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Reassessing Whitehead's Theory of Personal Identity: A New Interpretation and Critical Examination
Featuring: Daniel R. Siakel
In "The Dynamic Process of Being (a Person)" (2014), Daniel R. Siakel provides a novel interpretation of Whitehead's theory of personal identity that draws from both Process and Reality and Adventures of Ideas. In his new paper, Siakel draws on the work of Derek Parfit to argue that Process and Reality already contains the conceptual resources required to explain personal identity; and with it, such items as moral responsibility, gratitude, and the possibility of life after death. The upshot is that the experience of personal identity is an “inescapable fact” that in no way undermines holding ourselves and others morally responsible.
About the Speaker: Daniel R. Siakel is a Ph.D. Candidate, Teaching Associate, and Senior Pedagogical Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine, and a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Chapman University. Siakel was recently awarded the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award by the Association of American Colleges & Universities and was selected for the Most Promising Future Faculty Member Fellowship by the University of California, Irvine. In addition, Siakel has published in Process Studies and the Los Angeles Review of Books, presented papers on Whitehead's metaphysics at the American Philosophical Association, and received First Prize in the International Process Network's Young Process Scholar Essay Competition.