Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Volume 73, Issue 2, September 2006

Scott Campbell
Pages 339-358

The Conception of a Person as a Series of Mental Events

It is argued that those who accept the psychological criterion of personal identity, such as Parfit and Shoemaker, should accept what I call the 'series' view of a person, according to which a person is a unified aggregate of mental events and states. As well as defending this view against objections, I argue that it allows the psychological theorist to avoid the two lives objection which the 'animalist' theorists have raised against it, an objection which causes great difficulties for the conception of a person that most psychological theorists favour, the constitution view. It is also argued that the series view allows that people can body swap and teleport, which the constitution view-which takes a person to be a physical object (but a distinct physical object from the human being)-has great trouble with.