- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Connectedness vs Continuity1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 04/02/2018 17:09:36): Connectedness vs Continuity
- When defining persistence conditions4, we need to distinguish between connectedness and continuity.
- Continuity is a transitive relation that relates adjacent stages.
- Connectedness is intransitive and requires enough of the properties of interest to be maintained over time.
- At root, this is just the message of the Old Soldier, raised against Locke, and answered by Ancestrals of the “remembers” relation.
- Indeed, "Johnston (Mark) - Human Beings" (Journal of Philosophy, p. 61) describes Continuity as the ancestral of Connectedness.
- Persons5 – like animals6 – develop and “grow7”. We can admit that we have the same animal from fetus8 to corpse9 (with some arguments about the termini). However, do we have the same person?
- I’d contend that whatever physical and psychological discontinuities10 the human animal undergoes, we do have the same person where we have a person at all, provided a single First Person Perspective11 (FPP) is maintained.
- If one’s character changes radically over time, do you remain the same person? Yes, if we want the child and the adult to be the same person (as we do), or the convert to be the same person as the unbeliever.
- The relevance of this to the present debate is that it is continuity that is relevant to personal identity, and not connectedness. This applies whatever view of Personal Identity we hold.
- Derek Parfit – who doesn’t think identity is what matters12 – holds a different view; that it is connectedness that matters, and so we need have no concern for future selves13 that are psychologically unconnected to our current selves. I think this view is mistaken, as we are locked in to a FPP and will have to experience the fate of that future self, however unconnected.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read14, include15 the following:-
- "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity, Rational Anticipation, and Self-Concern", Shoemaker
- I don’t – and won’t – have a Note on Connectedness per se: this Note will cover all I have to say on the topic.
- However, this note is linked to two others:-
→ Continuity16, and
- So, a rather diminutive reading list might start with:-
- "Belzer (Marvin) - Notes on Relation R", Belzer
- "Campbell (Scott) - Is Connectedness Necessary to What Matters in Survival?", Campbell
- This is mostly a place-holder18.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (04/02/2018 17:09:36).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- 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.
- Not necessarily physically – that would be begging the question as to what persons are.
- Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
- In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
- In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
- My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
- I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
- Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018