<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments (Wilkes (Kathleen)) - Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</title> <link href="../../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../../TT_ICO.png" /> </head> <a name="Top"></a> <BODY> <div id="header"> <HR><H1>Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</H1></div> <hr><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><tr><td colspan =3><A HREF = "../BookSummary_159.htm">Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments</A></td></tr><tr><td colspan =3><A HREF = "../../../Authors/W/Author_Wilkes (Kathleen).htm">Wilkes (Kathleen)</a></td></tr><tr><td colspan =3>This Page provides (where held) the <b>Abstract</b> of the above <b>Book</b> and those of all the <b>Papers</b> contained in it.</td></tr><tr><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td><td><A HREF = "../BookCitings_159.htm">Books / Papers Citing this Book</A></td><td><A HREF = "../BooksToNotes_159.htm">Notes Citing this Book</A></td></tr></tr></TABLE></CENTER><hr> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>BOOK ABSTRACT: </B><BR><BR><U>Cover Blurb</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>This book explores the scope and limits of the concept of a person. </li><li>The author first questions the methodology of <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought-experimentation</A><SUP>1</SUP>, arguing that it engenders inconclusive and unconvincing results, and that truth is anyway stranger than fiction. </li><li>She then examines an assortment of real-life conditions, including infancy, insanity, and dementia, fugue and dissociated states, and <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_116.htm">commissurotomy</A><SUP>2</SUP>. The popular idea that people have some special kind of unity and continuity of consciousness is subjected to sustained criticism. </li><li>The author concludes with a look at different views of the person found in Homer, Aristotle, the post-Cartesians, and contemporary cognitive science. </li><li>Wilkes writes with enthusiasm and style. She displays a commendable knowledge of psychological and neurological literature. Those who find the technical literature dry will find this book engagingly informative. <BR>& Andrew Brennan, <em>Mind</em></li></ol></FONT><BR><U>Chapters</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li><a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">Thought Experiments</A><SUP>3</SUP>  1</li><li>Infants and <a name="4"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_71.htm">Foetuses</A><SUP>4</SUP>  49</li><li>Mental Deficiency, Breakdown, and Insanity  75</li><li>Fugues, Hypnosis, and Multiple Personality  100</li><li>Being in Two Minds  132</li><li>The Coherence of Consciousness  168</li><li>Models of Mind  198</li><li>Epilogue  230 </li></ol></FONT><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><B>BOOK COMMENT: </B><BR><BR>Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2003 reprint</P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_03/PaperSummary_3665.htm">Wilkes (Kathleen) - Real People: Preface</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Wilkes - Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><U>Full Text (bar acknowledgements)</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>The subject of Personal Identity is one of the most enjoyable  as well as the most perplexing  in philosophy. The quality of the literature about it is in general very high. So too is the quantity. Why then add another book to the list?</li><li>In the first chapter I try to explain why. Personal Identity has been the stamping-ground for bizarre, entertaining, confusing, and inconclusive <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>1</SUP>. To my mind, these alluring fictions have led discussion off on the wrong tracks; moreover, since they rely heavily on imagination and intuition, they lead to no solid or agreed conclusions, since intuitions vary and imaginations fail. What is more, I do not think that we need them, since there are so many actual puzzle-cases which defy the imagination, but which we none the less have to accept as facts. To clear the way for discussion of these, then, the first chapter questions the methodology of <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought-experimentation</A><SUP>2</SUP>, at least if it is deployed without very stringent controls.</li><li>Whatever else they may be, typical persons:- <ul type="disc"><li>are rational, </li><li>can use language, </li><li>are Intentional systems, </li><li>require certain kinds of treatment from others, </li><li>are agents of responsible behaviour themselves, and </li><li>seem to have some special kind of (self)-consciousness. </li></ul>Problems arise when any of these strands are missing. Thus the second chapter considers (normal and abnormal) infants and <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_71.htm">foetuses</A><SUP>3</SUP>; we shall see here the paramount importance of the question of the treatment they should receive. The third chapter looks at the adult insane. Here again we have to examine the sort of moral and practical stance appropriate to take to them; evidently, too, the problem of spelling out what it is in which human rationality consists arises centrally.</li><li>In the fourth chapter we start off on a three-chapter examination of human (self)-consciousness, and the degree of  unity' and  continuity' of consciousness we expect to find. Chapter 4 looks at breakdowns in continuity suffered by those with fugue states, and breakdowns in both unity and continuity found in hypnotized individuals and cases of multiple personality. This last puzzle, I argue, is the one paradox which is completely intractable  the concept of a person cannot cope with full-blown cases. Chapter 5 examines the breakdown of unity shown by people with split brains  apparently two centres of consciousness in one body, working separately but simultaneously. This is argued to pose no difficulty for the concept of a person; it is a good example of something which is not  imaginable' but which is nevertheless a fact. Here we need to go into the concept of 'a mind' at some length. Chapter 6 tries to take consciousness itself to bits, showing how it is not a notion that can be relied on to set, or solve, any of the questions that have been perplexing us.