, Volume 165, Issue 1, pp 133-149

Why Parfit did not go far enough

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Abstract

Parfit has argued for the revolutionary thesis that personal identity does not matter in ordinary survival, only the R-relation does. “Reconciliationists,” such as Lewis, have tried to stop this revolution, arguing that both personal identity and the R-relation matter. The disagreement has been between those who hold that only the R-relation matters and those who hold that, in addition, personal identity matters. But there is a third option. I argue that Parfit is right that personal identity does not matter but he is wrong that the R-relation matters, and the reconciliationists are wrong to think both matter since neither does.