Time and Identity
Campbell (Joseph Keim), O'Rourke (Michael) & Silverstein (Harry S.)
This Page provides (where held) the Abstract of the above Book and those of all the Papers contained in it.
Colour-ConventionsDisclaimerBooks / Papers Citing this BookNotes Citing this Book

BOOK ABSTRACT:

Back Cover Blurb

  1. The concepts of time and identity seem at once unproblematic and frustratingly difficult. Time is an intricate part of our experience – it would seem that the passage of time is a prerequisite for having any experience at all - and yet recalcitrant questions about time remain.
    • Is time real?
    • Does time flow?
    • Do past and future moments exist?
    Philosophers face similarly stubborn questions about identity, particularly about the persistence of identical entities through change. Indeed, questions about the metaphysics of persistence take on many of the complexities inherent in philosophical considerations of time.
  2. This volume of original essays brings together these two essentially related concepts in a way not reflected in the available literature, making it required reading for philosophers working in metaphysics and students interested in these topics.
  3. The contributors, distinguished authors and rising scholars, first consider the nature of time and then turn to the relation of identity, focusing on the metaphysical connections between the two, with a special emphasis on personal identity. The volume concludes with essays on the metaphysics of death, issues in which time and identity play a significant role. This ground-breaking collection offers both cutting-edge epistemological analysis and historical perspectives on contemporary topics.
  4. The Editors:
    • Joseph Keim Campbell is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Washington State University.
    • Michael O'Rourke is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Idaho and an editor of Freedom and Determinism (MIT Press, 2004) and Law and Social Justice (MIT Press, 2005).
    • Harry S. Silverstein is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at Washington State University.

BOOK COMMENT:

Bradford Books, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2002. Nice paperback copy.



"Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, Introduction


Sections
  1. Concepts Familiar yet Perplexing
  2. Time
    • The Reality of Time
    • Eternalism and Presentism
  3. Identity
    • The Mission
    • Platitudes?
  4. The Problem of Change and Persistence over Time
  5. The Self
  6. Recent Work on Tiime and Identity: The Essays
    • Time
    • Identity
    • The Self
    • Death

