<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity and Ethics - Conclusion: Notes on Method (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_15/PaperSummary_15133.htm">Personal Identity and Ethics - Conclusion: Notes on Method</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/S/Author_Shoemaker (David).htm">Shoemaker (David)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity and Ethics: A Brief Introduction, 2009, Conclusion</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=600><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_15/PaperSummary_15133.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_15/PaperCitings_15133.htm">Books / Papers Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_15/PapersToNotes_15133.htm">Notes Citing this Paper</A></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">For the meaning of any abbreviations in what follows &rarr; <a name="8"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_8/Notes_860.htm">Click here for Note</A> <ol type="1"><li><B>Introduction</B>: Shoemaker states that his aim in the book has not been to propound one theory of the relation of Personal Identity to Ethics is being <U>the</U> correct one, but to set out the various stalls as a foundation for further study on the part of the reader. But, there are questions of methodology that need to be considered. Shoemaker identifies three:-<BR>&rarr; 1. The priority of Personal Identity over Ethics<BR>&rarr; 2. Theoretical or Practical Motivation<BR>&rarr; 3. Which are the motivating practical concerns? <BR>These cascade on from one another, and represent further decisions based on earlier bifurcations. </li><li><B>Priority</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>The assumption throughout the book has been that we decide what Persons are  a metaphysical question  and then use this to draw out the ethical consequences (though I don t think he sticks to this with respect to his rejection  in <a name="13"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_15/Abstract_15141.htm">Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity and Immortality</A>"  of the SC  which appears to be on the grounds that it is irrelevant to our practical concerns). </li><li>An example supporting this principle is <a name="22"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_01/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_1385.htm">DeGrazia (David) - Human Identity and Bioethics</A>", which defends the <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_9/Notes_911.htm">Biological Criterion</A><SUP>1</SUP> (and a form of Narrative Identity) and draws forth ethical consequences there from. </li><li>And <a name="23"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_41.htm">Parfit (Derek) - Reasons and Persons</A>" defends Reductionism and applies it to utilitarianism. </li><li>And <a name="14"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_05/Abstract_5555.htm">Locke (John) - Of Identity and Diversity</A>" adopts the Memory Criterion, and applies this to ethics. </li><li><U>But</U> some philosophers see things the other way round, for instance:- </li><li><a name="15"></a>"<A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_12/PaperSummary_12187.htm">Korsgaard (Christine) - Personal Identity and the Unity of Agency: A Kantian Response to Parfit</A>", and </li><li><a name="24"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_439.htm">MacIntyre (Alasdair) - After Virtue</A>", & </li><li>Who argue that certain of our ethical commitments are <U>necessary</U>, and so have to produce a certain practical account of Personal Identity whereby we are deeply unified distinct individuals, in contrast to the disintegrated accounts of the first method. </li></ul> </li><li><B>Motivation  Theoretical or Practical?</B>: Even for those who take Metaphysics as prior to Ethics, there s a further bifurcation. <ul type="disc"><li><U>Theoretical Motivation</U>: Persons are simply an interesting special case of the identity conditions of objects <I>generally</I>. There s no necessary connection for those of this motivation between Personal Identity and Ethics. There will be a tendency to assimilate the identity conditions of persons to those of other <U>objects</U>  or at least other <U>organisms</U>  hence the attraction of the <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_9/Notes_911.htm">Biological Criterion</A><SUP>2</SUP> for those with this motivation. </li><li><U>Practical Motivation</U>: The driver for investigating questions of Personal Identity is our practical concerns, for instance agency (because we need to know that we are punishing (say) the right agent). Note that this motivation is different from giving Ethics priority over metaphysics. Those motivated by practical concerns will tend to favour Psychological Criteria (or Narrative Identity, or IDM (=  Identity Doesn t Matter )), as our practical concerns are with psychology. Hence, they will think that the PCs or Persons differ greatly from those of animals.