Thesis - Chapter 03 (What is a Person?)
Todman (Theo)
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Write-up2 (as at 14/07/2019 18:05:46): Thesis - Chapter 03 (What is a Person?)

Abstract
  • This chapter will canvass the various views of what Persons are and consider how important issues in this area are to my main concern of our identity.



Research Methodology
  • Follow this Link3 for a generic statement of how I intend to pursue each Chapter.
  • The method is broken down into 12, possibly iterative, stages.
  • Follow this Link4 for my progress dashboard on these tasks.



Links to Notes
  1. The primary Notes are:-
  2. No doubt there are others:-
    • To be supplied.



Chapter Introduction
  1. The main philosophical argument about Persons is whether PERSON is a substance12-concept in its own right, or whether it is parasitic on other substance-concept(s).
  2. My own view is that Human Persons are phase sortals13 of human animals, but other philosophers have more robust views of persons and think of them as substances in their own right.
  3. Famously, Locke14 held this view, and Lynne Rudder Baker15 was a contemporary exponent – her view being that human persons are constituted by16, but are not identical to, human animals17.
  4. In this thesis, I’m only concerned with human persons, and – like most philosophers – allow that there can be non-human persons (God, gods, angels, aliens, robots, etc.)
  5. All this is predicated on deciding just what PERSONS are, which in turn depends somewhat on whether we take PERSON to be a natural kind18 concept, or something that is socially constructed and so not something the correct definition of we can discover.
  6. Further text to be supplied19.



Main Text
  1. To be supplied20.



Concluding Remarks
  1. In our next Chapter21, now that we have determined what we are – and what persons are – we consider various metaphysical issues that bear on the arguments for and against the various positions on Personal Identity.
  2. This is work in progress22.



Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed23
  1. In this Chapter I will consider the following papers or book chapters (together with some others referenced by these). There are doubtless many more that are relevant and which will be addressed in the course of the thesis, but these are probably sufficient to get us going.
  2. Reductionism
  3. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
  4. The motivation for these works is as follows:-
    • To be supplied.



The Cut
  1. There had already been a lot of cutting in the various selections of the original reading list – the reading lists attached to the Notes run on and on – and these items just represent the works in my possession (though I have sought out all that I’ve heard of that look relevant).
  2. However, the items in the lists following were given some attention, and have been culled – at least temporarily – from the lists above, where they originally appeared. I’ve not always given a reason as I’ve not studied them sufficiently closely. But, you have to draw a line somewhere.
  3. I’m well aware that the cut has not been sufficiently rigorous. Further items beyond the items below are likely to be culled when I come to process them.



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 2:
  • This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (14/07/2019 18:05:46).
  • Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
Footnote 23:
  • See the section on Research Methodology for what is to be done with these.
  • The author’s surname is repeated in the text to make it easier for me to see what’s going on in the encoded text I work on.
Footnote 24: This is very elementary, but short and maybe entertaining.

Footnote 25: Read this as an example from the Animal Liberation movement.

Footnote 26: This is rather introductory to Parfit’s ideas, so read it quickly for that purpose.

Footnote 27: Restrict a close reading to Part 3 (Personal Identity).

Footnote 28: May be useful both as a take on Strawson, and for Plantinga’s own views.

Footnote 29: Stanley got into a debate with Jen Hornsby, though not on this topic, so it’ll be interesting to see how he argues.

Footnote 30: This is a difficult book with which I expect to have little sympathy, but one that has to be read.

Footnote 31: This is rather elementary, and ought to have been reviewed in Chapter 1.

Footnote 32: This paper may be important, but is too long (and difficult) for a first pass through the literature

Footnote 33: Too similar to "Lowe (E.J.) - Substance and Selfhood", which was read for Chapter 2.


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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019



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