Identity, Consciousness and Value
Unger (Peter)
This Page provides (where held) the Abstract of the above Book and those of all the Papers contained in it.
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Cover Affidavits

  1. Its wealth of detail, its rigorous argumentation, and its large-scale deployment of the contemporary tools of discussion will ensure it a respected place in the literature .... A full, clear, and relentless book.
    Times Literary Supplement
  2. Unger's treatment of the methodological issues that these topics raise is one that has a great deal to recommend it, and it is almost certain to have an important impact on the way personal identity is discussed in the future.
    … Peter Strawson, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
    … presumably "Strawson (Peter) - Comments on Some Aspects of Peter Unger's Identity, Consciousness and Value".
  3. A short review cannot do justice to all the intricacies and subtleties of [Unger's] arguments and examples.... This book should be read by anyone interested in these issues."
    Philosophical Books
  4. Unger has developed, in a very powerful, imaginative, and persuasive way, what must now be regarded as one of the leading views on this subject.
    … Derek Parfit1, All Souls College, Oxford
  5. This is a work of striking boldness and originality: a philosophical tour de force that deserves to become a classic in the field. With a host of ingenious thought-experiments2, Peter Unger probes our deepest convictions concerning our identity through time and what gives value to life, drawing out their detailed implications. The result is a powerful and impressive theory of human identity (and its associated values) which seems to me clearly superior to the views currently in vogue. Thorough and rigorously argued, the work is also eminently readable, written in a lively and attractively forthright manner.
    … Michael Lockwood, Green College, Oxford
  6. Peter Unger, author of Ignorance (OUP, 1975) and Philosophical Relativity (1984), is Professor of Philosophy at New York University.
Acknowledgements3
  1. Many philosophers are happy enough advocating what are, essentially, the same sorts of general views for all of their intellectual lives. As even a moderately full exploration of an ambitious view may well take several decades, this inertial tendency often works for the good of philosophy as a whole. But, for good or for ill, it appears that I am a more restless sort of person. I have a strong need, once in a while, to wipe the slate clean and to start over again. Six years in the writing, the present book represents a severe departure from most of my work during the previous dozen years. While the earlier writing was extremely radical, the present effort represents a philosophy that, both in method and in substance, is quite conservative.
  2. It is no easy thing to attend seriously to someone who changes his direction so completely. Many people have done me the favor of making the necessary effort. Throughout the entire six years, two philosophers have been especially patient, serious and charitable. Both of them greatly influenced the work that you now hold in your hand.
  3. More than any other single person, Derek Parfit4 inspired this enterprise. Even before their publication, his writings on personal identity and value brought an enormous excitement to the whole area. As was my good fortune, during five of the six years I was writing this book, Parfit5 spent considerable time as a visiting professor in my department at New York University. At these times, he discussed many ideas with me, offering lots of encouragement along with large doses of astute criticism. In addition, he read what amounted to two distinct drafts of this book: As regards the second of these drafts, he provided me with the most copious, detailed and helpful set of written comments that, on any of my work, I have ever received.
  4. Through many hours of discussion, in each of the past six years, Mark Johnston was nearly as great an influence on the work. He also read what amounted to two drafts, including the draft just prior to the very last changes (all made in June 1989). From 1984 through 1987, he made quite a few day-trips from Princeton to New York, proving to be a bulwark of a very small discussion group on these topics that convened here in those years. In the academic year 1987-88, while on sabbatical from Princeton, Johnston was the philosopher in residence at NYU, perhaps a first for our department. In particular, the main theme of Chapter 7 ("Unger (Peter) - What Matters In Our Survival: Distinctions, Compromises and Limits"), the realistic compromise view of what matters6 in survival, is very similar to his view on that topic. It is largely through his forceful discussion that I was driven to adopt the view that, in that chapter, I now advocate.
