Real People: Personal Identity without Thought Experiments

Paperback | November 1, 1993

byKathleen V. Wilkes

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This book explores the scope and limits of the concept of person-a vexed question in contemporary philosophy. The author begins by questioning the methodology of thought-experimentation, arguing that it engenders inconclusive and unconvincing results, and that truth is stranger than fiction.She then examines an assortment of real-life conditions, including infancy, insanity and dementia, dissociated states, and split brains. The popular faith in continuity of consciousness, and the unity of the person is subjected to sustained criticism. The author concludes with a look at differentviews of the person found in Homer, Aristotle, the post-Cartesians, and contemporary cognitive science.

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This book explores the scope and limits of the concept of person-a vexed question in contemporary philosophy. The author begins by questioning the methodology of thought-experimentation, arguing that it engenders inconclusive and unconvincing results, and that truth is stranger than fiction.She then examines an assortment of real-life ...

Kathleen V. Wilkes is at St Hilda's College, Oxford.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:260 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.55 inPublished:November 1, 1993Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198240805

ISBN - 13:9780198240808

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`Very fascinating reading. This book abounds with exciting scientific facts of the kind philosophers, according to Wilkes, have tended either to neglect or, out of ignorance, to make too much of. It is also replete with stimulating and often provocative theses ... a book that deserves a widereadership. Real People will be enjoyed by anyone interested in the methodology of philosophy and the philosophy of mind.'Canadian Journal of Philosophy