Thesis - Chapter 10 (Thought Experiments)
Todman (Theo)
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Write-up2 (as at 03/02/2019 21:33:07): Thesis - Chapter 10 (Thought Experiments)

  • Any account of personal identity needs to give an account of what is going on in the various thought experiments that have been thought relevant to the topic. It’s also the area that’s most fun. Indeed, I think that the entire Thesis will be an exercise in inference to the best explanation. It needs to account for our intuitions (if there is a universal response) or explain them away as confused. I will firstly briefly consider the propriety of using thought experiments in this domain of enquiry, and then consider the usual suspects, including the following:-
    1. Fission
    2. Fusion
    3. Replication
    4. Commissurotomy3
    5. Multiple Personality Disorder4
    6. Brain-state Transfer
    7. Brain Transplants5
    8. Teletransportation
    9. Siliconisation
    10. Transhumanism

Research Methodology
  • Follow this Link6 for a generic statement of how I intend to pursue each Chapter.
  • The method is broken down into 12, possibly iterative, stages.
  • Follow this Link7 for my progress dashboard on these tasks.

Chapter Introduction
  1. To be supplied.

Main Text
  1. To be supplied.

Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed8
  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. I have segregated the papers by sub-topic, but some would fit into more than one category.
  3. Theory
  4. Brain State Transfers9
  5. Brain Transplants
  6. Commissurotomy
  7. Fission
  8. Fusion
  9. Multiple Personality Disorder
  10. Replication
  11. Siliconisation10
  12. Teletransportation
  13. Transhumanism12
  14. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
  15. 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.

Links to Notes
  1. Propriety of Thought Experiments15
  2. Principal Examples:-

Final Remarks
  1. This is work in progress26.

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 (03/02/2019 21:33:07).
  • Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
Footnote 3: This is more an experiment than a thought-experiment, as commissurotomies are actual.

Footnote 4:
  • Again, this is – allegedly – an existent pathology rather than a TE.
  • Moreover, it might be better situated in Chapter 9 (Click here for Note) as a critique of the idea of an individuating FPP.
Footnote 5: We need to distinguish Whole-Brain Transplants (WBTs) from single or double Cerebrum transplants, and these from brain-tissue transplants, which shade off into Brain State Transfers.

Footnote 8:
  • 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 9:
  • There must be many more papers than the classic one by Williams (and commentaries thereon) – I just haven’t got them correctly categorised.
  • Under this head should be included references to “Brain Zaps” and the like.
Footnote 10: Footnote 11:
  • Tye seems to be discussing brain-partition, with silicon transceivers. But he uses Unger’s term “zippering”.
  • He is indebted to Arnold Zuboff, who may be worth following up.
Footnote 12: Footnote 13: I’ve read this book, but it’s insufficiently philosophical for its arguments – such as they are – to be worth considering as a priority.

Footnote 14: Cover in the next Chapter.

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

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