Excerpts1
  1. I've claimed that the concepts of time and identity are intimately connected. Nevertheless, the essays are divided (rather roughly) into four sections corresponding to their respective centers of gravity: Time, Identity, The Self, and Death. Here's a brief tour.
  2. Time:
    • The essays in this section address the metaphysics of time and the conceptual links between time and freedom. The first two — by Lynne Rudder Baker and Lawrence B. Lombard — express different kinds of dissatisfaction with the debate between the eternalist and the presentist.
    • "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Temporal Reality" (chapter 1): argues that each position alone fails to cohere with either physics or human experience.
    • "Lombard (Lawrence B.) - Time for a Change: A Polemic Against the Presentism-Eternalism Debate" (chapter 2): assimilates the ancient debate about change between Heraclitus and Parmenides to the contemporary debate between the presentists and the eternalists: perhaps they too are engaged in a merely verbal dispute.
    • Another way that eternalists and presentists might attempt to spell out their differences involves the "fixity" of the future. The eternalist's claim that past, present, and future entities are all equally "real" might usefully parlay into the claim that those facts are fixed — a claim the presentist may deny, at least about the future. Whether or not this suggestion will satisfy "skeptics" like Lombard, it raises an interesting question about the relation of our metaphysics of time and our view of our freedom. Suppose the future is fixed; then if I sprain my ankle on the basketball court tomorrow, it is true now that that event will come to pass and there is nothing I can do to prevent it. So the argument for fatalism goes. A similar issue arises in discussions of time travel2." Kurt Godel provided solutions to Einstein's field equations that vindicated the possibility of "closed timelike curves," elevating time travel3 from entertaining fiction to tantalizing possibility. Many philosophers were skeptical: they worried about logical paradoxes that might follow from meddling time travellers4 bent on bringing about their own nonexistence. David Lewis set many minds at ease in his seminal "Lewis (David) - The Paradoxes of Time Travel" (1976): time travellers5 can't, say, kill their grandfathers for the commonplace reason that they didn't. "Sider (Ted) - Time Travel, Coincidences and Counterfactuals" (2002) agrees, but not everyone got on board. "Vihvelin (Kadri) - What Time Travelers Cannot Do" (1996) argued that this treatment downplayed the strange inability of time travellers6 to do what we otherwise think them perfectly capable of doing.
    • "Carroll (John W.) - Context, Conditionals, Fatalism, Time Travel, and Freedom" (chapter 3): offers a contextualist account of counterfactual conditionals designed to sort out the dispute on the abilities of time travellers7 and reveal the problems with the fatalist's argument.
    • Other worries beset the presentist if we take him at his word that no past and future individuals exist. How do we yet claim that Lincoln was shot by Booth and that the earth will orbit the sun?
    • "Hinchliff (Mark) - The Identity of the Past" (chapter 4): addresses this question, locating "property presentism" as the principle responsible for these worries.
  3. Identity:
    • Identity may be simple, but as we've seen, there's plenty of room for argument over how to apply that concept to problems in metaphysics and the philosophy of language. We begin with the latter. Recall that one of the "platitudes" regarding identity was the principle of substitutivity or the Indiscernibility of Identicals8. Although substitutivity of identicals fails in opaque contexts, it is generally thought that when names are "purely referential" — for example, when the names are "rigid designators" or "directly referential" — the substitutivity principle is true. But things may not be so simple.
    • "Elugardo (Reinaldo) & Stainton (Robert J.) - Identity Through Change and Substitutivity Salva Veritate" (chapter 5): presents a new puzzle about substituting co-referring names into sentences describing accidental change.
    • "Markosian (Ned) - Identifying the Problem of Personal Identity" (chapter 6): suggests at a metaphilosophical level that the standard way of putting the problem improperly biases the ensuing debate in favor of four-dimensionalism.
    • As noted above, ascriptions of moral responsibility often seem to depend on ascriptions of identity among agents.
    • "Tognazzini (Neal A.) - Persistence and Responsibility" (chapter 7): rebuts several arguments for the claim that the metaphysics of perdurance leaves no room for the existence of responsible agents.
    • "Gorham (Geoffrey) - Descartes on Persistence and Temporal Parts" (chapter 8): seeks to pin down one famous philosopher's metaphysical commitments. Gorham contends that the best way to reconstruct Descartes's argument for the immortality of the soul makes use of the modern resource of perdurantism.
  4. The Self:
    • The essays in this section share a focus on our first-person experience — our understanding of our selves. What sort of things are we? Are we immortal souls like Descartes thought? Are we instead bundles of perceptions and thoughts? Do we even need to settle these issues to enjoy a conception of ourselves?
    • "Noonan (Harold) - Persons, Animals and Human Beings (2010)" (chapter 9): leans on an intriguing view of first-person reference to further articulate his approach to personal identity and personhood.
    • "Ismael (Jenann) - Me, Again" (chapter 10): takes up the issue of first-person reference.
    • "Perry (John) - Selves and Self-Concepts" (chapter 11): likewise resists the thought that the self is something mysterious. Perry proposes a "straightforward theory" of the self, offering the following analogy; a neighbor is just a person thought of under the relation of living next door to someone; likewise, a self is just a person thought of under the relation of identity. "Self is to identity as neighbor is to living next door to".
    • "Baber (Harriet E.) - Ex Ante Desire and Post Hoc Satisfaction" (chapter 12): addresses this problem of changing desires for the desire satisfaction model of well-being, claiming that the satisfaction even of preferences I can no longer identify with does benefit us, even if we are not better off, even if we don't appreciate our desires being satisfied.
  5. Death:
    • Just as we want to speak of posthumous benefits, we may want to account for posthumous harms. Rather than achieving renown after death, our obscure artist's work may be stolen or maligned. Perhaps death itself is a harm. Defenders of this position face an ancient challenge: how could there be a harm without a subject? As Epicurus famously wrote in his "Letter to Menoeceus": "so long as we exist, death is not with us; but when it comes, then we do not exist" (Epicurus 1940, 31). Many have found this paradoxical: we clearly want to say that death is an evil, but can we coherently claim that we are harmed even when we do not exist?
    • "Bradley (Ben) - Eternalism and Death's Badness" (chapter 13): claims that we must be eternalists to make sense of the cross-temporal relation between a person and that person's death.
    • "Silverstein (Harry) - The Time of the Evil of Death" (chapter 14): addresses Bradley's criticism, sharpening and expanding his previous view that the question 'when is S's death an evil for S?' has, and needs, no answer.
    • "Levenbook (Barbara Baum) - The Retroactivity Problem" (chapter 15): wishes to accommodate the intuition that death is an evil (ceteris paribus): the very intelligibility of our possessing a "right to life" plausibly depends on our ability to explain how death counts as a frustration of interests.




