Identity, Cause and Mind
Shoemaker (Sydney)
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Back Cover Blurb

  1. This is an expanded edition of Sydney Shoemaker's seminal collection of his work on interrelated issues in the philosophy of mind and metaphysics. It reproduces all of the original papers, many of which are now regarded as classics, and includes four papers published since the first edition appeared in 1984. Themes include the nature of self-knowledge and self-reference, personal identity, persistence over time, properties, mental states, and perceptual experience.
  2. A number of the papers, including 'Self-Reference and Self-Awareness', 'Persons and Their Pasts', 'Causality and Properties', and 'The Inverted Spectrum', have remained at the centre of discussion of their topics. Several of the essays in the original collection discuss the ways in which causal considerations enter into the individuation of properties, and three of the added essays - 'Causal and Metaphysical Necessity', 'Realization and Mental Causation', and 'On What There Are' - deal with related themes. The neo-Lockean view of personal identity presented in 'Persons and Their Pasts' is developed with a different emphasis in the added paper 'Self and Substance'.

BOOK COMMENT:

Clarendon Press, Oxford, Expanded Edition, 2003. Nice paperback copy.



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Absent Qualia are Impossible: a Reply to Block"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind

COMMENT: Printout filed in "Various - Papers on Philosophy of Mind Boxes: Vol 3 (P-Z)".



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Causal and Metaphysical Necessity"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind


Philosophers Index Abstract
    Any property has two sorts of causal features: "forward-looking" ones, having to de with what its instantiation can contribute to causing, and "backward-looking" ones, having to do with how its instantiation can be caused. Such features of a property are essential to it, and properties sharing all of their causal features are identical. Causal necessity is thus a special case of metaphysical necessity. Appeals to imaginability have no more force against this view than they do against the Kripkean view that statements like "Gold is an element" are metaphysically necessary.



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Causality and Properties"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind


Author’s Introduction
  1. It is events, rather than objects or properties, that are usually taken by philosophers to be the terms of the causal relationship. But an event typically consists of a change in the properties or relationships of one or more objects, the latter being what Jaegwon Kim has called the "constituent objects" of the event1. And when one event causes another, this will be in part because of the properties possessed by their constituent objects.
  2. Suppose, for example, that a man takes a pill and, as a result, breaks out into a rash. Here the cause and effect are, respectively, the taking of the pill and the breaking out into a rash. Why did the first event cause the second? Well, the pill was penicillin, and the man was allergic to penicillin. No doubt one could want to know more - for example, about the biochemistry of allergies in general and this one in particular. But there is a good sense in which what has been said already explains why the one event caused the other. Here the pill and the man are the constituent objects of the cause event, and the man is the constituent object of the effect event.
  3. Following Kim we can also speak of events as having "constituent properties" and "constituent times." In this case the constituent property of the cause event is the relation expressed by the verb 'takes,' while the constituent property of the effect event is expressed by the predicate 'breaks out into a rash.' The constituent times of the events are their times of occurrence. Specifying the constituent objects and properties of the cause and effect will tell us what these events consisted in, and together with a specification of their constituent times will serve to identify them; but it will not, typically, explain why the one brought about the other.
  4. We explain this by mentioning certain properties of their constituent objects. Given that the pill was penicillin, and that the man was allergic to penicillin, the taking of the pill by the man was certain, or at any rate very likely, to result in an allergic response like a rash.
  5. To take another example, suppose a branch is blown against a window and breaks it. Here the constituent objects include the branch and the window, and the causal relationship holds because of, among other things, the massiveness of the one and the fragility of the other.
  6. It would appear from this that any account of causality2 as a relation between events should involve, in a central way, reference to the properties of the constituent objects of the events. But this should not encourage us to suppose that the notion of causality3 is to be analyzed away, in Humean fashion, in terms of some relationship between properties - for example, in terms of regularities in their instantiation. For as I shall try to show, the relevant notion of a property is itself to be explained in terms of the notion of causality4 in a way that has some strikingly non-Humean consequences.


COMMENT:




In-Page Footnotes ("Shoemaker (Sydney) - Causality and Properties")

Footnote 1: See "Kim (Jaegwon) - Causation, Nomic Subsumption, and the Concept of Event".



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Conceptual Connections and Other Minds"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Embodiment and Behavior"

Source: Rorty (Amelie) - The Identities of Persons, 1976


Author’s Introduction
  1. A prominent question in recent philosophy of mind is whether some of the connections between mental states and behavior are (in some interesting sense) "logical," "necessary," "internal," or "conceptual," as opposed to being "purely contingent."
  2. Another prominent question, a much older one, is whether subjects of mental states, in particular persons, can exist in "disembodied1 form," that is, whether it is possible (logically possible) for there to be something (or someone) that has mental states without having (or being) a body and so without having any physical states whatever.
  3. While both of these questions concern the relationships that hold between the realm of the mental and the realm of the physical, they are on the face of it very different questions, and they are often discussed as if their answers were independent of one another.


COMMENT: Also in "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Identity, Cause and Mind".



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Functionalism and Qualia"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind


Philosophers Index Abstract
    This paper replies to the claim of block and fodor, in "what psychological states are not" ("philosophical review", 1972), that functionalist accounts of mental states cannot accommodate their "qualitative character." It argues that cases of "absent qualia," in which a state lacking qualitative character is "functionally identical" to one having it, are not logically possible, and that the possibility of cases of "inverted qualia," in which functionally identical states are qualitatively different, is compatible with functionalism. Central to the paper is the claim that the relation of qualitative similarity between mental states is itself functionally definable.


