- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Parfit1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 14/07/2019 18:05:46): Parfit
- Derek Parfit was4 one of the most important contemporary philosophers to have engaged with the topic of Personal Identity.
- I read "Parfit (Derek) - Reasons and Persons" back in 2004/5, but took no notes, so need to read it again – especially the Third Part.
- However, I’ll have to leave the bulk of Parfit’s thought on Ethics to one side, except to note where it impacts on – and is a motivator for – Parfit’s theory of personal identity.
- In this regard, I note that I’ve sometimes used Parfit’s name – Derek Parfit – as a link from other pages on my website, rather than this Note. I intend my practice to be to link to this Note when issues of Personal Identity are under discussion, and his name otherwise5.
- Parfit is famous for the dictum “identity is not what matters in survival”.
- I have a note – What Matters6 on this that – at the time of writing – needs some work! I will need to segregate the discussion of Parfit’s work between this Note and that one.
- I intend to cover this amongst other general metaphysical matters in Chapter 47 of my Thesis.
- My view remains that there must be some confusion in this dictum, in that survival8 is the same as persistence9, and without identity there is no persistence, so identity is a necessary condition for survival and must, therefore, “matter”.
- There may well be situations wherein other things matter – either to others or to myself – more than my survival, but this is not the same thing.
- Also, Parfit espouses a psychological view10 of personal identity, and has many interesting things to say on whether – given the psychological difference between myself now and my future self – I should make provision for someone to whom I am only weakly psychologically connected11, and whether others should honour advance directives made by my former self12.
- My view on that remains that I’m stuck with my FPP13, which persists (though it may degrade) through all the changes in my psychology, and that prudence demands that I take this into account. It matters.
- In addition, Parfit has invented or refined a number of interesting TEs14 to do with Fission15, Fusion16 or Teletransportation17, which will receive attention in their due place in Chapter 1018.
- For a page of Links19 to this Note, Click here. The list is rather long, so I’ve just used it as an indicator, and reminder of what I’ve actually read on the topic.
- Works on this topic – some of which only touch on Parfit tangentially – that I’ve actually read20 include the following:-
- "Baillie (James) - Identity, Survival, and Sortal Concepts", Baillie
- "Baillie (James) - Problems in Personal Identity: Preface", Baillie
- "Baillie (James) - Problems in Personal Identity: In Conclusion", Baillie
- "Baker (Deane-Peter) - Taylor and Parfit on Personal Identity: a Response to Lotter", Baker_DP
- "Blackburn (Simon) - Review of Derek Parfit's 'On What Matters'", Blackburn
- "Bourget (David) & Chalmers (David) - The PhilPapers Surveys: What Do Philosophers Believe?", Bourget & Chalmers
- "Cassam (Quassim) - Parfit on Persons", Cassam
- "Carruthers (Peter) - After-Life for Materialists", Carruthers21
- "Dancy (Jonathan) - Reading Parfit: Preface", Dancy
- "Garrett (Brian) - Animalism and Reductionism", Garrett
- "Garrett (Brian) - Parfit and 'What Matters'", Garrett
- "Garrett (Brian) - Personal Identity and Reductionism", Garrett
- "Johansson (Jens) - What is Animalism?", Johansson22
- "Johnston (Mark) - Human Beings", Johnston
- "Kagan (Shelly) - The badness of death, Part III; Immortality, Part I", Kagan
- "Lewis (David) - Survival and Identity", Lewis
- "Liao (S. Matthew) - The Organism View Defended", Liao
- "Lockwood (Michael) - When Does a Life Begin?", Lockwood
- "Mackie (David) - Animalism Versus Lockeanism: No Contest", Mackie_D23
- "Martin (Raymond) - Self-Concern: An Experiential Approach to what Matters in Survival", Martin
- "McDowell (John) - Reductionism and the First Person", McDowell
- "Nagel (Thomas) - Mind and Body", Nagel
- "Noonan (Harold) - An Initial Survey", Noonan
- "Noonan (Harold) - Animalism versus Lockeanism: Reply to Mackie", Noonan
- "Noonan (Harold) - Parfit and What Matters in Survival", Noonan
- "Oderberg (David) - Johnston on Human Beings", Oderberg
- "Olson (Eric) - Animalism and the Remnant-Person Problem", Olson
- "Olson (Eric) - On Parfit's View That We Are Not Human Beings", Olson
- "Parfit (Derek) - Lewis, Perry, and What Matters", Parfit
- "Parfit (Derek) - Personal Identity", Parfit
- "Parfit (Derek) - Reasons and Persons", Parfit; Especially
→ "Parfit (Derek) - What We Believe Ourselves To Be", Chapter 10
→ "Parfit (Derek) - How We Are Not What We Believe", Chapter 11
