<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Alexander (Ronald) - A Major Problem With Parfit (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_06/PaperSummary_6122.htm">A Major Problem With Parfit</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/A/Author_Alexander (Ronald).htm">Alexander (Ronald)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Alexander (Ronald) - The Self, Supervenience and Personal Identity, 1997, Chapter 9</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=800><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_06/PaperSummary_6122.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_06/PaperCitings_6122.htm">Books / Papers Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_06/PapersToNotes_6122.htm">Notes Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><u>Author s <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P6122_1">Abstract</A></U><SUB>1</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P6122_1"></A></u> <FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>In Chapter IX, I try to show that the philosophical demise of personal identity as generated by Parfit was misguided from the beginning because of his careless use of <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>2</SUP>. The <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>3</SUP> devised by Parfit have unfortunately shaped the direction of much of the recent discussion on the problem of personal identity. </li><li>I do not claim that <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>4</SUP> should be banned in the analysis of concepts. For example, the discussions emerging from Putnam's 'Brain-in-a-Vat' and Searle's 'Chinese Room' experiments have been very fruitful. However, one must not let the <a name="4"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiment</A><SUP>5</SUP> lose significant contact with the background conditions that serve as the context for the phenomenon under consideration. </li><li>I contend that Parfit is guilty of this error. Of course, the point of using imaginative variation in respect to the properties of a phenomenon being investigated is to gain a better understanding of the nature of the phenomenon. But this cannot be accomplished if the background conditions are arbitrarily varied as well. </FONT></li></ol><hr><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>Comment: </B><BR><BR>Photocopy of complete Book filed in <a name="6"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_01/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_1188.htm">Various - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 01 (A)</A>".<BR><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U></B><a name="On-Page_Link_P6122_1"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P6122_1"><B>Footnote 1</B></A></U>: Taken from <a name="5"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_06/Abstract_6114.htm">Alexander (Ronald) - The Self, Supervenience and Personal Identity: Introduction</A>", pp. 4-5. <BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T06:42" pubdate>02/08/2018 06:42:16</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>