<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Hossack (Keith) - Vagueness and Personal Identity (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_07/PaperSummary_7170.htm">Vagueness and Personal Identity</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/H/Author_Hossack (Keith).htm">Hossack (Keith)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: MacBride - Identity and Modality, 2006, Chapter 10</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=600><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_07/PaperSummary_7170.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_07/PapersToNotes_7170.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>Editor s <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P7170_1">Introduction</A></U><SUB>1</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P7170_1"></A></u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>In 'Vagueness and Personal Identity' Keith Hossack considers the influential 'Bafflement Argument' put forward by Bernard Williams, an argument that threatens to undermine the materialistic conception of the self. </li><li>The well-known <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>2</SUP> about personal identity suggest that there are possible situations  where, for example, a subject undergoes fission  in which it is indefinite whether the subject survives. </li><li>If materialism is true it appears that this indefiniteness must be objective. For it appears that there are no sharp boundaries to the biological processes or physical mechanisms that sustain human life. </li><li>By contrast, if dualism is true it appears that this indefiniteness can only be a matter of ignorance. For the kinds of issues in ethics and philosophy of religion that give rise to dualism suggest that the boundaries between souls must be sharp. </li><li>Williams's Bafflement Argument suggests however that we cannot make sense of objectively indefinite identity in the case of persons, and so materialism must be abandoned. This is because we cannot make sense  we are baffled by  the suggestion that it is objectively indefinite whether I (or you) will continue to exist tomorrow. </li><li>Hossack seeks to defend materialism by showing that the Bafflement Argument owes its persuasive force to a skewed conception of the self that fails to recognize that the correct way to understand the  I concept is as the intersection of subjective and objective ways of thinking about the self </li><li>What is wrong with the Cartesian conception of the self is that it fails to give due weight to the location of the self in the objective worldly order. </li><li>But what is wrong with the bodily conception of the self  a conception advanced, for example, by Strawson and Evans  is that by identifying the self with the body it fails to sufficiently stress the subjective aspect of the  I concept. </li><li>The mistake that underlies the Bafflement Argument, Hossack maintains, is a misguided solipsistic conception of the self that arises from focusing exclusively upon the subjective aspect of the  I concept. Once this mistake is corrected by giving proper weight to the place of persons in the objective order  without falling over into the corresponding failings of the bodily conception of the self  the Bafflement Argument need no longer pose a threat to materialism. .</li></ol></FONT><BR><u>Sections</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Unclarity of Personal Identity</li><li>  I  the  Essential Indexical</li><li>How Do I Know I Exist?</li><li>Beyond Solipsism of the Present Moment</li><li>The Solipsist as Rational Agent</li><li>A Functionalist Conception of Human Beings</li><li>Other Minds Theory</li><li>Is Personal Identity Indefinite</li><li>Conclusion</li><li>Appendix: A Lichtenbergian Reconstruction of the Bafflement Argument</li></ol></FONT><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U></B><a name="On-Page_Link_P7170_1"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P7170_1"><B>Footnote 1</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>From <a name="2"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_07/Abstract_7161.htm">MacBride (Fraser) - Identity and Modality: Introduction</A>", </li><li>Bullet numbering is mine. </li></ul><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="2018-08-02T06:55" pubdate>02/08/2018 06:55:39</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>