In-Page Footnotes ("Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity")

Footnote 1: From the “Recent Work” section. Text on the actual Papers has been removed to form the Abstracts of the Papers themselves.



"Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Temporal Reality"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, I - Time, Chapter 1


Abstract1
  1. Baker argues that ether presentism of eternalism alone fails to cohere with either physics or human experience.
  2. The A-theory, though in accord with our experience of time, appears incomplete or incompatible with modern physics. The B-theory, though apparently required for physics, cannot make sense of either the inexorable *flow" of time or the fact that you have less than a year to live or that the earth is now billions of years old.
  3. Baker proposes an intriguing theory of time — the "BA-theory" — which takes the B-series as basic. She writes, 'In the absence of self-conscious beings, events occur (tenselessly) at various times, and some events are (tenselessly) later than others. But there is no ongoing now" (32).
  4. Her account makes the A-series facts relative to the experiences of self-conscious beings: without such beings, "there are no A-series" (32). But rather than taking this feature as implying that the A-series is unreal or "merely mind-dependent," she argues that the existence of self-conscious beings is a genuine feature of reality that has implications for other general features of reality.
  5. She closes her essay with an extended discussion of the implications of the BA-theory for the relation between time and existence.

Author’s Abstract
  1. Nonphilosophers, if they think of philosophy at all, wonder why people work in metaphysics. After all, metaphysics, as Auden once said of poetry, makes nothing happen. Yet some very intelligent people are driven to spend their lives exploring metaphysical theses. Part of what motivates metaphysicians is the appeal of grizzly puzzles (like the paradox of the heap or the puzzle of the ship of Theseus)2. But the main reason to work in metaphysics, for me at least, is to understand the shared world that we all encounter and interact with. And the shared world that we all encounter includes us self-conscious beings and our experience. The world that we inhabit is unavoidably a temporal world: the signing of the Declaration of Independence is later than the Lisbon earthquake; the Cold War is in the past; your death is in the future. There is no getting away from time.
  2. The ontology of time is currently dominated by two theories: Presentism, according to which “only currently existing objects are real,” and Eternalism, according to which “past and future objects and times are just as real as currently existing ones.” In my opinion, neither Presentism nor Eternalism yields a satisfactory ontology of time. Presentism seems both implausible on its face and in conflict with the Special Theory of Relativity, and Eternalism gives us no handle on time as universally experienced in terms of an ongoing now. (There is a third theory, the Growing Block Universe, according to which the past is real but the future is not; but it also conflicts with the Special Theory of Relativity.) So, I shall by-pass these theories for now and return to them later.
  3. This paper has two parts.
    1. Part I aims to develop a way to understand time that is adequate both to physics and to human experience. It begins with McTaggart’s framework of the A-series and the B-series — the framework that underlies both presentism and eternalism. I shall set out a theory (that I call ‘the BA theory’) that shows how the A- and B-series are related without reducing either to the other. Then, I shall draw out some metaphysical implications of the view.
    2. Part II is a discussion of time and existence; more particularly, it is a discussion of the relation between the temporal world and the non-temporal domain of the unrestricted existential quantifier. I shall argue that the world — though not the domain of the unrestricted existential quantifier — is ontologically different at different times.


COMMENT: See Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Temporal Reality")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 11 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Lombard (Lawrence B.) - Time for a Change: A Polemic Against the Presentism-Eternalism Debate"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, I - Time, Chapter 2


Abstract1
  1. The relation between time and existence looms large for Lombard in this essay. He assimilates the ancient debate about change between Heraclitus and Parmenides to the contemporary debate between the presentists and the eternalists: perhaps they too are engaged in a merely verbal dispute.
  2. As we have seen above, it is surprisingly difficult to explicate these views in a way that generates a substantive dispute.
  3. Lombard interrogates glosses by "Merricks (Trenton) - On the Incompatibility of Enduring and Perduring Entities" (1995), "Zimmerman (Dean) - Temporary Intrinsics and Presentism" (1998), and "Sider (Ted) - Four-dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time" (2001), concluding that they all founder on an equivocation of tense. "If all the relevant verbs [in the definitions of eternalism and presentism] are in the present tense, there is no substantive dispute between the presentist and eternalist. And if all the relevant verbs are disjunctively omnitemporal, there is again no substantive dispute" (71-72).