→ "Parfit (Derek) - Why Our Identity is Not What Matters", Chapter 12
→ "Parfit (Derek) - What Does Matter", Chapter 13
→ "Parfit (Derek) - Personal Identity and Rationality", Chapter 14
→ "Parfit (Derek) - Personal Identity and Morality", Chapter 15
→ "Parfit (Derek) - Nagel's Brain", Appendix D
→ "Parfit (Derek) - The Closest Continuer Schema", Appendix E
- "Perry (John) - The Importance of Being Identical", Perry
- "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity and Ethics", Shoemaker_D
- "Smith (Barry C.), Broks (Paul), Kennedy (A.L.) & Evans (Jules) - What Does It Mean to Be Me?", Broks24
- "Thomas (Janice L.) - What matters for survival and the logical possibility of resurrection", Thomas
- "Williams (Bernard) - Persons, Character and Morality", Williams
- Apart from the above, the works on or by Parfit that I really need to focus25 on are:-
- "Alexander (Ronald) - The Self, Supervenience and Personal Identity: Introduction", Alexander
- "Alexander (Ronald) - A Major Problem With Parfit", Alexander
- "Atkins (Kim) - Personal Identity and the Importance of One's Own Body: A Response to Derek Parfit", Atkins
- "Belzer (Marvin) - Notes on Relation R", Belzer
- "Belzer (Marvin) - Self-Conception and Personal Identity: Revisiting Parfit and Lewis with an Eye on the Grip of the Unity Reaction", Belzer
- "Blackburn (Simon) - Has Kant Refuted Parfit?", Blackburn
- "Brennan (Andrew) - Personal Identity and Personal Survival", Brennan
- "Brueckner (Anthony) - Parfit On What Matters In Survival", Brueckner
- "Butkovic (Ana) - Does Identity Really Matter? Parfit vs Lewis", Butkovic
- "Campbell (Scott) - Strawson, Parfit and Impersonality", Campbell
- "Dancy (Jonathan), Ed. - Reading Parfit", Dancy,
- "Ehring (Douglas) - Personal identity and the R-relation: Reconciliation through cohabitation?", Ehring
- "Gendler (Tamar Szabo) - Personal Identity and Thought Experiments", Gendler
- "Hooker (Brad) - Parfit's Arguments for the Present-Aim Theory", Hooker
- "Johnston (Mark) - A New Refutation Of Death", Johnston
- "Johnston (Mark) - Fission and the Facts", Johnston
- "Johnston (Mark) - Reasons and Reductionism", Johnston
- "Kamm (F.M.) - The Asymmetry Problem: Death and Prenatal Nonexistence", Kamm
- "Luper (Steven) - Past Desires and the Dead", Luper
- "McCall (Catherine) - Assessment of Parfit's Analysis", McCall
- "McCall (Catherine) - Parfit's Theory of Personal Identity", McCall
- "Merricks (Trenton) - Review of Jonathan Dancy's 'Reading Parfit'", Merricks
- "Parfit (Derek) - Comments", Parfit
- "Parfit (Derek) - On 'The Importance of Self-Identity'", Parfit
- "Parfit (Derek) - The Indeterminacy Of Identity: A Reply To Brueckner", Parfit
- "Parfit (Derek) - The Unimportance of Identity", Parfit
- "Parfit (Derek) - We Are Not Human Beings", Parfit
- "Perrett (Roy W.) - Personal Identity, Minimalism, And Madhyamaka", Perrett
- "Penelhum (Terence) - The Importance of Self-Identity", Penelhum
- "Roberts (Melinda) - Lewis's Theory Of Personal Identity", Roberts
- "Robinson (John) - Personal Identity and Survival", Robertson
- "Rovane (Carol) - Branching Self-Consciousness", Rovanne
- "Schechtman (Marya) - Personhood and Personal Identity", Schechtman
- "Schechtman (Marya) - Self and Self-Interest", Schechtman
- "Seibt (Johanna) - Fission, Sameness, and Survival: Parfit’s Branch Line Argument Revisited", Seibt
- "Shoemaker (David) - Selves and Moral Units", Shoemaker_D
- "Shoemaker (David) - Utilitarianism and Personal Identity", Shoemaker_D
- "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Review of Derek Parfit's 'Reasons and Persons'", Shoemaker_S
- "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Self and Substance", Shoemaker_S
- "Valberg (J.J.) - My Future", Valberg
- "Valberg (J.J.) - My Future: The Puzzle of Division", Valberg
- "Velleman (David) - Persons in Prospect (Revised)", Velleman
- "Velleman (David) - The Identity Problem", Velleman26
- "Wolf (Susan) - Self-Interest and Interest in Selves", Wolf
- "Zimmerman (Dean) - Materialism, Dualism, and “Simple” Theories of Personal Identity", Zimmerman
- This is mostly a place-holder27.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (14/07/2019 18:05:46).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- Parfit died on 1st January 2017 to the general surprise and distress of the philosophical community.
- I have noted numerous eulogies and obituaries against Derek Parfit.
Footnote 21: Footnote 22: Footnote 23: Footnote 24: Footnote 25:
- Or a page may link to both this Note and to Parfit’s Name, which then links to his ‘Author’ page on my site.
- I’m in the process of regularising this practice.
- I’ve ignored here those many papers on “what matters” that are not specifically related to the topic of Personal Identity.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019