Personal Identity and Self-consciousness
Garrett (Brian)
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Publisher’s Blurb
  1. In Personal Identity and Self-Consciousness1, Brian Garrett presents an original and comprehensive theory of persons: their nature, their values, and their self-consciousness2. He begins by proposing a new theory of personal identity over time. Next, he defends the importance of personal identity against recent sceptical attack. Finally, Garrett explores the nature of self-consciousness3 by examining the elusive pronoun ‘I’ and the various grounds of our ‘I’ judgements.
  2. Brian Garrett places recent discussions of personal identity in a broader context, and links issues in personal identity with other central issues in philosophy, notably the problem of self-consciousness4 and questions in ethics. Garrett manages to tackle a technical and complex discussion with jargon-free and elegant language.
  3. This is the first book of its kind to bring together the many different issues that surround the discussion of personal identity. Brian Garrett makes an important and original contribution to the study of the philosophy of personal identity, the philosophy of mind, and to epistemology.
  4. Brian Garrett is Lecturer in Philosophy at the Australian National University.
  5. Paul F. Snowdon: In eight, clear, careful and well-designed chapters Brian Garrett analyses the central issues involved in the problem of personal identity. I found the central chapters, in which Garrett brings … his clarity of thought and a mastery of general logic, particularly penetrating and helpful. Garrett has written an intelligent, thoughtful and thought-provoking book … which significantly moves the debate along, and which should be read by students and by all philosophers interested in personal identity.
  1. The problem and its place in philosophy
    • The problem of personal identity
    • What is a person?
    • What is it for the same person to persist through time?
    • The methodology of thought-experiments5
    • Why is personal identity important?
  2. Animalism6 and reductionism
  3. Criteria of personal identity
  4. Fission
    • The importance of Fission
    • Six responses to Fission
    • The best candidate11 theory of personal identity
    • Some comments on the best candidate12 theory
    • The lesson of Fission
  5. Identity and vagueness
    • The commitment to vagueness
    • Evans' proof
    • Evans' proof examined
    • Evans' proof and Kripke's proof
    • Conclusion
  6. Parfit13 and 'what matters14'
    • Persons and value theory
    • A new value theory?
    • Self-concern and special concern
    • Four arguments for the new value theory
    • Conclusion
  7. Anscombe on ‘I’
    • Introduction
    • The common-sense view of ‘I’
    • Two arguments against the common-sense view
    • Anscombe's positive view
    • Supporting the referential view
    • Conclusion
  8. Wittgenstein on ‘I’
    • Introduction
    • Wittgenstein and the ‘as subject’ use of ‘I’
    • Running repairs to the ‘as subject’ / ‘as object’ distinction
    • The status of the ‘as subject’ use
    • Interpreting Wittgenstein on avowals: reference, knowledge and authority

"Garrett (Brian) - The Problem (of Personal Identity) and Its Place in Philosophy"

Source: Garrett - Personal Identity and Self-consciousness, 1998, Chapter 1

  1. The problem of personal identity
  2. What is a person?
    • The Satisfaction Question
    • The Nature Question
      … The Immaterialist Answer
      … The Materialist Answer
  3. What is it for the same person to persist through time?
  4. The methodology of thought-experiments1
    • Brain Transplant2
    • Scattered Existence
    • Bionic Replacement
    • Teletransportation
    • Branch-line
    • Accident
    • Indeterminacy
    • Fission
  5. Why is personal identity important?

"Garrett (Brian) - Animalism and Reductionism"

Source: Garrett - Personal Identity and Self-consciousness, 1998, Chapter 2

  1. Animalism1
  2. An argument for animalism2
  3. The animalist's argument rebuffed3
  4. Models of reductionism
    • The Eliminativist Model
    • The Scientific Identification Model
    • The Entailment Model
      → The Central Motivation
      → Two Questions
    • The Epistemic Model
    • The No-substance Model
    • ‘Person’ is a Phased Sortal5
    • Parfit’s6 Reductionism
  5. Conclusion

"Garrett (Brian) - Criteria of Personal Identity"