COMMENT:



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Identity, Properties, and Causality"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind

COMMENT:



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Immortality and Dualism"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind

COMMENT:



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - On an Argument For Dualism"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - On Projecting the Unprojectible"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind


Philosophers Index Abstract
    Could there be someone who projects goodman's "grue"? I argue that if someone did systematically project a predicate spelled and pronounced "grue," then no matter what he said and did, it could never be reasonable for us, or for him, to believe that his predicate is definable "a la" goodman in terms of our color words. Nor could anyone have good grounds for thinking that he himself had changed from a policy of projecting our "green" to a policy of projecting goodman's "grue." Hence this is not a change anyone can coherently contemplate making, or needs reasons for not making.



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - On What There Are"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Persons and Their Pasts"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind


Author’s Introduction
  1. Persons have, in memory, a special access to facts about their own past histories and their own identities, a kind of access they do not have to the histories and identities of other persons and other things. John Locke thought this special access important enough to warrant a special mention in his definition of "person," viz.,
      "a thinking, intelligent being, that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing, in different times and places. . . ."
  2. In this paper I shall attempt to explain the nature and status of this special access and to defend Locke's view of its conceptual importance. I shall also attempt to correct what now seem to me to be errors and oversights in my own previous writings on this topic.


COMMENT:



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Phenomenal Similarity"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Realization and Mental Causation"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind


Philosophers Index Abstract
    A common conception of what it is for one property to "realize" another suggests that it is the realizer property that does the causal work, and that the realized property is epiphenomenal. The same conception underlies George Bealer's argument that functionalism leads to the absurd conclusion that what we take to be self-ascriptions of a mental state are really self-ascriptions of "first-order" properties that realize that state. This paper argues for a different concept of realization. A property realizes another if its "forward looking" causal features are a subset of those of the property realized. The instantiation of the realizer property will include the instantiation of the property realized; and when the effects produced are due to the causal features of the latter, it is the instantiation of it that is appropriately regarded as their cause. Epiphenomenalism is avoided and so is Bealer's absurd conclusion.



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Self and Substance"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind


Author’s Introduction
  1. Nowadays the question whether the self is a substance, and whether the identity over time of a person requires the identity of a substance, has a musty smell to it. We recognize it as a question that played a central role in the intriguing discussions of personal identity in Locke, Butler, Hume and Reid; but it has not been the central question in contemporary discussions of personal identity, and in most such discussions it is simply not addressed.
  2. Yet the question does have echoes in contemporary discussions. Contemporary "reductionists" about personal identity hark back to Locke and Hume, and contemporary antireductionists hark back to Butler and Reid. As I shall try to show, some of the intuitions of the antireductionists – e.g., their denial that the person who comes out at one end of a "teleportation" process can be the same as the person who went in at the other end – can be seen as expressions of the idea that in some good sense of "individual substance," a person must be an individual substance. And such a view seems at odds with the view of a reductionist like Derek Parfit1, who says that while we can allow that a person is a "subject" of experiences, since this is "the way we talk," it is nevertheless true that facts about persons and their experiences admit of an impersonal description that reveals them to be nothing over and above facts about the relations of experiences to one another and to bodies.
  3. There is always a danger that framing a current philosophical issue in traditional metaphysical terms – here, in terms of the concepts of substance, inherence, etc. – will result in obfuscation rather than clarification. But that is a risk I shall take. I shall try to show that it is possible to combine some of the central intuitions that go with the claim that the self is a substance with some, although certainly not all, of the intuitions that go with reductionist views about personal identity. Among other things, I shall be developing the view, which I have presented elsewhere, that the psychological continuity2 view of personal identity, the contemporary heir to Locke's memory theory, can usefully be seen as complementary to – the "reverse side of the coin of" – a functionalist view about the nature of mental states. And I shall be arguing that there is a version of this view that is compatible with much of what Peter Unger argues on behalf of a "physical" view of personal identity in his "Unger (Peter) - Identity, Consciousness and Value", a work I place (somewhat hesitantly) in the Butler-Reid tradition.
  4. Owing in large part to the work of Derek Parfit3, the emphasis in recent literature on personal identity has shifted somewhat from the metaphysical issue of what constitutes such identity to questions about its importance – in particular, the question of whether it is identity "as such" that matters in "survival." My primary concern here will be with the metaphysical issue, not the issue of importance. But at the end I shall briefly discuss the relation between these.



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Self-Reference and Self-Awareness"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind (Journal of Philosophy 65, No. 19, Sixty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Association Eastern Division, Oct. 3, 1968)

COMMENT: Symposium "Self and Reference" with Woods



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Some Varieties of Functionalism"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind


Philosophers Index Abstract
    Analytical functionalism holds that functional definitions of mental states are discoverable by conceptual analysis, psychofunctionalism holds that they are discoverable by empirical psychology, and ctp-functionalism is an application to the mental of a causal theory of properties. The first and third of these can be held together and are more promising than the second, whose prospects of being established "seem nonexistent unless ctp-functionalism can be established, and dim even if it can be."



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - The Inverted Spectrum"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind

COMMENT: Also in "Block (Ned), Flanagan (Owen) & Guzeldere (Guven) - The Nature of Consciousness"



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Time Without Change"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind

COMMENT:



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  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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