COMMENT: Pre-print downloaded from academia.edu, 31st August 2019




In-Page Footnotes ("Lombard (Lawrence B.) - Time for a Change: A Polemic Against the Presentism-Eternalism Debate")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 12 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Carroll (John W.) - Context, Conditionals, Fatalism, Time Travel, and Freedom"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, I - Time, Chapter 3


Abstract1
  1. John W. Carroll offers a contextualist account of counterfactual conditionals designed to sort out the dispute between Lewis-Sider and Vihvelin on the abilities of time travellers2 and reveal the problems with the fatalist's argument.
  2. On this account, sentences like 'Tim the time traveller3 cannot kill his Grandfather' are true in some conversational contexts and false in others.
  3. Including certain historical facts into the "common ground" of our conversational context (for example, the precise date of Grandfather's actual death) does imply that Tim cannot kill Grandfather.
  4. But this, argues Carroll, doesn't suggest any "logical shackles" for the time traveller4: it simply amounts to the proposition that Tim did not kill Grandfather.




In-Page Footnotes ("Carroll (John W.) - Context, Conditionals, Fatalism, Time Travel, and Freedom")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 12 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Hinchliff (Mark) - The Identity of the Past"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, I - Time, Chapter 4


Abstract1
  1. Worries beset the presentist if we take him at his word that no past and future individuals exist. How do we yet claim that Lincoln was shot by Booth and that the earth will orbit the sun?
  2. Mark Hinchliff addresses this question, locating "property presentism" as the principle responsible for these worries. Roughly speaking, this principle says that if something has a property, that something exists.
  3. Put that way, it seems impossible to deny. Hinchliff weakens its hold over presentists by exploring the analogous relation between actualism (the view that only actual entities exist) and property actualism. He argues that the analogy breaks down when we take a certain view about the difference between the past and the future (on some presentist's lights): whereas the future, like the merely possible, is "irreducibly general" (resisting cross-time or cross-world identifications), the past "has a full identificatory structure of particular instances underlying it" (104).
  4. This point opens the door to an extensive batch of apparent counterexamples to property presentism. And as its fortunes wane, so does the force of the problems surrounding referring to past people and events.




In-Page Footnotes ("Hinchliff (Mark) - The Identity of the Past")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 13 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Elugardo (Reinaldo) & Stainton (Robert J.) - Identity Through Change and Substitutivity Salva Veritate"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, II - Identity, Chapter 5


Abstract1
  1. Reinaldo Elugardo and Robert J. Stainton present a new puzzle about substituting co-referring names into sentences describing accidental change.
  2. The puzzle arises from the fact that an object's name often changes along with its other properties. Toronto, for example, once had small, waterlogged streets and was thus called 'Muddy York'. But its streets were drained and its name changed to 'Toronto'.
  3. We might say that 'Muddy York evolved into Toronto'. But if we grant the substitutivity principle and grant that the names 'Muddy York' and 'Toronto' refer to the same thing, we arrive at a contradiction: "Toronto both did and did not evolve into Toronto" (113).
  4. Their solution to this paradox abjures construing "_evolved into_" as an opaque context as philosophically expensive and unwarranted. Instead, Elugardo and Stainton diagnose the problem as devolving from the polysemy of the names involved; we use names sometimes to refer to an object over time (a continuant, for example) and sometimes to an object at a time.
  5. The paradox thus devolves from a subtle shift in lexical role of 'Toronto' and 'Muddy York'. Though their solution professes metaphysical neutrality, it raises an important point for semantics (and thus for metaphysics by common association): the possibility of some kind of reference-shifting need not generate opaque contexts. The relation '_evolved into_' "just does apply to the object however conceived" (124).




In-Page Footnotes ("Elugardo (Reinaldo) & Stainton (Robert J.) - Identity Through Change and Substitutivity Salva Veritate")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 13-14 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Markosian (Ned) - Identifying the Problem of Personal Identity"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, II - Identity, Chapter 6


