- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Phase Sortals1' 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): Phase Sortals
- See under Sortals4 for the introduction of the concept PHASE SORTAL. I seem to have misappropriated the term. In its standard usage (I am told), a phase sortal is a biologically-motivated term. The clearest examples are of individuals that metamorphose5; for example the butterfly: egg to larva (caterpillar) to pupa (chrysalis) to adult (butterfly). The caterpillar is a phase sortal of the organism, with clear spatio-temporal boundaries. My standard example is of CHILD, which is a (vaguely-boundaried) biological phase of the substance sortal HUMAN BEING6.
- An example of a possible human phase sortal that is a non-person is INFANT. This example might be especially relevant to the topic, because “infant” is derived from the Latin in-fans “without speech”, and the capacity for speech is often claimed to be an essential prerequisite for being a person7.
- Any suggestion that the concept PERSON is “no more than” a phase sortal of an umbrella concept isn’t intended to imply unimportance. Rather, simply that persons might not form a kind8 (and in particular a natural kind9), nor be substances10, but that personhood might be a property11 of substances (of animals12, for instance).
- What about “periodic” phase sortals such as STUDENT? A human being can “pop in and out of” studenthood by registering or deregistering, but he can’t do this with childhood. Which model suits personhood? See the discussion of intermittent objects13.
- However, if the above suggestion that the concept PHASE SORTAL is biologically motivated is correct, a purely social concept such as STUDENT is not a phase sortal in this sense, and PERSON might not be either. I could, of course, invent a new term of art.
- All roads seem to lead to Wiggins14 (Paul Snowdon refers to him a lot in the context of Animalism15, though I seem to remember that Eric Olson thinks Wiggins isn’t a true Animalist, but a supporter of the psychological view16).
- I need to read
→ "Wiggins (David) - Sameness and Substance" (possibly, but especially) …
→ "Wiggins (David) - Sameness and Substance Renewed"
with some urgency; also, maybe,
→ "Wiggins (David) - Metaphysics: Substance" in "Grayling (Anthony), Ed. - Philosophy 1 - A Guide Through the Subject".
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read17, include18 the following:-
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- This is mostly a place-holder19. 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.
- 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