- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Survival1' 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): Survival
- I need to distinguish two interpretations of Parfit4 according to whether survival and identity are or are not equated.
- Also, by “survival” does Parfit mean the same as other philosophers mean by “persistence5”?
- A standard Parfitian claim is that “what matters in survival is not identity”. Parfit is right that the issue isn’t necessarily “am I (A) identical to B or C”, but “will I have what matters6 in survival if B, or C, or both survive”, and that the reason the two questions are elided is that they don’t usually come apart.
- However, there’s incoherence in an expression such as “will I survive as B”, if I’m not supposed identical to B, since survival and this use of the personal pronoun seem to imply identity.
- Also in an expression such as “will I have what matters”, to what does the “I7” refer if I’m assumed not to persist? To my present self only? I might now see that I might be happy that a certain future state of affairs, not involving me, appertains, but I would then not have what matters, nor indeed have anything at all.
- So, I think we do need to distinguish, with Parfit, identity from what matters in survival. His idea seems to be that we can have what matters in survival without surviving.
- Parfit’s concerns are fundamentally ethical, with Buddhist tendencies. He’s trying to remove self8 from ethics and persuade us that we don’t need self, and therefore don’t need self-identity.
- Parfit’s claim, which I believe to be false, is that we don’t really care about our persistence as such, but about the survival of our projects, which can as well or better be prosecuted by others. But we are more selfish than that, and in many circumstances justifiably so.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read9, include10 the following:-
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- This is mostly a place-holder11. 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