauma, agency, empathy, grief, love, gender, race, sexual orientation, materialism, panpsychism, enactivism, and others. Each of the book's twenty chapters are organized according to five core themes: Mind and Gender&Race&; Self and Selves; Naturalism and Normativity; Body and Mind; and Memory and Emotion. The introduction traces the development of these themes with reference to the respective literatures in feminist philosophy and philosophy of mind. This context not only helps the reader see how the essays fit into existing disciplinary landscapes, but also facilitates their use in teaching. Feminist Philosophy of Mind is designed to be used as a core text for courses in contemporary disciplines, and as a supplemental text that facilitates the ready integration of diverse perspectives and women's voices.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): personal identity, self, feminism, bodily continuity, psychological continuity, mind-body dualism, trauma
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Susan James
    Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2022 09:44
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:17


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