Thesis - Chapter 04 (Basic Metaphysical Issues)
Todman (Theo)
Paper - Abstract

Paper StatisticsLink to Latest Write-Up Note


Write-up2 (as at 02/06/2019 10:10:34): Thesis - Chapter 04 (Basic Metaphysical Issues)

  • We must consider the logic of identity, as non-standard logics are favourite means of escaping from some of the puzzle cases. We ask – along with Parfit – whether identity matters.
  • Substances and sortals are central to the persistence of anything, and define their persistence conditions. In particular my claim is that persons are phase sortals of human animals (the substances).
  • The question of Kinds – and in particular Natural Kinds – are related to those of Substance, and are important in considering whether PERSON is a natural kind concept.
  • Metamorphosis might be important if it is claimed that we can change kind.

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. Logic of Identity5, including:-
    Contingent Identity6, and
    Indeterminate Identity7,
    Occasional Identity8.
    Relative Identity9,
    Vague Identity10.
  2. Criteria of Identity11,
  3. Does Identity Matter?12,
  4. Substance13,
  5. Sortals14,
    Phase Sortals15,
  6. Kinds16,
    Natural Kinds17,
  7. Others?
    → to be supplied as they come up.

Chapter Introduction
  1. I need to discuss the logic of identity, survival and persistence, and even whether identity matters in survival.
  2. Substances and sortals are central to the persistence of anything, and in particular to my claim that persons are phase sortals of human animals (the substances).
  3. The question of Natural Kinds arises in considering whether PERSON is a natural kind concept.
  4. Certain four-dimensional approaches to persistence do away with the substance concept, but I discuss this issue in the next Chapter.

Main Text
  1. The purpose of this chapter is to clarify my views on a number of logical and metaphysical issues that are central to the core of this Thesis.
  2. I will also consider Derek Parfit’s claim that “Identity is not what matters in survival” in this Chapter.
  3. The coverage in the Chapter itself will have to be very brief lest it consume the word-count for the entire thesis. Most information – and in particular the bulk of the justification for my views – will remain in the Notes.
  4. Three background issues, namely my views on:- are covered elsewhere (follow the links above).
  5. Other topics may be added as they arise.
  6. Further text to be supplied22.

Concluding Remarks
  1. In our next Chapter23, we need to consider further the question of Persistence and Time and how they impact on the topic of Personal Identity.
  2. This is work in progress24.

Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed25
  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. Basic Metaphysics26
  3. Logic of Identity (General)
  4. Relative Identity
  5. Vague Identity
  6. Indeterminate Identity
  7. Contingent Identity
  8. Occasional Identity
  9. Criteria of Identity
  10. Substances
  11. Sortals & Phase Sortals
  12. Kinds and Natural Kinds
  13. Metamorphosis32
  14. Does Identity Matter?
  15. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
  16. 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. Some of the items above are likely to be culled when I come to process them, and will appear below.
  4. Items to be Supplied33.

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 (02/06/2019 10:10:34).
  • Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
Footnote 25:
  • 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 26: There’s an endless amount of stuff in this area, so I’ve (for now) chosen a couple of contrasting approaches.

Footnote 27: Footnote 28:
  • Modality is important in my thesis, because modal questions come into persistence criteria.
  • That said, the last two essays in the book – by Hossack and Olson – are the most important, though of these two only that by Hossack really belongs to this Chapter.
Footnote 29: I’m not sure where this book should be parked, and not all of it is relevant.

Footnote 30: I doubt this paper is really about Relative Identity, but more about Brain Transplants).

Footnote 31: Read the Synopsis below first.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020

© Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2020. Please address any comments on this page to File output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this Page Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page Return to Theo Todman's Home Page