  5. A few other people also helped me greatly. Through sending me letters, papers and especially cassettes, in which he espoused his own views, Arnold Zuboff showed me a whole universe of beautiful and important examples. These strongly influenced the sixth chapter ("Unger (Peter) - Physically Based Subjects and Their Experiences: Against the Six Metaphysical Doctrines"), but also had an effect on the second chapter ("Unger (Peter) - Conscious Experiences and Subjects of Consciousness: Six Metaphysical Doctrines") and on the appendix to Chapter 8 ("Unger (Peter) - Fission and the Focus of One's Life").
  6. During the first few years of the project, many discussions with my colleague, Thomas Nagel, were very important toward the formation of my views. Because his energies lately have gone almost entirely in the direction of ethics and political philosophy, in the past few years our interchanges have been few. But, in at the beginning, he was there when most needed.
  7. In the past couple of years, two young members of my department took up the slack. Reading quite a lot of earlier material, but also reading the whole last draft — before the final June changes — John Carroll and Roy Sorensen provided me with astute criticisms, solid checks on my own intuitions, and friendly encouragement to push through to completion. It is a mark of their great versatility, and love for philosophy, that neither of their research interests overlaps much with the main themes of this book.
  8. During his year here as a visiting assistant professor, Stephen White offered me many useful comments and, in this past year, provided more on the telephone. In every year, David Lewis gives me what I suppose are philosophy lessons on the phone, such is his brilliance and eloquence. Raymond Martin read the next-to-last draft, providing lengthy typed comments that, in many instances, directed my efforts and saved me from errors. Brian Garrett did much the same when he read the final draft.
  9. Many others also supplied me with useful comments and criticisms. Some that come to mind are Susan Brison, Eric Brown, Mark Heller, Frances Kamm, Daniel Kolak, David Lewine, Geoffrey Madell, Colin McGinn, John Richardson, John Robinson, David Rosenthal, Stephen Schiffer, Sydney Shoemaker, Michael Smith, Ernest Sosa, Jim Stone, Peter Van Inwagen, Bernard Williams, and Ben Zipursky.
  10. Well before the book was completed, I wrote two papers that, in retrospect, were studies toward this larger work: A fair amount of the material in Chapter 2 ("Unger (Peter) - Conscious Experiences and Subjects of Consciousness: Six Metaphysical Doctrines") originally saw print in "Consciousness and Self-Identity" and a fair amount of Chapter 6 ("Unger (Peter) - Physically Based Subjects and Their Experiences: Against the Six Metaphysical Doctrines") was published in "Conscious Beings in a Gradual World." As both papers appeared in Midwest Studies in Philosophy, I thank the editors and the publisher of those volumes for permission to reprint.
    … [snip] …
    New York, July 1989
Overview7
  1. While it concerns other large issues as well, a single question focuses the inquiry of this book: What is involved when an actual person, like me, survives until some future time, like a century from now? To this question, some seek a completely general answer. Even if Berkeley should be right and there is no physical reality, their (desired) answer is to inform us about our survival. Although pretty ambitious in the matter, I'm content to settle for a lot less than that. For me, it's enough to give an answer that articulates, along lines general enough to prove philosophically interesting, our deep beliefs about the conditions of our survival. There's a good reason for this: By disclosing our deep beliefs about our survival, I indirectly articulate what are, as we most deeply believe, some quite general conditions of our survival. How do I detect these deep beliefs? Doing informal psychology, I uncover them by noting people's responses to examples. But many examples have contexts where responses are misleading. And, even in revealing contexts, some examples promote responses that are best explained away, as arising from sources other than our deep beliefs about ourselves. Still, often, we may sensibly avoid all the pitfalls
Chapters
  1. Investigating Our Beliefs About Ourselves – 3
  2. Conscious Experiences and Subjects of Consciousness: Six Metaphysical Doctrines – 23
  3. The Psychological Approach To Our Survival – 66
  4. The Physical Approach To Our Survival – 102
  5. A Physically Based Approach To Our Survival – 139
  6. Physically Based Subjects and Their Experiences: Against the Six Metaphysical Doctrines – 170
  7. What Matters8 In Our Survival: Distinctions, Compromises and Limits – 211
  8. Fission and the Focus of One's Life – 255
  9. The Appreciation Of Our Actual Values – 295
    Bibliography – 339
    Name Index – 343



