Against the complex versus simple distinction
MetadataShow full item record
This paper examines three proposals on the difference between complex and simple views about personal identity: Parfit’s original introduction of the distinction, Gasser and Stefan’s definition and Noonan’s recent proposal. I argue that the first two classify the paradigm cases of simplicity as complex, while Noonan’s proposal makes simplicity and complexity turn on features whose relevance for the distinction is questionable. Given these difficulties, I examine why we should be interested in whether a position is complex or simple. I describe two purposes of having a distinction, and show that extant accounts of the complex vs. simple distinction fail to serve these. I argue that unless we find a satisfying account of the difference between complex and simple positions, we should not frame discourses on personal identity in these terms.
Hummel , P 2017 , ' Against the complex versus simple distinction ' , Erkenntnis , vol. 82 , no. 3 , pp. 363-378 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s10670-016-9822-x
© The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.