•  701
  •  529
    Personal Identity
    Routledge. 1989.
    What is the self? And how does it relate to the body? In the second edition of Personal Identity, Harold Noonan presents the major historical theories of personal identity, particularly those of Locke, Leibniz, Butler, Reid and Hume. Noonan goes on to give a careful analysis of what the problem of personal identity is, and its place in the context of more general puzzles about identity. He then moves on to consider the main issues and arguments which are the subject of current debate, including …Read more
  •  452
    Presentism and Eternalism
    Erkenntnis 78 (1): 219-227. 2013.
    How is the debate between presentism and eternalism to be characterized? It is usual to suggest that this debate about time is analogous to the debate between the actualist and the possibilist about modality. I think that this suggestion is right. In what follows I pursue the analogy more strictly than is usual and offer a characterization of what is at the core of the dispute between presentists and eternalists that may be immune to worries often raised about the substantiality of the debate. I…Read more
  •  413
    Personal pronoun revisionism (so-called by Olson, E. 2007. What are We? A Study in Personal Ontology. Oxford: Oxford University Press) is a response to the problem of the thinking animal on behalf of the neo-Lockean theorist. Many worry about this response. The worry rests on asking the wrong question, namely: how can two thinkers that are so alike differ in this way in their cognitive capacities? This is the wrong question because they don't. The right question is: how can they fail to be the s…Read more
  •  340
    The complex and simple views of personal identity
    Analysis 71 (1): 72-77. 2011.
    What is the difference between the complex view of personal identity over time and the simple view? Traditionally, the defenders of the complex view are said to include Locke and Hume, defenders of the simple view to include Butler and Reid. In our own time it is standard to think of Chisholm and Swinburne as defenders of the simple view and Shoemaker, Parfit, Williams and Lewis as defenders of the complex view. But how exactly is the distinction to be characterized? One difference between the t…Read more
  •  304
    Bird against the Humeans
    Ratio 23 (1): 73-86. 2010.
    Debate between Humean contingentists and anti-Humean necessitarians in the philosophy of science is ongoing. One of the most important contemporary anti-Humeans is Alexander Bird. Bird calls the particular version of Humeanism he is opposed to 'categoricalism'. In his paper (2005) and in Chapter 4 of his book (2007) Bird argues against categoricalism about properties and laws. His arguments against categoricalism about properties are intended to support the necessitarian position he calls dispos…Read more
  •  292
    In his book, Eric Olson (2007) makes some criticisms of a response to the problem of the thinking animal (also called the ‘too many minds’ or ‘too many thinkers’ problem) which I have offered, on behalf of the neo-Lockean psychological continuity theorist. Olson calls my proposal ‘personal pronoun revisionism’ (though I am not suggesting any revision). In what follows I shall say what my proposal actually is, defend it and briefly respond to Olson's criticism.
  •  268
    Coincidence comes in two varieties – permanent and temporary. Moderate monism is the position that permanent coincidence, but not temporary coincidence, entails identity. Extreme monism is the position that even temporary coincidence entails identity. Pluralists are opponents of monism tout court. The intuitively obvious, commonsensical position is moderate monism. It is therefore important to see if it can be sustained.
  •  259
    Sider’s (2001) modification of the Lewisean argument from vagueness for unrestricted mereological composition is advertised as having the advantage over the original that the assumption of the semantic determinacy of ‘part of’ (its lack of multiple eligible precisifications) is not required. This is not so; without this assumption the crucial step in Sider’s defence of his most contentious premiss, (P3), is one no defender of the linguistic theory of vagueness is obliged to take. Since the aim o…Read more
  •  239
    Constitution is identity
    Mind 102 (405): 133-146. 1993.
    In his interesting article 'Constitution is not Identity' (1992), Mark Johnston argues that (in a sense soon to be explained) constitution is distinct from identity. In what follows, I dispute Johnston's contention.
