Open individualism is the view in the philosophy of personal identity, according to which there exists only one numerically identical subject, which is everyone at all times. It is a theoretical solution to the question of personal identity, being contrasted with empty individualism, the view that personal identities correspond to a fixed pattern that instantaneously disappears with the passage of time, and with closed individualism, the common view that personal identities are particular to subjects and yet survive over time.
The term was coined by philosopher Daniel Kolak, though this view has been described at least since the time of the Upanishads, in the late Bronze Age; the phrase "Tat tvam asi" meaning "You are that" is an example. Notable people having expressed similar views (in various forms) include the Sufi thinker Aziz al-Nasafi, Averroes, German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, Indian mystic Meher Baba, Alan Watts, as well as renowned physicists: Erwin Schrödinger, Freeman Dyson, and Fred Hoyle.
- Kolak, Daniel (2005). I Am You: The Metaphysical Foundations for Global Ethics. Springer. ISBN 1-4020-2999-3.
- Barua, Arati, ed. (2017). Schopenhauer on Self, World and Morality: Vedantic and Non-Vedantic Perspectives. Springer Singapore. ISBN 9789811059537.
- 1915-1973., Watts, Alan, (1966). The book : on the taboo against knowing who you are. London: Souvenir. ISBN 9780285638532.
- Schrödinger, Erwin (1944). What is life? The Physical Aspect of the Living Cell. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-42708-8.
- J., Dyson, Freeman (1979). Disturbing the universe (1st ed.). New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0060111089.
- Hoyle, Fred (1966). October the First Is Too Late (1st ed.). New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0060028459.
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