- 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 Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 17/08/2018 17:35:31): 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).
- For a page of Links17 to this Note, Click here.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read18, include19 the following:-
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - When Do Persons Begin and End?", Baker
- "Garrett (Brian) - Animalism and Reductionism", Garrett
- "Hershenov (David) - Review of Nancy Murphy's 'Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?'", Hershenov
- "Lockwood (Michael) - When Does a Life Begin?", Lockwood
- "Olson (Eric) - Persistence", Olson
- "Olson (Eric) - Psychology and Personal Identity", Olson
- "Wilson (Jack) - Beyond Horses and Oak Trees: A New Theory of Individuation for Living Entities", Wilson
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Campbell (Scott) - Persons and Substances", Campbell
- "Price (Marjorie) - Identity Through Time", Price
- "Wiggins (David) - Metaphysics: Substance", Wiggins
- "Wiggins (David) - Sameness and Substance", Wiggins, especially
→ "Wiggins (David) - The Absoluteness of Sameness (S&S)" and
→ "Wiggins (David) - Outline of a Theory of Individuation (S&S)"
- This is mostly a place-holder20.
- 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.
- 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.
- If only a “non-updating” run has been made, the links are only one-way – ie. from the page of links to the objects that reference this Note by mentioning the appropriate key-word(s). The links are also only indicative, as they haven’t yet been confirmed as relevant.
- Once an updating run has been made, links are both ways, and links from this Notes page (from the “Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note” and “Summary of Note Links to this Page” sections) are to the “point of link” within the page rather than to the page generically. Links from the “links page” remain generic.
- There are two sorts of updating runs – for Notes and other Objects. The reason for this is that Notes are archived, and too many archived versions would be created if this process were repeatedly run.
- 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, 2019