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Title: Het ik en de persoonsidentiteit in Russells logisch atomisme
Subtitle: The 'I' and Personal Identity in Russell's Logical Atomism
Author(s): CUYPERS, Stefaan E.
Journal: Bijdragen
Volume: 58    Issue: 1   Date: 1997   
Pages: 29-55
DOI: 10.2143/BIJ.58.1.2002404

Abstract :
Although the contributions of John Locke's memory-theory and David Hume's bundle-theory to the construction of the contemporary empiricist theory of personal identity are explicitly acknowledged, empiricist philosophers relatively neglect another important source of inspiration in their debate on personal identity in analytical philosophy, namely Bertrand Russell's philosophy of logical atomism. However, Derek Parfit's radically empiricist and impersonal view on personal identity implicitly is a direct heir of Russell's view on personal identity. In this article, I try to make explicit the Russellian heritage in the contemporary empiricist theory of personal identity by reconstructing Russell's view on the existence and the nature of the 'I' and the identity of the self. For the purpose of explaining Russell's view that 'I' really is the abbreviation for the description 'the subject of the present experience' or 'the subject of «this»', the technical concepts of knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description as well as the notion of a proper name in the logical sense are introduced. And, in order to explain Russell's view on self-identity as constituted by the synchronic relation of 'compresence' and the diachronic R-relation of 'co-personality', the technique of logical construction is appealed to.

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