The centrality of the question of the nature of persons in philosophical thought in the past as well as today has meant that the extent of professional writing on the subject of late is considerable. I make no attempt to review this substantial body of philosophical work but only to refer to special aspects of it which seemed to help by contrast usually more than by agreement the more precise presentation of the views I wished to advance.
This book is the sequel or perhaps I should say a supplement to my earlier book The Elusive Mind. I had hoped in one further volume based more on the Second Series of my Gifford Lectures to bring out more fully the implications for morality and religion of the views set forth in The Elusive Mind and in two interim books The Self and Immortality and Persons and Life after Death. But the further things I wished to say about persons and their identity as well as comment on more recent philosophical work on self-identity set this further work so much apart from the remainder as to take its place better as a separate book on this theme alone.
I hope thus that the way will be made clear for the presentation of the main views about morality and religion which I had promised earlier and which will take the form of a final volume in this series based on my Gifford Lectures at Edinburgh in 1966–68 to be entitled as intimated earlier The Elusive Self and God.
I was much helped in correcting the proofs of this book by two graduate students at Emory University Mr Daniel Metzler and Mr Douglas Saenor. Mr Saenor also compiled the index. I am very grateful to both these gentlemen for their kind help — and to Emory University for making it possible.
I have already in the preface to The Elusive Mind thanked the Unviersity of Edinburgh for all the kindness shown me there. The completion of this book brings back nostalgic thoughts of that time and it also gives me an opportunity to apologise for the delay caused mainly by other writings to which I was committed in bringing out the present volume. I hope the third volume in this trilogy will not be so long delayed.
I wish also to thank Mrs Ann Marangos of Macmillan for the care with which she has seen this book through the press.
30 June 1981
HYWEL D. LEWIS
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