Person and Object
Chisholm (Roderick)
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Amazon Customer Review (1)

  1. In his book, that titan of analytic philosophy explores some basic concepts of personhood and their interrelations: self-knowledge, agency, action, identity, etc. The satirical Philosophical Lexicon (look for it online1) has an entry for "chisholm" as a verb that means "To make repeated small alterations in a definition or example. 'He started with definition (d.8) and kept chisholming away at it until he ended up with (d.8'''''''').'" This isn't what Chisholm does in this book (I think Plantinga does more chisholming than Chisholm ever did, myself!), but rather, starting with basic principles of "self-presenting" knowledge and such, he works "outward" from there via a series of definitions that build one from another, creating a network of philosophical structure by which the topics are treated. His definitions often seem to take the form of definition-by-elimination, but this somewhat alternative method of analysis is more interesting and powerful than one might at first think. Chisholm's method overall in this book is a model of clarity and power (and concision, considering the range of topics covered!), and was quite exhilarating to this reader.
  2. In content, what I find particularly congenial is Chisholm's commonsensical particularism; that is, willingness to take "given" facts such as self-knowledge and agency as fundamentals rather than artifacts of folk psychology to be eliminated by way of some exercise of "methodism." (Chisholm elsewhere elucidates the difference between particularism and methodism, and his favor for the former, in his "The Problem of the Criterion".) This fundamental approach largely accounts for Chisholm's method of "elimination" described in the above paragraph (which may well sound paradoxical!): we already know what we mean by knowledge, action, etc.; what remains is to clarify the concepts by elucidating what they are not. And that Chisholm does par excellence.

Amazon Customer Review (2)
  1. Person and Object is a powerful study in metaphysics. The book has four chapters and five appendices (though one is just a summary of his definitions). Chapters and appendices are free standing. The topics are predominantly metaphysical – Chisholm addresses agency, identity through time, mereological essentialism, four-dimensionalism, ontology, etc. But many of the discussions enter epistemological questions as well (e.g. the first chapter, the fourth appendix). Throughout, Chisholm demonstrates a keen ability to make distinctions, and has the helpful habit of formalizing many of his definitions.
  2. One of the features that's particularly nice about this book is the way Chisholm addresses both philosophical ideas and also how it is one is to address philosophical ideas. (This is most clearly seen in his useful Introduction.) In some ways I feel that I didn't just learn about philosophical theories in this book, but how to think about philosophical theories as well. Although he defends some controversial theses, his defenses are well-thought out and carefully written. A professor of mine once expressed that Person and Object was one of his favorite books in metaphysics; I can see why. It's a great book that I hold in high esteem.



In-Page Footnotes ("Chisholm (Roderick) - Person and Object")

Footnote 1: See Link


BOOK COMMENT:

(Most) interesting chapters photocopied.



"Chisholm (Roderick) - Identity Through Time"

Source: Van Inwagen & Zimmerman - Metaphysics: The Big Questions


Author’s Introduction
  1. According to Bishop Butler, when we say of a physical thing existing at one time that it is identical with or the same as a physical thing existing at some other time (“this is the same ship we traveled on before”), we are likely to be using the expression “same” or “identical” in a “loose and popular sense”.
  2. But when we say of a person existing at one time that he is identical with or the same as a person existing at some other time (“the ship has the same captain it had before”), we are likely to be using the expression “same” or “identical” in a “strict and philosophical sense”.
  3. I shall attempt to give an interpretation of these two theses; and I shall suggest that there is at least an element of truth in each.


COMMENT:



"Chisholm (Roderick) - Person and Object: Introduction"

Source: Chisholm - Person and Object, Introduction



"Chisholm (Roderick) - The Direct Awareness of the Self"

Source: Chisholm - Person and Object, Chapter 1

COMMENT: Hard Copy filed in "Various - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 04 (C)".



"Chisholm (Roderick) - Agency"

Source: Chisholm - Person and Object, Chapter 2



"Chisholm (Roderick) - Identity Through Time"

Source: Chisholm - Person and Object, Chapter 3


Sections
  1. The Ship of Theseus1
  2. Playing Loose with the ‘Is’ of Identity
  3. An Interpretation of Bishop Butler’s Theses
  4. Feigning Identity
  5. The Persistence of Persons through Time
  6. ’Will I Be He?’: Truth-Conditions ad Criteria


COMMENT:



"Chisholm (Roderick) - States of Affairs"

Source: Chisholm - Person and Object



"Chisholm (Roderick) - Knowledge, Evidence and Reasonable Belief"

Source: Chisholm - Person and Object



"Chisholm (Roderick) - Person and Object: Summary of Definitions"

Source: Chisholm - Person and Object, Definitions



"Chisholm (Roderick) - The Doctrine of Temporal Parts"

Source: Chisholm - Person and Object, Appendix A

COMMENT: Hard Copy filed in "Various - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 04 (C)".



"Chisholm (Roderick) - Mereological Essentialism"

Source: Chisholm - Person and Object, Appendix B

COMMENT: Hard Copy filed in "Various - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 04 (C)".



"Chisholm (Roderick) - The Objects of Belief and Endeavour"

Source: Chisholm - Person and Object, Appendix C



"Chisholm (Roderick) - Person and Object: Notes"

Source: Chisholm - Person and Object, Notes



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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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