In-Page Footnotes ("Unger (Peter) - Identity, Consciousness and Value")

Footnote 3: I don’t usually bother with acknowledgements, but in this case – as Unger reports his radical change of views (eg. as compared with his nihilist thesis in "Unger (Peter) - I Do Not Exist"), I think it’s useful to contextualise the present work.

Footnote 7: Taken from "Unger (Peter) - Precis of 'Identity, Consciousness and Value'"; the rest of this paper has been used for the chapter summaries).


BOOK COMMENT:

Oxford University Press, 1992



"Carter (William) - Review of Unger's 'Identity, Consciousness and Value'"

Source: Ethics, Vol. 102, No. 4, Jul., 1992, pp. 849-851

COMMENT: Review of "Unger (Peter) - Identity, Consciousness and Value"



"Van Inwagen (Peter) - Review of Unger's 'Identity, Consciousness and Value'"

Source: Nous, 27, No. 3, Sep., 1993, pp. 373-379

COMMENT: Review of "Unger (Peter) - Identity, Consciousness and Value"



"Unger (Peter) - Precis of 'Identity, Consciousness and Value'"

Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 52, No. 1, Mar., 1992, pp. 133-137

COMMENT: Symposium on Unger's 'Identity, Consciousness and Value' ("Unger (Peter) - Identity, Consciousness and Value")



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - Unger's Psychological Continuity Theory"

Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 52, No. 1, Mar., 1992, pp. 139-143

COMMENT: Symposium on Unger's 'Identity, Consciousness and Value' ("Unger (Peter) - Identity, Consciousness and Value")



"Strawson (Peter) - Comments on Some Aspects of Peter Unger's Identity, Consciousness and Value"

Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 52, No. 1, Mar., 1992, pp. 145-148


Philosophers Index Abstract
    I expressed agreement with Unger's view of the essential nature of personal identity, but dissented from what I took to be his view of the value we attach to its preservation; saying, for example, that, in common, I think with many others, I would prefer being replaced or succeeded 'by a numerically distinct continuator' with "qualitatively" identical memories and mental and physical characteristics to surviving as the "numerically" identical person with severe impairment of memory and abilities.


COMMENT: Symposium on Unger's 'Identity, Consciousness and Value' ("Unger (Peter) - Identity, Consciousness and Value")



"Swinburne (Richard) - Discussion of Peter Unger's Identity, Consciousness and Value"

Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 52, No. 1, Mar., 1992, pp. 149-152

COMMENT: Symposium on Unger's 'Identity, Consciousness and Value' ("Unger (Peter) - Identity, Consciousness and Value")



"White (Stephen) - The Desire to Survive"

Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 52, No. 1, Mar., 1992, pp. 153-158

COMMENT: Symposium on Unger's 'Identity, Consciousness and Value' ("Unger (Peter) - Identity, Consciousness and Value")



"Unger (Peter) - Identity, Consciousness and Value: Reply to Reviewers"

Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 52, No. 1, Mar., 1992, pp. 159-176

COMMENT: Symposium on Unger's 'Identity, Consciousness and Value' ("Unger (Peter) - Identity, Consciousness and Value")



"Unger (Peter) - Investigating Our Beliefs About Ourselves"

Source: Unger - Identity, Consciousness and Value, Chapter 1


Extract from Overview1
  1. In chapter 1, I describe and defend the aims and methods of the inquiry.
Sections
  1. Two Hypothetical Examples: A Clear Case of Survival and a Clear Failure of Survival – 3
  2. Three Main Topics: Personal Identity, Conscious Experience and Actual Values – 5
  3. Toward a Sensibly Balanced Methodology – 7
  4. Method and Substance – 13
  5. Two Cartesian Views of Our Survival – 15
  6. Experience Inducers – 17
  7. Two Attempts at Transporting Some Inanimate Objects – 18
  8. Three Attempts at Getting Human People to Survive – 21
  9. The Idea that Our Survival Requires Much Physical Continuity – 23
  10. The Avoidance of Future Great Pain Test – 27
  11. Some Evidence About Some Strong Beliefs – 34




In-Page Footnotes ("Unger (Peter) - Investigating Our Beliefs About Ourselves")

Footnote 1: Taken from "Unger (Peter) - Precis of 'Identity, Consciousness and Value'".



