Philosophical Studies

, Volume 166, Supplement 1, pp 91–109

“Personal identity” minus the persons


DOI: 10.1007/s11098-012-0065-7

Cite this article as:
Miller, K. Philos Stud (2013) 166(Suppl 1): 91. doi:10.1007/s11098-012-0065-7


This paper defends a version of strong conventionalism minus the ontological commitments of that view. It defends the claim that strictly speaking there are no persons, whilst explicating how to make sense of talk that is about (or purportedly about) persons, by appealing to features in common to conventionalist accounts of personal identity. This view has the many benefits of conventionalist accounts in being flexible enough to deal with problem cases, whilst also avoiding the various worries associated with the existence of both persons and human animals occupying the same place at the same time to which conventionalist accounts are committed.


Metaphysics Personal identity Conventionalism Persistence 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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