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 for 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 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. Its sentence "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.
- http://whatislife.stanford.edu/LoCo_files/What-is-Life.pdf[dead link]