"Unger (Peter) - Conscious Experiences and Subjects of Consciousness: Six Metaphysical Doctrines"

Source: Unger - Identity, Consciousness and Value, Chapter 2


Extract from Overview1
  1. After a lot of methodical looking, what do I find to answer our question about survival? First, some bad news: In chapter 2 I find that, despite their undeniable initial appeal, there's no lasting credibility in dualistic views and in subjective (or transcendental) views.
Sections
  1. The Objective View of Ourselves – 37
  2. Conscious Experience and Subjects of Consciousness: Three Metaphysical Doctrines Concerning Each – 39
  3. Three Competing Views of Ourselves – 44
  4. The Continuity of Consciousness and Physical Division – 50
  5. Continuity of Consciousness Through Rapidly Radical Change – 53
  6. The Explanation of Our Responses to These Examples – 54
  7. Methodology, Continuous Consciousness and Personal Identity – 57
  8. The Spectrum of Decomposition Versus the Absoluteness of Subjects – 60




In-Page Footnotes ("Unger (Peter) - Conscious Experiences and Subjects of Consciousness: Six Metaphysical Doctrines")

Footnote 1: Taken from "Unger (Peter) - Precis of 'Identity, Consciousness and Value'".



"Unger (Peter) - The Psychological Approach To Our Survival"

Source: Unger - Identity, Consciousness and Value, Chapter 3


Extract from Overview1
  1. In chapter 3 I find that the same holds for (ie. that despite their undeniable initial appeal, there's no lasting credibility in) the psychological approach, the governing paradigm that's dominated the literature for decades.
Sections
  1. Core Psychology and Distinctive Psychology – 67
  2. A Formulation of the Psychological Approach – 71
  3. Three Salient Motivations Toward This Approach – 74
  4. Three Subtler Motivations – 79
  5. From Science Fiction to Philosophical Investigation – 83
  6. First-Order Intuitions and Second-Order Intuitions – 87
  7. Other Societies, Other Statements, Other Conditions of Survival – 89
  8. Three Uses of "What Matters2 in Survival" – 92
  9. Three Other Objective Approaches – 97




In-Page Footnotes ("Unger (Peter) - The Psychological Approach To Our Survival")

Footnote 1: Taken from "Unger (Peter) - Precis of 'Identity, Consciousness and Value'".



"Unger (Peter) - The Physical Approach To Our Survival"

Source: Unger - Identity, Consciousness and Value, Chapter 4


Extract from Overview1
  1. Then, some good news: In chapter 4 I come upon the basis for a good answer, the physical approach, whose two key ideas are these:
    • (1) For your survival, the causal furtherance of your distinctive psychology is of no importance: Against the psychological approach, we may ignore your personal memories, your constellation of intentions, your peculiar character traits, and so on. All that counts is the causal furtherance of your core psychology: Consisting only of things like your capacity for conscious experience and your capacity for very simple reasoning, your psychological core is exactly like that of even the dullest amnesiac moron.
    • (2) For your survival, the way the core is causally furthered is all-important: For you to exist at some particular future time, there must be the sufficiently continuous physical realization of a core psychology between the physical realizer of your core now (your brain) and the physical realizer (whether brain or not) of someone's core psychology at that future time.
  2. What is meant by this continuous physical realization? Mainly, I tell you in three ways: First, and right from page one, I exhibit scads of helpful examples; both lots of positive cases and many negative ones. Second, in section 5 of this fourth chapter, I tell you about very high standards for, and about lower standards for, the attribution of psychological capacities to people. Unlike almost everywhere else in our context-sensitive discourse, here it is the everyday standards that are the higher ones, and the theoretical standards that are the lower. On high (everyday) standards, we say people in "irreversible" coma no longer have even their basic mental capacities; on the lower standards more appropriate to philosophizing, we attribute many mental capacities to these unfortunates. Third, in sections 7 to 11, I discuss four of the aspects of physical continuity: gradualness of material replacement, constitutional cohesion, systemic energy, and physical complementarity. Rather than just explaining one technical idea by means of several others, these aspects are used to organize still further examples. In these three ways, you get quite a serviceable idea of physically continuous realization. As this idea fits well with a contextually sensitive semantics, as shown in section 3, it is true to say that, for you to survive, there can't be any interruption in the physical realization of the central psychology that you now have.
Sections
  1. Two Formulations of the Physical Approach – 103
  2. A Better Formulation – 106
  3. Wide Physical Continuity and Contextual Flexibility – 110
  4. The Derivative but Great Importance of Physical Continuity – 113
  5. Survival and the Realization of Psychological Capacities – 117
  6. How Important for My Survival Is My Capacity for Life? – 120
  7. Physical Continuity and the Gradual Replacement of Matter – 123
  8. Physical Continuity and Constitutional Cohesion – 125
  9. Physical Continuity and Systemic Energy – 129
  10. Thinking Beings and Unthinking Entities: A Contrast Concerning Survival – 131
  11. Physical Continuity and Physical Complementarity – 134




