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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Identity is a basic concept which concerns the way in which the world divides up at one time into different things which are then reidentified despite change over the course of time until they cease to exist. Important debates concern the relation between identity and similarity, between something’s identity and the kind of thing it is, how far identity is fixed by human interests, and especially whether identity over time is really coherent. But the special focus of philosophical debate has long been the topic of personal identity—how far this is distinct from that of our bodies and how far it is determined by our self-consciousness. Recent discussions have also emphasized the importance of our sense of our own identity, which perhaps gives a narrative unity to our lives.

Keywords: identity, similarity, natural kind, person, self, self-consciousness, Leibniz, Locke, Hume

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