Written for Omidyar Network's Good ID project and first published to the project's blog.
I love the way Derek Parfit introduces his book Reasons and Persons:
The more you study it, the more you realize that identity is a tricky concept to grasp. There are many different ideas to describe what it is and what it does, but Parfit's emphasis of its innate social nature appeals to me. After all, what good can identity serve should you find yourself all alone on that fabled desert island, apart from different persons?
My identities form with others, as theirs are formed with others and with me. It's a product of relationships.
And those relationships? They're established and defined through interactions. Read more