</li><li>Each of the opposing views does well in some respects and badly in others. The BV does well on Essence  <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_7/Notes_734.htm">what we are</A><SUP>3</SUP>  but badly on rational anticipation  we don t get what we want out of persistence, or don t persist at all. And vice versa for the PV. </li></ul> </li><li><B>Motivating Practical Concerns</B>: There are motivational differences even amongst those who agree that Metaphysics is prior to Ethics, and who agree that the motivation for the investigation of the PCs of Persons is practical rather than theoretical. <ul type="disc"><li>They have different starting questions, the answers to which  given the need for consistency  influence the answers to others. Eg:-<BR>&rarr; Moral Responsibility<BR>&rarr; <a name="4"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_9/Notes_978.htm">Post-mortem survival</A><SUP>4</SUP><BR>&rarr; Prudential rationality, etc. </li><li>So, someone whose initial interest is in questions of <U>agency</U>, will tend to assume that all questions of personal identity must be psychology-related. </li><li>However, someone who s interested in <U>compensation</U> may not adopt this approach, because the cases involving compensation may not involve a person at all. For instance, compensation for damage in utero (when the <a name="5"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_71.htm">fetus</A><SUP>5</SUP> had no psychological properties); or compensation to an individual who has received a traumatic head injury, and who might have no psychology either (eg. if in a PVS). These situations prima facie require the BV for compensation to apply; then, consistency may apply the BV to all cases of practical concern. </li><li><U>Note</U>: I m not fully convinced that this isn t a reversal to giving priority to Ethics over Metaphysics. But it may be that the initial question so colours the philosopher s thinking that he doesn t consider alternatives even when the counter-examples roll in. </li></ul> </li><li><B>Response to Methodological Differences</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>Preferably  but not popularly  the philosopher will review his methodology in the light of the conflicts that arise. Shoemaker cites the following as laudable but rare attempts at so doing:-<BR>&rarr; <a name="16"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_00/Abstract_262.htm">Johnston (Mark) - Human Beings</A>"<BR>&rarr; <a name="17"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_00/Abstract_558.htm">Johnston (Mark) - Human Concerns without Superlative Selves</A>"<BR>&rarr; <a name="25"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_656.htm">Schechtman (Marya) - The Constitution of Selves</A>" </li><li><B>Pluralism</B>: This allows the adoption of different approaches to the relation between Personal Identity and Ethics, depending on the case to hand. Pluralism denies a single relation. </li><li><U>Note</U>: that Pluralism is not allowing different metaphysical accounts of Personal Identity, depending on the practical context  at least I hope not  and Shoemaker agrees  as this would lead to contradiction. This is a pluralist account of the relation between PI and E, not a pluralist account of PI. </li><li>What Shoemaker proposes is that the question  is X at t1 identical to Y at t2 might have different answers depending on the <U>descriptions</U> under which X and Y fall. These descriptions would depend on the practical concern being addressed. The context Shoemaker is discussing involve the cases where either the BV or PV give the intuitive practical account, depending on the case at hand. So, the descriptions he has in mind are  Agent and  Biological Individual (or maybe  Human Being or  <a name="6"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1265.htm">Human Animal )</A><SUP>6</SUP>. </li><li><U>Note</U>: We need to be very careful that we don t fall into the incoherence of Relative Identity (<a name="9"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_96.htm">Click here for Note</A>). We probably have to distinguish between Persons and Human Beings as falling under different <a name="7"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_10.htm">Sortals</A><SUP>7</SUP>  which would allow two individuals to be co-located); or else to deny that Person (or Agent) is a substance-concept at all.</li><li>Shoemaker admits the Pluralist approach doesn t <U>resolve</U> conflict  rather it <U>dissolves</U> it, in that there was never any real conflict in the first place. </li></ul></li><li><B>Conclusion</B>: Recognising where we are with respect to these assumptions enables disagreements to be clarified and understood. Shoemaker asks whether we have to make a single choice, or whether adopting the pluralist  horses for courses approach might not be liberating. </li><li>Other Works Cited:- <ul type="disc"><li><a name="18"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_15/Abstract_15159.htm">Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity and Practical Concerns</A>" </li></ul></li><li><B>Outstanding Tasks</B>: (<a name="10"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_7/Notes_737.htm">Click here for Note</A>) <ul type="disc"><li>Expand note on Relative Identity (<a name="11"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_96.htm">Click here for Note</A>),</li><li>Read <a name="26"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_01/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_1385.htm">DeGrazia (David) - Human Identity and Bioethics</A>",</li><li>Read <a name="27"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_656.htm">Schechtman (Marya) - The Constitution of Selves</A>",</li><li>Read <a name="19"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_00/Abstract_558.htm">Johnston (Mark) - Human Concerns without Superlative Selves</A>",</li><li>Complete Note (<a name="12"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_7/Notes_791.htm">Click here for Note</A>) on <a name="20"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_00/Abstract_262.htm">Johnston (Mark) - Human Beings</A>",</li><li>Read <a name="21"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_15/Abstract_15159.htm">Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity and Practical Concerns</A>". </li></ul></li></ol><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></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="2018-08-02T08:15" pubdate>02/08/2018 08:15:36</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>