</li><li>The penultimate chapter is a somewhat self-indulgent sprint through interestingly different views of the person found in Homer, Aristotle, the post-Cartesians, and contemporary cognitive science with its so-called  computer model of mind'. It ends by suggesting that, knowingly or not, we are returning to the Aristotelian model of the individual; and that we are right to be doing so. In the final chapter, the 'Epilogue', it is suggested that all  persons' would have to be more or less human. </li></ol></FONT></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_03/PaperSummary_3666.htm">Wilkes (Kathleen) - Thought Experiments</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Wilkes - Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments, Chapter 1<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><U>Sections</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Introduction  1</li><li>What <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>1</SUP> are  1</li><li>First difficulty: the background  6</li><li>Parenthesis: relevance and <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_27.htm">natural kinds</A><SUP>2</SUP>  12</li><li>Second difficulty: imagination and 'possibility'  15</li><li>Conditions of personhood  21</li><li>The identification issue: laws and theoretical impossibilities  27</li><li>The reidentification issue: more science fantasies  36</li><li>Losing touch with reality  43</li><li>A promissory note  48</li></ol></FONT><BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>COMMENT: </B>Photocopy filed in "<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_05/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_5977.htm">Various - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 19 (W)</A>".</P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_03/PaperSummary_3667.htm">Wilkes (Kathleen) - Infants and Foetuses</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Wilkes - Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments, Chapter 2<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><U>Sections</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Introduction  49</li><li>Potentialities and interests  49</li><li>Infants as fuzzy persons  5</li><li>Failed potentials: the  Aristotelian principle'  57</li><li>IVF <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1243.htm">embryos</A><SUP>1</SUP>  6</li><li>Summary  7</li></ol></FONT></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_03/PaperSummary_3668.htm">Wilkes (Kathleen) - Mental Deficiency, Breakdown, and Insanity</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Wilkes - Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments, Chapter 3<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><U>Sections</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Introduction  75</li><li>The sanity of irrationality  75</li><li>What is mental illness?  84</li><li>Contrasts with the psychopath  89</li><li>The subnormal and the senile  93</li><li>Speciesism  97</li></ol></FONT></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_03/PaperSummary_3669.htm">Wilkes (Kathleen) - Fugues, Hypnosis, and Multiple Personality</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Wilkes - Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments, Chapter 4<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><U>Sections</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>The unity and continuity of consciousness  100</li><li>Fugues and epileptic automatism  103</li><li>Hypnosis  106</li><li>Multiple personality: Christine Beauchamp  109</li><li>How many Miss Beauchamps?  118</li><li>Unity; and the Greeks  12</li></ol></FONT><BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>COMMENT: </B>Also in "<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_636.htm">Kolak (Daniel) & Martin (Raymond), Eds. - Self and Identity: Contemporary Philosophical Issues</A>"</P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_03/PaperSummary_3670.htm">Wilkes (Kathleen) - Being in Two Minds</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Wilkes - Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments, Chapter 5<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><U>Sections</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>The problem introduced  132</li><li>Our two brains  133</li><li><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_116.htm">Commissurotomy</A><SUP>1</SUP>  136</li><li>Philosophical perplexities  140</li><li>The language of brains  143</li><li>Some semi-parallels  145</li><li>P.S.: an apparent exception  152</li><li>Confabulation and the drive to minimize disunity  154</li><li>How should we explain conflicts?  157</li><li>Counting minds  161</li><li>A final word on the brain  166</li></ol></FONT></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_03/PaperSummary_3671.htm">Wilkes (Kathleen) - The Coherence of Consciousness</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Wilkes - Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments, Chapter 6<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><U>Sections</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Introduction: consciousness head-on  168</li><li>Other times, other places  169</li><li>The heterogeneity of consciousness  173</li><li>Parenthesis: two paths to avoid  181</li><li>Consciousness and the sciences  183</li><li>'Consciousness' in the vernacular  192</li><li>Self-consciousness  197</li></ol></FONT></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_03/PaperSummary_3672.htm">Wilkes (Kathleen) - Models of Mind</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Wilkes - Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments, Chapter 7<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><U>Sections</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Introduction: 'models'  198</li><li>Man in the Iliad  200</li><li>Aristotle's man  209</li><li>From psyche to mind  214</li><li>The domination of the mind  217</li><li>The person as a computer  221</li><li>Conclusion  228</li></ol></FONT></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_03/PaperSummary_3673.htm">Wilkes (Kathleen) - Epilogue</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Wilkes - Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments, Chapter 8<BR></P> <a name="ColourConventions"></a><hr><br><B><U>Text Colour Conventions</U> (see <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</B><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> </center> <BR><HR><BR><center> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T02:22" pubdate>02/08/2018 02:22:38</time> <br><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A> </TD></TR><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>