Abstract1
  1. At a metaphilosophical level, Ned Markosian — in "Identifying the Problem of Personal Identity" (chapter 6) — suggests that the standard way of putting the problem improperly biases the ensuing debate in favor of four-dimensionalism.
  2. Philosophers will often put the problem this way: under what conditions are person x at time t1 and person y at time t2 in fact the same person? But to what entities do the phrases 'person x at t1' and 'person y at t2' refer?
  3. Four-dimensionalists (perdurantists2) have a ready answer: to the temporal parts of person x and person y. Three-dimensionalists (endurantists3) have no truck with this — for they deny that persons have temporal parts. They prefer to ask after the conditions under which something that is a person at t1 is the same person as something that is a person at t2. But as we have seen, invoking sortal4 identity in order to state the problem incurs a heavy philosophical burden.
  4. Drawing on a new theory of property instantiations, Markosian proposes a new way of putting the problem that he claims levels the playing field for the 3Der and 4Der. Properties5, he notes, are often instantiated for extended periods of time: the sun has been hot for several billion years; leaves stay green in summer and turn red in the fall; the number seven has always been prime.
  5. Call these instantiations "episodes." Now we can ask some questions about whether this episode is the same as that. In particular, we can ask of persons. What are the conditions under which an instance of personhood at t2 is part of the same episode of personhood as an instance of personhood at t2?
  6. This characterization helps make sense of some of the vexing problems facing the 3Ders (e.g., the fission6 problem, the time travel7 problem, and the fetus8 / corpse9 problems). Though particularly welcome for the 3Der, success here should be regarded as good news all around, as it seems preferable not to presuppose one way of thinking about a problem by merely stating it (a theme Markosian sounds more than once in his chapter).




In-Page Footnotes ("Markosian (Ned) - Identifying the Problem of Personal Identity")

Footnote 1:



"Tognazzini (Neal A.) - Persistence and Responsibility"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, II - Identity, Chapter 7


Abstract1
  1. Ascriptions of moral responsibility often seem to depend on ascriptions of identity among agents. Neal A. Tognazzini rebuts several arguments for the claim that the metaphysics of perdurance leaves no room for the existence of responsible agents.
  2. Consider our Agent X again, after her imprisonment but before she is subjected to the (Joan Rivers) Process. To be held responsible for her actions, it clearly must be the case that the prisoner is Agent X. But critics of perdurantism point out that the object in custody is not all of Agent X. Her captured temporal part differs from her thieving temporal part: they are numerically distinct. But if distinct, how can we hold the captured person-stages responsible for crimes they literally didn't commit?
  3. Tognazzini replies that this and other objections simply represent prejudice against the perdurantist way of conceiving of numerical identity2. He writes:
      "The perdurantist can quite plausibly claim that what is required for an attribution of moral responsibility to be appropriate is not that 'the self-same entity' be 'wholly present' at both times, but rather that the self-same person be present (but not wholly) at both times" (154).
    And the perdurantist can easily make sense of this fact.
  4. In responding to this and similar objections, Tognazzini fleshes out perdurantism's ability to integrate ascriptions of moral properties to continuants.




In-Page Footnotes ("Tognazzini (Neal A.) - Persistence and Responsibility")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 15 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Gorham (Geoffrey) - Descartes on Persistence and Temporal Parts"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, II - Identity, Chapter 8


Abstract1
  1. Geoffrey Gorham seeks to pin down one famous philosopher's metaphysical commitments. Gorham contends that the best way to reconstruct Descartes's argument for the immortality of the soul makes use of the modern resource of perdurantism. His interpretation begins with a suggestive passage from the Third Meditation:
      For a lifespan can be divided into countless parts each completely independent of the others, so that it does not follow from the fact that I existed a little while ago that I must exist now, unless there is some cause which as it were creates me afresh at this moment — that is, preserves me.
  2. This apparent independence of different "momentary" souls strongly suggests a perdurantist reading of persistence: perhaps we should conceive of a Cartesian soul as composed of countless temporal parts, each dependent on some external causal influence for its existence.
  3. However, this interpretation raises some very tricky problems of interpretation for Descartes. One might think, for example (following Bennett 2001), that a genuine substance cannot possess distinct substantial parts; that it would be a "mere pseudo-substance" (Bennett 2001, vol. 1, 98).
  4. Gorham finds precedent in Descartes for denying this doctrine. More worrisome, however, is Descartes's famous insistence on the simplicity of the soul — this simple, unchanging soul is one way of attempting to secure an agent's numerical identity2 in the face of qualitative change.
  5. The solution to this problem, Gorham suggests, lies in the unchanging individual essence behind each thinking substance. This is the Cartesian ego that persists unchanged — and indeed may be argued to exist out of time and thus, in a sense, to be "immortal by its very nature" (165).