In-Page Footnotes ("Unger (Peter) - The Physical Approach To Our Survival")

Footnote 1: Taken from "Unger (Peter) - Precis of 'Identity, Consciousness and Value'".



"Unger (Peter) - A Physically Based Approach To Our Survival"

Source: Unger - Identity, Consciousness and Value, Chapter 5


Extract from Overview1
  1. As our intuitions regarding myriad cases attest, this physical approach provides an answer that's better than the others currently on offer. Yet, as we notice in chapter 5, even when well-endowed with constraints against unwanted cases of branching, it is not quite good enough. Perhaps there are two troubles. A small trouble is that distinctive psychology never counts. More plausibly, a tiny loss in the core might be offset by physically good furtherance of loads of distinctive psychology. So, in moving toward the physically based approach, first we allow for such trade-offs.
  2. The big trouble concerns assimilation, the main focus of the fifth chapter. Toward your seeing this trouble, I'll actually present you with a couple of cases.
    • First case: Suppose that four non-overlapping quarters of my brain are, in sequence, replaced by their respective "duplicates," each replacement starting five minutes after the previous one was completed. Taking about one minute to occur, each replacement may itself be very gradual; only one percent of it's done during each successive half-second. Hence, in the original body, there's always at least 99.75% of a whole healthy brain. For good measure, assume that every step in the process is part of a "statistical miracle," uncaused by any (relevant) event. As part of this miracle, anything replaced is trashed. (By the miracle's end, all the brain matter in the skull is new stuff.) Finally, between replacements, an emerging person will think and act quite normally for about four minutes. Now, in this situation, there is a great deal of physically continuous realization even of all my psychology. Yet, as most intuitively respond, by the end of these minutes, I do not exist. Why is that?
    • A second case suggests an answer: Suppose that the period between quarterly replacements is a full year; between replacements, an emerging person always will engage in much normal thought and action. As we respond to this case, I will survive.
    So, what's the difference between the two cases? Roughly, it's this: In the first case, further new realizing parts enter well before previous newcomers have done enough in my life. In the second case, well before I take on yet another of them, the earlier central additions have been assimilated into me.
Sections
  1. Might Distinctive Psychology Be a Factor in Survival? – 140
  2. Can One Survive Without a Capacity for Consciousness? – 143
  3. Survival and Assimilation – 147
  4. Some Differences in Assimilation for Some Different Kinds of Ordinary Individuals – 153
  5. Assimilation and Disassimilation – 155
  6. Might We Survive Brain Replacements and even Brain Exchanges? – 156
  7. Disassimilation and Double Bisection – 159
  8. Some Strange Doings with Ships – 162
  9. Extrinsicness, Time and Identity – 164
  10. From Strange Ships to Puzzling People: The Hobbesian Personal Case – 166




In-Page Footnotes ("Unger (Peter) - A Physically Based Approach To Our Survival")

Footnote 1: Taken from "Unger (Peter) - Precis of 'Identity, Consciousness and Value'".



