Personal Identity and Ethics provides a lively overview of the relationship between the metaphysics of personal identity and ethics. How does personal identity affect our ethical judgments? It is a commonplace to hold that moral responsibility for past actions requires that the responsible agent is in some relevant respect identical to the agent who performed the action. Is this true? On the other hand, can ethics constrain our account of personal identity? Do the practical requirements of moral theory commit us to holding that persons do remain identical over time? Or is it the case that personal identity is not, in fact, relevant to ethics?Shoemaker provides the first comprehensive examination of these issues for the undergraduate audience. Topics include personal identity and prudential rationality; personal identity's significance for moral responsibility and ethical theory; and the practical consequences of accounts of personal identity for issues such as abortion, stem cell research, cloning, advance directives, populations ethics, multiple personality disorder, and the definition of death.
David Shoemaker is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University. He has published many important articles in ethics and personal identity in journals such as Ethics, Mind, and Philosophy and Public Affairs. He is also the author of the industry standard Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article Personal Identity and Ethics.