Authors: Crone, Katja
Title: Personal identity, transformative experiences, and the future self
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: The article explores the relation between personal identity and life-changing decisions such as the decision for a certain career or the decision to become a parent. According to L.A. Paul (Paul 2014), decisions of this kind involve “transformative experiences”, to the effect that - at the time we make a choice - we simply don’t know what it is like for us to experience the future situation. Importantly, she claims that some new experiences may be “personally transformative” by which she means that one may become a “new kind of person” having a different subjective perspective and “identity”. The article discusses this understanding of a transformed future self. It will be argued that different notions of identity can be distinguished with respect to Paul’s claim: the notion of identity in the sense of a (core) personality as well as the notion of numerical identity in the sense of sameness. By distinguishing these two notions it will become more clear how a future experience may indeed qualify as “personally transformative”. Moreover, it will be shown that the notion of a self-understanding of persons helps to further clarify the kind of change at issue.
Subject Headings: Transformative experience
Personal identity
Future self
Issue Date: 2020-08-18
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Appears in Collections:Institut für Philosophie

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