Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy 2023-24: Session 16

There Is No Such Thing as Conventionalism about Personal Identity

Eric Olson (University of Sheffield)


5 April 2024, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão [C201.J] (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: It’s often said that personal identity is ‘conventional’ in that it depends on our attitudes and practices: it’s not a fact to be discovered, but a matter for decision. There are a number of different claims about ‘personal identity’ that are said to be conventional in this way. Some are intelligible but not actually conventionalism as advertised. Some are indeed conventionalist but unintelligible. Some are intelligible and conventionalist but not very interesting. But there appears to be no genuine conventionalism about personal identity that is both intelligible and interesting.