A defence of anti-criterialism

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4 Citations (Scopus)


According to philosophical orthodoxy, there are informative criteria of identity over time. Anti-criterialism rejects this orthodoxy and claims that there are no such criteria. This paper examines anti-criterialism in the light of recent attacks on the thesis by Matt Duncan, Sydney Shoemaker and Dean Zimmerman. It is argued that those attacks are not successful. Along the way, a novel strategy to defend anti-criterialism against the critics’ most challenging objection is developed. Under-appreciated difficulties for criterialism are also raised which, I claim, there is no obvious way to solve. It is concluded that anti-criterialism may be a much stronger rival to criterialism than is often supposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-630
Number of pages18
JournalCanadian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 3 2017


  • Criteria of identity
  • Trenton Merricks
  • personal identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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