- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Counting Persons1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 07/02/2018 19:42:14): Counting Persons
- I need to address the adverse consequences of David Lewis’s perdurantist4 approach to fission5 in personal identity.
- According to this theory, there were always coincident stages of the two space-time worms prior to fission. So, there were two persons there all along; yet we counted only one, being ignorant of6 the future fission.
- What are the consequences of miscounting? No doubt this depends on what function (or more likely functions) our concept7 PERSON8 performs.
- We might ask whether it is just persons who are miscounted, or are human beings9 also miscounted? This will obviously depend on the TE10, which would need spelling out.
- Take the case of a half-brain11 transplant12. In this TE, a person’s psychology is supposed to be duplicated13 within two idempotent half-brains, one of which stays in the donor’s head, the other being transplanted into the empty skull of a recipient. In this TE, the psychological view14 of personal identity is assumed. We start off with one locus of psychology, and end up with two. This is the standard problem of fission – which successor is identical to the original person? We seem to want both to be, but – in the absence of perdurantism – the logic of identity15 forbids it. Perdurantism helps us out, at the cost of there being more pre-fission persons than we thought.
- What about other fall-out? Are the earlier stages of the “recipient” patient – viewed as an animal – spatially distributed – so is such a distributed16 thing a human being at all?
- What is the core of humanness – is this always the brain17, so that the human goes along with the half-brain, and the body18 is just like any other transplant, only bigger?
- Problems with counting persons also allegedly arises in the context of:-
→ Multiple Personality Disorder19, and
While the latter is a precursor for the half-brain transplant described above, both are at least actual situations that are less open to the charge of under-description often alleged against TEs.
- Finally, for now at least, and maybe most importantly – the issue of counting arises in Eric Olson’s Thinking Animal Argument21, and the various conundrums involving (partly) coincident objects22.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read23, include24 the following:-
- "Wilkes (Kathleen) - Being in Two Minds", Wilkes
- "Wilkes (Kathleen) - Fugues, Hypnosis, and Multiple Personality", Wilkes
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Baxter (Donald L.M.) - Many-One Identity", Baxter
- "Gallois (Andre) - Counting Amoebas", Gallois
- "Hawley (Katherine) - Parts and Stages", Hawley
- "Hershenov (David) - Merrick's Identification of the Person and Organism", Hershenov
- "Olson (Eric) - Material Coincidence and the Indiscernibility Problem", Olson
→ "Lowe (E.J.) - Material Coincidence and the Cinematographic Fallacy: A Response to Olson", Lowe
→ "Olson (Eric) - Lowe's Defence of Constitutionalism", Olson
- "Parsons (Terence) - Counting Objects", Parsons
- "Snowdon (Paul) - Multiple Personality Disorder", Snowdon
- "Thomson (Garrett) - Counting subjects", Thomson
- "Williams (Bernard) - Identity and Identities", Williams
- This is mostly a place-holder25.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (07/02/2018 19:42:14).
- 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.
- No doubt if this fanciful event could be planned or anticipated we would count differently.
- 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, 2020