"Unger (Peter) - Physically Based Subjects and Their Experiences: Against the Six Metaphysical Doctrines"

Source: Unger - Identity, Consciousness and Value, Chapter 6


Extract from Overview1
  1. Now, the various factors of assimilation are themselves pretty complex matters, as chapter 5 details. But this proves no obstacle to the physically based account's being quite a good answer to the book's leading question, perhaps much better than the available alternatives.
  2. Related to the leading question, I address several other issues: As early as chapter 2, I articulate six metaphysical doctrines that, as I argue, underlie the appeal of transcendental views, and of dualistic views, of our survival. The three most appealing of these concern conscious experience:
    … (la) Experience is all-or-none.
    … (2a) Experience is completely private to a single subject.
    … (3a) Experience is absolutely indivisible.
    Deriving appeal partly from their connection with these doctrines are three others, concerning the subjects that experience:
    … (1b) A subject is all-or-none.
    … (2b) A subject is completely separate.
    … (3b) A subject is absolutely indivisible.
    By confronting them with numerous thought-experiments2, in chapter 6 the appeal of these doctrines is dispelled: Insofar as there is any truth in the displayed sentences, that is owing to conventions of language, or to certain unproblematically natural facts, or to a combination of the two. Briefly, the most positive results of the encounter are these: We subjects ourselves are wholly objective entities, mainly or wholly physical, and our experiences are wholly objective processes, mainly or wholly physical. Moreover, in an important sense, we are conventionally demarcated entities, and our experiences are conventionally demarcated processes.
Sections
  1. What Do the Six Doctrines Claim? – 171
  2. How Might These Doctrines Be Contested Persuasively? – 175
  3. Against the Metaphysical Privacy of Experiences – 177
  4. Against the Metaphysical Separateness of Subjects – 184
  5. Against the Indivisibility of Experiences and of Subjects – 187
  6. Against the Absoluteness of Subjects: The Spectrum of Congenial Decomposition – 191
  7. Against the Absoluteness of Subjects: Spectra of Human Conception and Human Development – 197
  8. Against the Absoluteness of Experience: Congenial Decomposition Again – 199
  9. Against the Absoluteness of Experience: The Spectrum of Radio Communications – 203
  10. How One Person May Fade into Another – 206




In-Page Footnotes ("Unger (Peter) - Physically Based Subjects and Their Experiences: Against the Six Metaphysical Doctrines")

Footnote 1: Taken from "Unger (Peter) - Precis of 'Identity, Consciousness and Value'".



"Unger (Peter) - What Matters In Our Survival: Distinctions, Compromises and Limits"

Source: Unger - Identity, Consciousness and Value, Chapter 7


Extract from Overview1
  1. Drawing on material from the first six chapters, in the last three the focus is on some main questions of our broad ego-centric values: As argued in chapter 7, by itself my survival has no value.
  2. Rather, it is a pre-condition of certain things that I (rationally) value, like my leading a long happy life. Equally, my survival is a pre-condition of certain things that I (rationally) disvalue, like my being severely tortured for the next ten years.
  3. Similarly, my son's survival is a pre-condition of certain of my other broad ego-centric values, like his leading a long happy life.
  4. Partly owing to confusions about all this, and partly owing to confusions over various uses of expressions like "what matters2 in survival," strange views have recently dominated the discussion about the relation between (strict) survival and our values.
  5. Against these views, I argue for a realistic compromise view of what matters3
    • (1) In the relevant prudential use of the term, "what matters4," what matters5 in a given person's survival basically is only that the person himself will still exist.
    • (2) Also, certain continuities do matter, but they matter only derivatively.
    • (3) Now, as happens in the middle of certain physically well-based spectra of examples, these continuities may have great independent importance: Regarding what matters6, some of these cases of non-survival are "pretty nearly as good as" cases of strict survival itself.
    • (4) But, this derivative independent importance will never be as great as that basic importance: Concerning what matters7 in survival, any case that lacks strict survival will be worse than every case in which the person himself does survive.
  6. Closing with an argument from a spectrum of assimilation, the case for this view is multi-faceted.
Sections
  1. Survival as a Precondition of Broad Ego-centric Value – 212
  2. The Spectrum of Congenial Decomposition with Reconstruction – 217
  3. Three Shots at Survival: Easily Getting Through, Barely Getting Through and Barely Missing – 219
  4. The Prudential Use of "What Matters8," Tests for What Matters9 and Highly Prudential Occasions – 223
  5. How Presumptive Tests for Survival Beliefs May Be Improved – 230
  6. Basic, Derivative and Independent Value – 234
  7. Underlying Realities and Conventional Separations – 238
  8. Striking a Compromise Between Two Conflicting Concerns – 240
  9. Moderating Concern Throughout a Middle Ground – 242
  10. Restricted Ranges for the Relevance of Underlying Realities – 244
  11. What Matters10 and the Minimal Conception of a Person – 247
  12. A Spectrum of Assimilation: Parallels, Differences and Questions – 251




In-Page Footnotes ("Unger (Peter) - What Matters In Our Survival: Distinctions, Compromises and Limits")

Footnote 1: Taken from "Unger (Peter) - Precis of 'Identity, Consciousness and Value'".