Source: Garrett - Personal Identity and Self-consciousness, 1998, Chapter 3

  1. The Range of Criteria
  2. The Physical Criterion
  3. The Psychological Criterion4
    • Two Objections to the Weak Version of the Psychological Criterion5
      … Williams’ Objection
      … The Duplication Objection
  4. Conclusion
    • A Complication

"Garrett (Brian) - Fission"

Source: Garrett - Personal Identity and Self-consciousness, 1998, Chapter 4

  1. The Importance of Fission
  2. Six Responses to Fission
    1. The case is not really possible, so we can say nothing about it and learn nothing from it.
    2. I survive the operation, and am one or other of Lefty or Righty.
    3. I survive fission as both Lefty and Righty.
    4. The case of fission has been misdescribed. Lefty and Righty exist prior to fission, but only become spatially separated at fission.
    5. When I divide into Lefty and Righty, I cease to exist. Lefty and Righty then come into existence, and are numerically distinct, though initially very similar persons.
    6. It is vague or indeterminate whether I am Lefty and vague or indeterminate whether I am Righty. There is simply no fact of the matter as to who I am after fission.
  3. The Best Candidate1 Theory of Personal Identity
  4. Some Comments on the Best Candidate2 Theory
  5. The Lesson of Fission

"Garrett (Brian) - Identity and Vagueness"

Source: Garrett - Personal Identity and Self-consciousness, 1998, Chapter 5

  1. The Commitment to Vagueness
    • What Is Vagueness?
  2. Evans' Proof
  3. Evans' Proof Examined
    • Evans' Proof
      … 3 Questions
    • Premise (2) and Vague Objects
    • Vague Identity and Vague Objects
  4. Evans' Proof and Kripke's Proof
  5. Conclusion

"Garrett (Brian) - Parfit and 'What Matters'"

Source: Garrett - Personal Identity and Self-consciousness, 1998, Chapter 6

  1. Persons and Value Theory
  2. A New Value Theory?
    • The Unimportance of Personal Identity over Time
      → Other Implications
    • The Unimportance of Personal Identity at a Time
  3. Self-concern and Special Concern
  4. Four Arguments for the New Value Theory
    • The Argument from Analysis
    • The Radical Argument from Analysis
    • The Argument from Fission1
    • The Argument from Reductionism2
  5. Conclusion

"Garrett (Brian) - Anscombe on 'I'"

Source: Garrett - Personal Identity and Self-consciousness, 1998, Chapter 7

  1. Introduction
  2. The Common-sense View of ‘I’
  3. Two arguments against the common-sense view
    • Anscombe’s Challenge
      … Some Contrasts between ‘I’ and ‘A’
      … Some Residual Worries
    • The Tank Argument
  4. Anscombe's positive view
  5. The Common-sense View of ‘I’
  6. Supporting the Referential View
  7. Conclusion

"Garrett (Brian) - Wittgenstein on 'I'"

Source: Garrett - Personal Identity and Self-consciousness, 1998, Chapter 8

  1. Introduction
    • Self-consciousness1: Five claims
      1. There are two different uses of the pronoun ‘I’. ‘The use as object’ and ‘the use as subject’.
      2. Given Wittgenstein2’s examples, we are evidently meant to infer that ‘as subject’ uses feature only in mental self-ascriptions.
      3. All and only ‘as object’ uses ‘involve the recognition of a particular person’.
      4. Only in such cases has ‘the possibility of an error been provided for’, viz. the error of mistaking another person for myself.
      5. It is a misreading of the ‘grammar’ of ‘as subject’ uses of ‘I’ which fuels the illusion of a Cartesian subject.
    • The tension between (ii) and (iii)
    • The tension between (ii) and (iv)
  2. Wittgenstein3 and the ‘as Subject’ use of ‘I’
  3. Running Repairs to the ‘as Subject’ / ‘as Object’ Distinction
    • A New Definition
      → A Possible Tension?
  4. The Status of the ‘as Subject’ Use
    • The ‘as Subject’ Use is more Basic than the ‘as Object’ Use
    • Self-consciousness4 and the ‘as Subject’ Use of ‘I’
  5. Interpreting Wittgenstein5 on Avowals
    • Reference
    • Knowledge
    • Authority
  6. Conclusion

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