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date: 03 October 2022

personal identity. 

Source:
The Oxford Companion to the Mind
Author(s):
Godfrey N. A. VeseyGodfrey N. A. Vesey

In ordinary everyday affairs we are sometimes concerned with questions of personal identity. The police, for example, may want to know whether the man they have detained is the man who broke into the cricket pavilion. It may be a difficult question to answer. Perhaps the fingerprints on the door jamb were smudged. But the difficulty is not of a sort which calls for reflection on what is meant by ‘personal identity’. For the police, questions like ‘Is this the same person?’ are practical questions, not conceptual ones. The questions and answers involve the criteria of personal identity, but they are not about the criteria.... ...

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