- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Clinical Observations1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 10/04/2017 23:38:24): Clinical Observations
- Clinical observations may be a better guides than thought experiments4 as test cases for our theories of personal identity, because at least we know they represent a real possibility.
- One of the main objections to TEs is that they are underspecified and confused.
- However, even with actual clinical observation, we still have the trouble of the correct interpretation of the clinical data, which affects the conclusions we can draw from it.
- See "Wegner (Daniel) - The Illusion of Conscious Will" for the sort of controversy that arises in these circumstances.
→ [I need to explain this a bit further!]
- Examples of relevant clinical cases are
→ Commissurotomy patients5 and
→ Those with Multiple Personality Disorder6 (MPD).
Is a commissurotomy or MPD patient “home to” one or two persons?
- I argue elsewhere (where7?) that PATIENT – like PERSON8 – is a Phase Sortal9 of the Ultimate Sortal10 HUMAN BEING11.
- One human being can simultaneously be multiple patients (dental and chiropody, for instance), or a multiply-enrolled student.
- Does this situation mirror those of our more seriously damaged human beings?
- One thing can’t be two things (in the sense of “be identical to”), even if the two things are of a different kind12 to the one thing.
- The logic of identity13 would force the “two” things to be identical.
- But the Phase Sortal approach doesn’t force this violation of logic, so could a human being with split personality literally be the home of two, or three, or seven different thinking beings? (Wilkes14).
- I’m inclined to say “yes”, but what impact does that have on animalism15?
- This topic (and its reading list) overlaps with several others, some of which have already been mentioned:-
- Currently, there is no categorised reading-list for this topic. A reading list would be mostly covered by the above Notes. Currently I can otherwise only think of:-
- "Harris (Henry) - An Experimentalist Looks at Identity", Harris, 1995
- This is mostly a place-holder20.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (10/04/2017 23:38:24).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
Footnote 14: Presumably in +BB+.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018