  •  225
    On the notion of a sortal concept
    Philosophical Quarterly 28 (110): 58-64. 1978.
  •  222
    Perdurance, location and classical mereology
    Analysis 69 (3): 448-452. 2009.
    In his Ted Sider takes care to define the notion of a temporal part and his doctrine of perdurantism using only the temporally indexed notion of parthood – ‘ x is part of y at t’ – rather than the atemporal notion of classical mereology – ‘ x is a part of y’ – in order to forestall accusations of unintelligibility from his opponents. However, as he notes, endurantists do not necessarily reject the classical mereological notion as unintelligible. They allow that it makes sense and applies to atem…Read more
  •  218
    The Only x and y Principle
    Analysis 45 (2): 79-83. 1985.
  •  193
    Count Nouns and Mass Nouns
    Analysis 38 (4): 167-172. 1978.
    The paper argues that one distinction between concrete count nouns and concrete mass nouns is that geach's derelativization thesis is valid for the former but not valid for the latter. That is, Where 'f' is a concrete count noun 'x is (an) f' means 'for some y, X is the same f as y', But where 'f' is a concrete mass noun this is not so; rather, In this case, 'x is f' is tantamount to 'for some y, X is the f of y'. It is further suggested that abstract nouns are in this respect to be grouped with…Read more
  •  168
    The New Aristotelian Essentialists
    Metaphysica 19 (1): 87-93. 2018.
    In recent years largely due to the seminal work of Kit Fine and that of Jonathan Lowe there has been a resurgence of interest in the concept of essence and the project of explaining de re necessity in terms of it. Of course, Quine rejected what he called Aristotelian essentialism in his battle against quantified modal logic. But what he and Kripke debated was a notion of essence defined in terms of de re necessity. The new Aristotelian essentialists regard essence as entailing but prior in the o…Read more
  •  162
    Are there vague objects?
    Analysis 64 (2): 131-134. 2004.
  •  147
    Modal realism, still at your convenience
    with Mark Jago
    Analysis 77 (2): 299-303. 2017.
    Divers presents a set of de re modal truths which, he claims, are inconvenient for Lewisean modal realism. We argue that there is no inconvenience for Lewis.
  •  144
    Relative Identity
    Philosophical Investigations 38 (1-2): 52-71. 2015.
    Examples suggest that one and the same A may be different Bs, and hence that there is some sort of incompleteness in the unqualified statement that x and y are the same which needs to be eliminated by answering the question “the same what?” One way to make this more precise is by appeal to Geach's idea that identity is relative. In this paper I evaluate Geach's relative identity thesis
  •  132
    The closest continuer theory of identity
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 28 (1-4): 195-229. 1985.
    A plausible principle governing identity is that whether a later individual is identical with an earlier individual cannot ever merely depend on whether there are, at the later time, any better candidates for identity with the earlier individual around. This principle has been a bone of contention amongst philosophers interested in identity for many years. In his latest book Philosophical Explanations Robert Nozick presents what I believe to be the strongest case yet made out for the rejection o…Read more
  •  119
    The Adequacy of Genuine Modal Realism
    Mind 123 (491): 851-860. 2014.
    What are the requirements on an adequate genuine modal realist analysis of modal discourse? One is material adequacy: the modal realist must provide for each candidate analysandum an analysans in the language of counterpart theory which by his lights has the same truth value as the candidate analysandum. Must the material biconditional joining these be necessarily true? This is the requirement of strict adequacy. It is not satisfied if Lewis’s 1968 scheme provides the analysis. John Divers puts …Read more
  •  118
    In the first twelve chapters of this book, I am concerned with the Fregean notion of an object (the reference of a proper name) and its connection with the notion of identity. The rest of the book is devoted to a discussion of the problem of personal identity.
  •  115
    Identity eliminated
    Analysis 67 (2): 122-127. 2007.
  •  115
  •  114
    Methodological solipsism
    Philosophical Studies 40 (September): 269-274. 1981.