- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Psychological Continuity - Forward1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 05/02/2018 20:02:24): Psychological Continuity - Forward
- I think there’s a conceptual difference between:-
- Forward psychological continuity, and
- Backward psychological continuity.
- Imagine the case where (on an endurantist4 account of persistence5), I’m put into a duplicating machine, but something goes wrong and my body is destroyed by the duplication process, though my duplicate wakes up perfectly happily. Then, it seems to me, I would never wake up, and would have no experience beyond entry to the duplicating machine. I have no forward psychological continuity. But my duplicate6 does have backward psychological continuity.
- Any duplicate of me, looking backward, would consider himself to be “me”, having my memories7, abilities, plans and so forth, and a body looking just like mine. But, would I ever wake up as the duplicate? My intuition on the endurantist account, as I have said, is that I would not, though I suspect that on the perdurantist8 account, this might be seen as a case of fission9 in which I might wake up twice, provided we consider that the right sort of causality10 is in place.
- But, what gives forward continuity of consciousness11 in the normal case of sleep and temporary unconsciousness? I cannot know “from the inside” that when I awake I’m the same human being as went to sleep in my bed. The reason I believe this is for external reasons: duplication is not physically possible (or at least practical), and in any case I have no reason to believe it happened to me last night.
- This seems a very important issue to me, and I need to make more of it. For example, in teletransportation12 thought experiment13, it seems to me that a new person wakes up, but I don’t, nor do I experience anything, though the new person claims to be me. Incidentally, it’s not just a new person14, but a new human being15.
- This is the sort of question that the Logical Positivists would denounce as meaningless, as no empirical evidence can decide it.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read16, include17 the following:-
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- This is mostly a place-holder18. 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 (05/02/2018 20:02:24).
- 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, 2019