- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'What Matters1' 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): What Matters
- This section will cover part of the discussion of Parfit4’s claims that we can have what matters to us in survival5 without the need for identity. That is, if the individual who follows on from us experiences good things or fulfils our projects, then provided that individual is sufficiently close to us, or those projects are sufficiently close to ours, we will have what matters to us even if that individual is not – strictly-speaking – us.
- The situation envisaged is where the logic of identity6 – maybe as a result of fission – means that it is logically impossible that we should survive some vicissitude. In those circumstances it’s not mere quibbles over identity that matter to us, but those benefits that are usually concomitant with identity.
- It seems obvious that our survival matters to us, or at least some of the benefits of surviving matter to us. If we don’t survive, we can have none of those benefits of survival. Such questions come up in trying to explain why death7 is bad for the one who dies.
- However, the question has been raised that some people (eg. those contemplating suicide) don’t want to persist8, so persistence doesn’t matter to them. I think it does – persistence matters, though maybe persisting doesn’t. What I mean is that whether they persist or not matters to persons, who can anticipate – in a good or bad light, accurately or not – the future. If things get too bad (or are perceived to be that way), it may be important to them that they don’t persist. In the normal case, it’s important that they do. Either way, persistence matters to them.
- Where I differ from (an interpretation of) Parfit is that it’s not just my projects that matter to me. If I had a worthwhile project and I died before completing it – but someone else completed it for me (like Mozart’s Requiem or "Wittgenstein (Ludwig) - Philosophical Investigations") – then – provided it was done competently – that would be a good thing. If this happened to all my outstanding projects, even those I’d not started, that would be better. But it would not be as good as – or even the same thing as – my completing them myself. Sometimes the journey is as good as the arrival, and even where it isn’t it is often an extra good. I would miss out.
- 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