[SydPhil] Caroline West: Persons, Stages, Autonomy and Group Rights

Kristie Miller kristie_miller at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 19 09:26:20 AEDT 2015

Dear all,

This coming Thursday’s current projects,, 3.00-.4.40 in the Muniment Room, will be Caroline West on:
Persons, Stages, Autonomy and Group Rights

A common position in liberal circles is that individuals have a right to autonomy, but group rights are unjustified. I suggest that this package implicitly relies on a controversial endurantist account of personal identity. Many contemporary metaphysicians favour a different, four-dimensionalist account, according to which persisting persons are collections of numerically distinct time slices. If a four-dimensionalist account of personal identity is correct, exercises of individual autonomy and exercises of group authority appear metaphysically on a par: each involves relations of domination among numerically distinct person-stages, justified by a unity relation. This raises an interesting challenge for liberals. Supposing that four-dimensionalism is true, what—if anything—justifies attributing a right to autonomy to individuals, while denying it to groups? I explore some possibilities; none of which seem entirely satisfactory

See you all there.

Associate Professor Kristie Miller
Senior ARC Research Fellow
Joint Director, the Centre for Time
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry and
The Centre for Time
The University of Sydney
Sydney Australia
Room 407, A 14

kmiller at usyd.edu.au
kristie_miller at yahoo.com
Ph: +612 9036 9663

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