- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Dion and Theon1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 17/08/2018 17:35:31): Dion and Theon
- This is an ancient conundrum that has been revived by Peter Geach, Michael Burke and others – in the form of “Tib and Tibbles4” – and is put to a variety of uses.
- It is associated with a number of other Notes on the same general theme, namely:-
- The Statue and the Clay5,
- Tibbles the Cat6,
- The Ship of Theseus7,
- The Problem of the Many9
- It is so closely associated with one version of Tibles the Cat10 that I’ll describe them together11.
- The conceit is that there is a whole man (Dion; or cat, Tibbles) and a partially overlapping thing12 (Theon or Tib) that is identical to Dion (or Tibbles) apart from its right foot (or tail).
- Subsequently Dion (or Tibbles) suffers the misfortune of losing the relevant member.
- Post-ectomy, it appears that Dion is identical to Theon (and Tibbles to Tib).
- What are we to make of this apparent contradiction, as it would seem that beforehand the respective pairs were non-identical?
- The solutions to this puzzle include13:-
- Restrict the principle that different objects cannot occupy the same place at the same time. Some philosophers, following Locke and David Wiggins, modify the principle so that it applies only to objects of the same sort.
- Embrace mereological essentialism, the doctrine that each of the parts of an object is essential to its identity. Popular in antiquity, but not supported these days.
- Deny that the concept of a torso is a proper one, to deny that there ever was such a thing as Theon.
- Invoke the doctrine of temporal parts.
- Relativizing identity, whether to time or to sort. George Myro and Peter Geach both would say that the amputation has left just one (man-sized) object, an object that is both a man and a torso. Is that object Dion? Or is it Theon? Myro's answer would be "both."
- Michael Burke: Post amputation there is just one object; it is (predicatively) both a man and a torso; this one object is Dion, who once was two-footed and now is one-footed; Theon has ceased to exist.
- For a page of Links to this Note, Click here.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read14, include15 the following:-
- "Burke (Michael) - Dion and Theon: An Essentialist Solution to an Ancient Puzzle", Burke, 1994
- "Carter (William) - Dion's Left Foot (and the Price of Burkean Economy)", Carter, 1997
- "Marshall (Richard) & Olson (Eric) - Eric T. Olson: The Philosopher with No Hands", Marshall & Olson
- "Olson (Eric) - Dion's Foot", Olson, 1997
- "Parsons (Josh) - Dion, Theon, and DAUP", Parsons, 2004
- "Wiggins (David) - On Being in the Same Place at the Same Time", Wiggins
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Bowin (John) - Chrysippus' Puzzle About Identity", Bowin, 2003
- "Burke (Michael) - Dion, Theon, and the many-thinkers problem", Burke, 2004
- "Denkel (Arda) - Theon’s Tale: Does a Cambridge Change Result in a Substantial Change?", Denkel, 1995
- "Doyle (Robert O.) - Dion and Theon", Doyle
- "Sedley (David) - The Stoic criterion of identity", Sedley, 1982
- "Stone (Jim) - Why Sortal Essentialism Cannot Solve Chrysippus's Puzzle", Stone, 2002
- "Ujvari (Marta) - Cambridge Change and Sortal Essentialism", Ujvari, 2004
- This is mostly a place-holder16.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (17/08/2018 17:35:31).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
Footnote 11: Footnote 12:
- 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.
Footnote 13: Footnote 14:
- It is, of course, moot whether this “thing” is a man (or cat) – or even whether it exists at all.
- 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