- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'What Are We1?' during my Thesis research, as from mid-March 2018.
- Click here for Note.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 09/05/2018 23:47:02): What are We?
- This Note cannot answer this question. Rather, it’ll try to consider the sort of desiderata necessary for formulating and answering the question, and for deciding between the various candidate answers.
- For the present, I just mention that I need to distinguish, as candidates for what we are, (human-)
→ beings8 and
- Additionally, I need to treat of
and maybe contrast terms like “Mensch” with “person”.
- We: the use of the plural is significant. However, the determination of “we” as “the sort of entity likely to be reading this paper” isn’t quite right, even though Dennett and others use similar expressions. Refer to the first parts of "Brandom (Robert) - Toward a Normative Pragmatics" in "Brandom (Robert) - Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing & Discursive Commitment" for inspiration on “We”.
- Intelligibility: this is a reciprocal relationship. We find others (of “our” sort) intelligible, and it is important that they find us intelligible in return. Does this thereby make R = “finds intelligible” an equivalence relation, dividing the world into equivalence classes of mutually intelligible individuals, or does R come in degrees and fall prey to Sorites11 paradoxes?
- For my Thesis Chapter on this topic, follow this link12.
- For a page of Links to this Note, Click here.
- The reading lists below are somewhat bloated; but, in general, only a small portion of the works cited needs to be addressed in the context of this question. No doubt the best place to start is
→ "Olson (Eric) - What Are We?" (the Paper), followed by
→ "Olson (Eric) - What are We?" (the Book).
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read13, include14 the following:-
- "Baillie (James) - What Am I?", Baillie
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Big-Tent Metaphysics", Baker
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons in the Material World", Baker
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Precis of 'Persons & Bodies: A Constitution View'", Baker
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Response to Eric Olson", Baker
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Review of 'What Are We? A Study in Personal Ontology' by Eric T. Olson", Baker
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - What Am I?", Baker
- "Belshaw (Christopher) - Review of Paul Snowdon's 'Persons, Animals, Ourselves'", Belshaw
- "Blatti (Stephan) - Animalism (SEP)", Blatti
- "Blatti (Stephan) - We Are Animals", Blatti
- "Brandom (Robert) - Toward a Normative Pragmatics", Brandom
- "Claxton (Guy) - Intelligence in the Flesh - Limbering Up: An Introduction", Claxton
- "DeGrazia (David) - Are we essentially persons? Olson, Baker, and a reply", DeGrazia
- "Johnston (Mark) - Human Beings", Johnston
- "Liao (S. Matthew) - The Organism View Defended", Liao
- "Lockwood (Michael) - When Does a Life Begin?", Lockwood
- "Nozick (Robert) - The Identity of the Self: Introduction", Nozick
- "Olson (Eric) - What Are We?", Olson
- "Parfit (Derek) - Nagel's Brain", Parfit
- "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity, Rational Anticipation, and Self-Concern", Shoemaker
- "Smith (Barry C.), Broks (Paul), Kennedy (A.L.) & Evans (Jules) - What Does It Mean to Be Me?", Smith, etc.
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Bailey (Andrew M.) - The Elimination Argument", Bailey
- "Bailey (Andrew M.) - You Needn’t be Simple", Bailey
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Animalism vs. Constitutionalism", Baker
- "Blackburn (Simon) - Has Kant Refuted Parfit?", Blackburn
- "Broks (Paul) - Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology", Broks
- "Bynum (Terrell Ward) - Two Philosophers of the Information Age", Bynum
- "Chitty (Andrew) - First Person Plural Ontology and Praxis", Chitty
- "Corcoran (Kevin) - Rethinking Human Nature: A Christian Materialist Alternative to the Soul", Corcoran
- "Dennett (Daniel) - Natural Freedom", Dennett
- "Hershenov (David) - Animals, Persons and Bioethics", Hershenov
- "McMahan (Jeff) - Identity", McMahan
- "Noe (Alva) - Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness", Noe
- "Olson (Eric) - What are We?", Olson15
- "Parfit (Derek) - We Are Not Human Beings", Parfit
- "Richards (Janet Radcliffe) - Internicene Strife", Richards
- "Snowdon (Paul) - [P & not-A] Cases: An Introduction", Snowdon
- "Snowdon (Paul) - The Self and Personal Identity", Snowdon
- "Taylor (Charles) - Responsibility For Self", Taylor
- "Wilson (Robert) - Persons, Social Agency, and Constitution", Wilson
- This is mostly a place-holder16.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (09/05/2018 23:47:02).
- 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.
Footnote 15: |..||.|There are hosts of papers by Olson that touch on this topic, but this book, and the paper of the same name, are enough in this context.
- 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