Thesis - Chapter 05 (Persistence and Time)
Todman (Theo)
Paper - Abstract

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Write-up2 (as at 13/01/2022 00:20:10): Thesis - Chapter 05 (Persistence and Time)

  • Any discussion of identity over time – of anything – needs to have some discussion of just what it is for something to persist, what we take time to be and what our attitude is to the existence – or otherwise – of the past and future.
  • This involves discussion of change, and the difference between persistence and survival, and whether our continuing self-identity really matters to us.

Research Methodology
  • Follow this Link3 for a generic statement of how I intend to pursue each Chapter.
  • The method is broken down into 16, possibly iterative, stages, some of which have sub-stages.
  • Follow this Link4 for my progress dashboard on these tasks.

Chapter Introduction
  1. We start off with a discussion of Change5.In this context we need to consider Causality6, because this is implicated in which changes are identity-preserving and which not.
  2. Change is usually understood as differing Properties7 enjoyed by Substances8 from one time to another. This leads to the problem of Temporary Intrinsics9, how having inconsistent properties at different times doesn’t violate Leibniz’s Law10. However, there’s an alternative account – Haecceity11 – which claims that substances persist irrespective of change of properties.
  3. Before we can discuss Persistence12 as such, we need to have a view of the temporal ‘medium’ in which change takes place. The philosophy of Time13 is highly complex, and I need only touch on it insofar as it affects my choice of theory of Persistence. It appears, however, that the possibility of Time Travel14 – assuming there is such a possibility – has some implications for our theories of Personal Identity.
  4. When we consider the circumstances under which a Person, Human Animal, or anything else can be said to persist, we need to consider not just actual cases – situations which the individual has undergone – but possible cases, ones that it might undergo. This brings in Modality15, especially when we get on to the more exotic TEs16, when the various sorts of Possibility17 need to be taken into account.
  5. Now we get to the meat of the Chapter as we consider just what Persistence Criteria18 are, and review what alternatives have been suggested.
  6. Whatever else Persistence Criteria involve, we know that Continuity19 of some sort is key. We covered Psychological Continuity20 in Chapter 121. In the context of Animalism22, Physical Continuity23 is of more relevance. We need to distinguish Continuity from Connectedness24, as there’s a tension between the two.
  7. However – in the case of Artifacts25 at least – Continuity and Connectedness are, superficially at least, not required in the case of disassembly and reassembly. Can this Intermittent Existence26 apply to [Human Animals] to allow for Resurrection27? Does Intermittent Existence28 make sense?
  8. We now need to consider whether the standard view of Persistence – Endurantism29 – where the individual is considered to be wholly present at a time – is correct, or whether we should consider a space-time worm view – either Perdurantism30 or Exdurantism31.
  9. The above is relevant because, depending on our approach to time and persistence, some of the troubling thought experiments that worry us about the persistence of human persons that feature in Chapter 1032 are resolved, because the reduplication33 objections fail. However, we get nothing for nothing. As is usual in philosophy, a gain here is compensated for by a loss somewhere else. We need to determine these losses, and agree that they are “worth it”.
  10. Finally, we will consider whether matters of Identity really matter. Derek Parfit34 claim that “Identity is not what matters in survival”. In making this claim, he introduces the term Survival35, which – as far as I can tell – is not the same as Persistence36, since the latter necessarily involves Identity, whereas the former does not. Parfit had a rather impersonal view on What Matters37, which was more prescriptive than descriptive: we should be happy if our pet projects carry on, even if not with us at the helm.

