- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Psychological Criterion1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 27/10/2018 19:52:19): Psychological Criterion
- This Note is one of a nexus of similar topics4, namely:-
- Psychological View5,
- Psychological Continuity6,
- Psychological Continuity – Forward7,
- Roughly speaking, the Psychological View (PV) of Personal Identity is that which argues that
I reject this whole approach if matters of identity are uppermost in our minds. However, if we’re talking about what matters to us in survival, then psychology is obviously important.
- Questions of our identity are settled by psychological facts.
- We are most fundamentally psychological beings.
- We come and go when our psychology comes into or goes out of existence.
- We cannot survive radical changes to our psychology.
- And so on.
- The Psychological Criterion is the use of psychological facts as a criterion of personal identity, as definitive of whether we persist or not. So (on this view) if we want to know whether a person survives or not, it’s matters of psychological continuity or connectedness that we must investigate.
- In general, doubts arise about whether an individual has persisted if there are too radical changes in its properties in
These factors can be in tension10, as had been noted since Reid’s “Brave Officer” objection to Locke’s “memory criterion”, and Lewis’s Methuselah11 case. Identity is an equivalence relation, so transitivity is expected. Yet it is not necessarily respected in the case of memory – because continuous so-called memory-identity fails to lead to connectedness over long periods of time.
- a short space of time (failure of continuity) or
- over longer stretches of time (failure of connectedness).
- Another factor I have noted is that there’s a distinction between the evidential force of forward and backward psychological continuity.
- See "Blackburn (Simon) - Has Kant Refuted Parfit?" for what Blackburn calls the Unity Reaction: we cannot envision fissioning12: our FPP13 would just seem to go on in one direction only.
- Because of reduplication14 problems – as in the “inconceivable” fission case above – at least in the absence of perdurantism15 – no amount of backward psychological continuity is sufficient for identity.
- This is all rather complex:
- We anticipate forward psychological continuity – and while we’re continuously conscious, this is what we experience, and this seems to be evidentially sound.
- Yet our checking is always based on backward psychological continuity. But, in the absence of evil demons, this doesn’t seem to be a problem.
- The issue arises in the case of traumatic cases of discontinuous consciousness, where we don’t know how we arrived in our present state. We’d then need to rely on third parties. My point is that no amount of inner conviction is sufficient proof, as distinct from when we are continuously conscious.
- For a page of Links16 to this Note, Click here.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read17, include18 the following:-
- "Baillie (James) - Problems in Personal Identity: In Conclusion", Baillie
- "Baillie (James) - Problems in Personal Identity: Preface", Baillie
- "Blatti (Stephan) - Animalism and its Implications", Blatti
- "Ehring (Douglas) - Personal Identity and Time Travel", Ehring
- "Garrett (Brian) - Criteria of Personal Identity", Garrett
- "Hershenov (David) - Review of Nancy Murphy's 'Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?'", Hershenov
- "Olson (Eric) - Persistence", Olson
- "Parfit (Derek) - How We Are Not What We Believe", Parfit
- "Parfit (Derek) - Nagel's Brain", Parfit
- "Parfit (Derek) - What We Believe Ourselves To Be", Parfit
- "Rorty (Amélie Oksenberg) - The Identities of Persons: Introduction", Rorty
- "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity and Ethics", Shoemaker
- "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity and Moral Responsibility", Shoemaker
- "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity, Rational Anticipation, and Self-Concern", Shoemaker
- "Snowdon (Paul) - The Self and Personal Identity", Snowdon
- "Thomas (Janice L.) - Psychological continuity", Thomas
- "Thomas (Janice L.) - What matters for survival and the logical possibility of resurrection", Thomas
- I don’t really have a study-list to hand. Reading will be covered by the related Notes. However, a “starter pack” might be:-
- "Baillie (James) - Memory", Baillie
- "Baillie (James) - Personal Identity And Mental Content", Baillie
- "Belzer (Marvin) - Notes on Relation R", Belzer
- "McCall (Catherine) - Physical and Psychological Criteria of Personal Identity", McCall
- "Slors (Marc) - A Psychological Criterion of Personal Identity: The Five Problems Revisited (The Diachronic Mind, Chapter 5)", Slors
- "Slors (Marc) - A Psychological Criterion of Personal Identity: The Five Problems Revisited (Personal Identity and the Metaphysics of Mind, Chapter 4)", Slors
- "Slors (Marc) - Personal Identity, Memory, and Circularity: An Alternative for Q-Memory", Slors
- This is mostly a place-holder19.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (27/10/2018 19:52:19).
- 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.
- None of these Notes currently have much written on them!
- 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