Identity, Consciousness and Value

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Oxford University Press, Jul 12, 1990 - Philosophy - 368 pages
The topic of personal identity has prompted some of the liveliest and most interesting debates in recent philosophy. In a fascinating new contribution to the discussion, Peter Unger presents a psychologically aimed, but physically based, account of our identity over time. While supporting the account, he explains why many influential contemporary philosophers have underrated the importance of physical continuity to our survival, casting a new light on the work of Lewis, Nagel, Nozick, Parfit, Perry, Shoemaker, and others. Deriving from his discussion of our identity itself, Unger produces a novel but commonsensical theory of the relations between identity and some of our deepest concerns. In a conservative but flexible spirit, he explores the implications of his theory for questions of value and of the good life.
 

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Contents

AN INTRODUCTION
3
SIX METAPHYSICAL DOCTRINES
36
3 THE PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH TO OUR SURVIVAL
66
4 THE PHYSICAL APPROACH TO OUR SURVIVAL
102
5 A PHYSICALLY BASED APPROACH TO OUR SURVIVAL
139
AGAINST THE SIX METAPHYSICAL DOCTRINES
170
DISTINCTIONS COMPROMISES AND LIMITS
211
8 FISSION AND THE FOCUS OF ONES LIFE
255
9 THE APPRECIATION OF OUR ACTUAL VALUES
295
Bibliography
339
Name Index
343
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About the author (1990)

Peter Unger is Professor of Philosophy at New York University. He is the author of Ignorance (OUP 1975, 2002), Philosophical Relativity (1984, OUP 2002), and Living High and Letting Die (OUP 1996).

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