Links to Notes
  1. Change38
    1. Causality39
    2. Properties40
    3. Thisness (Haecceity)42
  2. Time43
    1. Time Travel44
  3. Modality45
  4. Persistence46
    1. Persistence Criteria47
    2. Continuity48
    3. Theories
  5. Does Identity Matter?
    1. Parfit55. Excluded56
    2. Survival57
    3. What Matters58

Main Text
  1. Change59
    1. Text to be supplied.
    1. Causality60
      1. Text to be supplied.
    2. Properties61
      1. Text to be supplied.
    3. Thisness (Haecceity)63
      1. Text to be supplied.
  2. Time64
    1. Text to be supplied.
    1. Time Travel65
      1. Text to be supplied.
  3. Modality66
    1. Text to be supplied.
  4. Persistence67
    1. Text to be supplied.
    1. Persistence Criteria68
      1. Text to be supplied.
    2. Continuity69
      1. Text to be supplied.
    3. Theories
  5. Does Identity Matter?
    1. Parfit76 Excluded77
    2. Survival78
      1. Text to be supplied.
    3. What Matters79
      1. Text to be supplied.

Concluding Remarks
  1. Having now cleared up all our preliminaries, we can now turn to the meat of the Thesis in our next Chapter80, where we consider Animalism and the arguments for it.
  2. This is work in progress81.

Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed82
  1. This section attempts to derive the readings lists automatically from those of the underlying Notes, but removing duplicated references. The list is divided into:-
  2. 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.
  3. The references are segregated by sub-topic, as below, but there is much overlap.
  4. I thought I’d written somewhere that Time Travel – fun though it might be – is a bridge too far. But it is relevant.
  5. There is some overlap – as far as papers reviewed are concerned – between the Section on Survival and the “Does Identity Matter” Section in Chapter 4. This Chapter focuses on the meaning of “Survival”, while the previous chapter focuses on its relation to Identity, and the importance of identity for survival. But, I think they should probably be covered in the same place, and probably not here.
  6. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.

Works on this topic that I’ve actually read85, include the following:-
  1. Change
    1. Change86
    2. Causality87
    3. Properties90
    4. Thisness (Haecceity)101
  2. Time
    1. Time102
    2. Time Travel104
  3. Modality106
  4. Persistence
    1. Persistence113
    2. Persistence Criteria117
    3. Continuity118
    4. Theories
    5. Survival130
    6. What Matters131

A further reading list might start with:-
  1. Change
    1. Change133
    2. Causality134
    3. Properties135
    4. Thisness (Haecceity)137
  2. Time
    1. Time141
    2. Time Travel150
  3. Modality152
  4. Persistence
    1. Persistence154
    2. Persistence Criteria158
    3. Continuity159
    4. Theories
    5. Survival170
    6. What Matters172

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 (13/01/2022 00:20:10).
  • Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
Footnote 17:
  • I don’t have a Note on Possibility as such – it is covered by the Note on Modality.
Footnotes 56, 77:
  • This Note will be excluded from the Reading List for this Chapter.
  • It is included in the Reading List for Chapter 1.
Footnote 82:
  • See the section on Research Methodology for what is to be done with these.
Footnote 103: Footnote 105:
  • Also see the rest of an interesting 2005 edition of The Monist.
Footnote 115: Footnote 116: Footnote 132:
  • Restrict a close reading to Part 3 (Personal Identity).
Footnote 138:
  • I don’t have this book, as it’s very expensive (£180), but quite a lot of the text is visible on Amazon.
Footnotes 139, 140:
  • The two items by Swinburne may be useful as they bring in Swinburne’s “Soul View”.
Footnote 142: Footnote 143:
  • A defense of presentism, including an attempt to reconcile the theory with SR.
Footnote 144: Footnote 145:
  • The first of two issues of Manuscrito that surveys the current (as of late 2016) state of debate on the topic of time.
Footnote 146: Footnote 147:
  • A much more difficult “introduction”.
Footnote 148:
  • A defense of the “growing block” view.
Footnote 149: Footnote 151: Footnote 153:
  • 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 155: Footnote 156: Footnote 157:
  • The Bibliography – and the Seminnar – cover much beyond Persistence as such.
  • I need to extract the relevant items to the various sub-topics.
Footnote 164: Footnote 165: Footnote 167:
  • The three papers by Butterfield are very specialised, and this one is very long, and may be left to one side for now.
Footnote 169:
  • I’m not sure whether this belongs here, but it looks an interesting paper.
Footnote 171:
  • This is an ethical rather than metaphysical discussion.

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