"Unger (Peter) - Fission and the Focus of One's Life"

Source: Unger - Identity, Consciousness and Value, Chapter 8


Extract from Overview1
  1. Chapter 8 starts with a clarifying discussion of fission. Because the existing literature on these matters appears nearly as confused as it is engaging, such a discussion is worth some effort.
  2. Anyway, increased clarity yields a double payoff: First, even as we find it's not (determinately) true that one survives fission, we find yet more reason to endorse the realistic compromise view of what matters2. More important, we uncover a previously unnoticed basic (pre-condition of) broad ego-centric value: the focus of a person's life.

Sections3
  1. The Standard Fission Case and the Standard One-sided Case – 255
  2. Might I Survive My Standard Fission? – 260
  3. Fission Cases and Questions of Realism – 266
  4. The Focus of a Person's Life – 268
  5. The Focus of Life and Heavily Discounted Branches – 273
  6. A Person's Singular Goods – 275
  7. Three Ways for Singular Goods to Go Two Ways – 279
  8. Branches that Run in Parallel and Branches that Diverge – 282
    Appendix: Toward Greater Realism in Personal Branching – 287




In-Page Footnotes ("Unger (Peter) - Fission and the Focus of One's Life")

Footnote 1: Taken from "Unger (Peter) - Precis of 'Identity, Consciousness and Value'".

Footnote 3: The bulk of sections 4-8 appear as "Unger (Peter) - Fission and the Focus of One's Life (Excerpt)" in "Martin (Raymond) & Barresi (John), Eds. - Personal Identity".



"Unger (Peter) - The Appreciation Of Our Actual Values"

Source: Unger - Identity, Consciousness and Value, Chapter 9


Extract from Overview1
  1. In the final chapter, I undertake an appreciation of our actual values. Because you are pretty normal, among your strongest (broad ego-centric) values are these: Certain particular people-you yourself, your lover, your children- should lead long and pleasant lives of a certain complex character. In your life, you should have close personal (developing) relations with these people, not changing (mid-stream) to precisely similar relations with precise duplicates of them. Further, and as is pretty obvious, you should have pleasant and interesting conscious experience. Less obvious, this experience should not just happen to give you an accurate idea of what is actually going on between you and your loved ones. Rather, much of this conscious experience should be experience of those people, and experience of your intentional behavior with regard to them, and experience of the effects of your actions upon them, and experience of their resulting behavior toward you, and so on.
  2. For these values to be fulfilled, it is argued, there must hold, between the active lives in the world and your own conscious experience, the "right sorts" of causal relations. Now, while we'll allow some slack about which causes count as being of the right sorts, still, as further arguments show, we're pretty inflexible in this regard. By contrast, and as still further reasoning shows, we don't require that sublime metaphysical ideas be satisfied: Quite rightly, we regard these strong values as very well fulfilled even if the world should be wholly deterministic - with no transcendental free will, and, more to the main topic, even if the world should be fully physical - with no immaterial souls.
Sections
  1. The Phenomenalism and the Verificationism of Values: The Ego-centric Form – 298
  2. The Universal Form of These Views – 302
  3. The Value of Experience of External Reality – 305
  4. The Rationality of This Value – 312
  5. The Value of Particular People and of Relations with Them – 315
  6. Two Forms of Flexibilism – 319
  7. An Inflexible Aspect of Our Norms for Our Lives and for Our Personal Relations – 323
  8. Two Extreme Claims – 326
  9. These Extreme Claims and Three Demanding Views – 330
  10. The Extreme Doctrine and Norms for Our Action – 333




In-Page Footnotes ("Unger (Peter) - The Appreciation Of Our Actual Values")

Footnote 1: Taken from "Unger (Peter) - Precis of 'Identity, Consciousness and Value'".



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