Any theory that analyses personal identity in terms of phenomenal continuity needs to deal with the ordinary interruptions of our consciousness that it is commonly thought that a person can survive. This is the bridge problem. The present paper offers a novel solution to the bridge problem based on the proposal that dreamless sleep need not interrupt phenomenal continuity. On this solution one can both hold that phenomenal continuity is necessary for personal identity and that persons can survive dreamless sleep.
KeywordsPhenomenal continuity Temporal gaps The bridge problem Personal identity Barry Dainton Psychological continuity
Thanks to Sven Ove Hansson, Jens Johansson, Martin Peterson, and two anonymous referees for Philosophia.
- Dainton, B. (1996). Survival and experience. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 96, 17–36.Google Scholar
- Donner, J. (2002). Ingmar B ergman on life and work. Supplementary material on Wild Strawberries, DVD, The Criterion Collection 139.Google Scholar
- Foster, J. (1979). In self-defence. In G. F. Macdonald (Ed.), Perception and identity. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- James, W. (1890/1981). The principles of psychology (Vol. 1). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Locke, J. (1694/1979). An essay concerning human understanding. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Strawson, G. (1997). The self. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 4(5–6), 405–428.Google Scholar
- Strawson, G. (1999). The self and the SESMET. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 6(4), 99–135.Google Scholar