- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Methuselah1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 11/03/2018 20:19:41): Methuselah
- I’m unimpressed by Lewis4’s solution to the Methuselah thought experiment5, which seems to be a reductio ad absurdum of the psychological6 connectedness7 approach to personal identity.
- Can there really be an uncountable infinity of persons8 residing in a single body9? But why not? Lewis thrives on pressing credibility.
- The “no prudential concern for the future” argument also seems to be another reduction of the connectedness approach. If I’m not the same person as the future occupant of my body, why make provisions for him. Yet, he’ll share my first-person perspective10 and I’ll be psychologically continuous11 with him.
- Of course, Lewis’s model (of a 150-year cut-off for psychological connectedness) is admittedly too crude. Parfit12 sees temporally extended persons as persons of reduced degree13, according to the degree of connectedness. However, this seems to destroy the natural growth and maturation of the person.
- I’m still the same person as was my immature self, even though most of my hopes and desires have changed. If I’m in control of my life, I own these changes, brought them about, and often think them for the good.
- What about where I don’t own them, but regret my corruption (moral and physical)? It’s still my corruption that I regret. I’m the same human being14.
- It depends what concept15 we want to use the term “person” for. We always have to distinguish personality16 from persons.
- Finally, consider Saul Kripke on individuation by origin17. Is this a possible objection to overlapping persons? If a person’s origin is what individuates18 it, how is it possible for persons to have vague19,20 origins as in an un-simplified Methusalah case? There are two issues here that need spelling out.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read21, include22 the following:-
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- This is mostly a place-holder23. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (11/03/2018 20:19:41).
- 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.
- I need to re-read Parfit to see what he means (assuming he said this!).
- I have a Note on Degrees of Personhood, but it is talking about something else, I think.
- 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