This page features a collection of the best resources on personal identity. To get started, simply choose the type of resource that best suits your learning style.
If you want a comprehensive overview of the idea of personal identity:
- Read the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Personal Identity. However it is quite long at around 9000 words. Here’s a short excerpt that introduces the idea of personal identity:
“What does being the person that you are, from one day to the next, necessarily consist in? This is the question of personal identity, and it is literally a question of life and death, as the correct answer to it determines which types of changes a person can undergo without ceasing to exist. Personal identity theory is the philosophical confrontation with the most ultimate questions of our own existence: who are we, and is there a life after death? In distinguishing those changes in a person that constitute survival from those changes in a person that constitute death, a criterion of personal identity through time is given. Such a criterion specifies, insofar as that is possible, the necessary and sufficient conditions for the survival of persons….”
If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and more engaging introduction:
- Read Charlie Huenemann’s article: If I teleport from Mars, does the original me get destroyed? [1400 words]
If you’d prefer a video introduction:
If you prefer audio and podcasts:
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