In-Page Footnotes ("Gorham (Geoffrey) - Descartes on Persistence and Temporal Parts")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 15-16 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Noonan (Harold) - Persons, Animals and Human Beings (2010)"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, III - The Self, Chapter 9


Abstract1
  1. Harold Noonan leans on an intriguing view of first-person reference to further articulate his approach to personal identity and personhood.
  2. We might ask very generally, "What changes can a person survive? What changes will terminate a person's existence?" Noonan argues that the indexical formulation of the problem is more basic: "Our interest in personal identity is fundamentally an interest in our own identity." On this view, persons are just the objects of first-person reference.
  3. Armed with this simple conception of persons, Noonan suggests that defenders of the psychological approach to personal identity can rebut Olson's "too many minds2 objection," also known as the "thinking animal3" problem.
  4. Perhaps we should admit that each of us "is" an animal "in the sense of coinciding with one and being constituted of the same matter as one — but this 'is' is the 'is' of constitution, not identity" (195).
  5. But even if persons and human animals4 coincide in this manner and both think "'I'-thoughts," it does not follow that their thoughts are about different thinkers.
  6. Noonan thus dissolves the skeptical difficulties associated with the too many minds5 objection — "Both the person and the animal can know that their utterance of 'I am a person' is true" (198) — for 'I'-thoughts always refer to the person thinking them. His essay concludes with an extended defense of this approach from "Olson (Eric) - Thinking Animals and the Reference of 'I'" (2002) objections.


COMMENT: This is an update of "Noonan (Harold) - Persons, Animals and Human Beings", Chapter 11 of "Noonan (Harold) - Personal Identity".




In-Page Footnotes ("Noonan (Harold) - Persons, Animals and Human Beings (2010)")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 16 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Ismael (Jenann) - Me, Again"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, III - The Self, Chapter 10


Abstract1
  1. Jenann Ismael takes up the issue of first-person reference. She begins with Anscombe's objection to Descartes's argument that he is an immaterial thinking substance — roughly, that Descartes cannot guarantee that the same referent is picked out in different 'I'-thoughts without presupposing some criterion of identity for selves (which is what's under discussion).
  2. But Ismael points out that unlike other indexicals (like 'here' and 'now'), which can be mistakenly substituted for one another, "it's hard to make sense of the idea of mistakenly intersubstituting someone else's I-occurrence for one of our own" (212). Criteria of identity "are not employed in reidentification" (212). We may thus manage to refer to ourselves (both at a time and over time) without possessing an explicit concept of the self.
  3. This realization has suggested to some philosophers that the self must in fact be a primitive. Ismael argues that we can avoid this conclusion by seeing the concept of the self as constituted by these reidentifications (rather than being presupposed by them).




In-Page Footnotes ("Ismael (Jenann) - Me, Again")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 17 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Perry (John) - Selves and Self-Concepts"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, III - The Self, Chapter 11


Abstract1
  1. John Perry resists the thought that the self is something mysterious. He proposes a "straightforward theory" of the self, offering the following analogy; a neighbor is just a person thought of under the relation of living next door to someone; likewise, a self is just a person thought of under the relation of identity. "Self is to identity as neighbor is to living next door to" (229).
  2. On this view, philosophical perplexities about the self stem not from the self being a special kind of object (selves, like neighbors, are just persons), but by the unique epistemic structure of this concept.
  3. Normally, we integrate knowledge about ourselves gained from external sources and from "internal" sources (what Perry calls "normally self-informative ways of knowing about a person") which are usually immune to error. The first 'normally' stems from cases like the amnesiac war hero who learns about himself from written accounts without knowing that those written accounts describe his actions; the second 'normally' owes to the recognition that our modes of gaining information about our surroundings and such often presuppose contingent facts about how our senses are "hooked up."
  4. Just how we integrate information from these sources may lurk behind the different public identities we assume (e.g., teacher, student, football fan, and so forth). Our identity consists in those parts of our self-concept that are central — those things we cannot imagine ourselves not being.
  5. This suggests to Perry a sort of "bundle of bundles" theory of the self on which different "competing centers of agency" jockey for position. Such an account, he argues, makes good sense of our not-always-coherent mental life.




In-Page Footnotes ("Perry (John) - Selves and Self-Concepts")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 17 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Baber (Harriet E.) - Ex Ante Desire and Post Hoc Satisfaction"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, III - The Self, Chapter 12


Abstract1
  1. A natural way of elaborating Perry's "centers of agency" is the desire satisfaction account of well-being (pursued by Parfit)2. We often define ourselves by our desires or long-term plans; we look forward to having those desires fulfilled — that benefits us. But our desires often change: what I wanted ten years ago is not what I want now.
  2. Harriet Baber addresses this problem for the desire satisfaction model of well-being, claiming that the satisfaction even of preferences I can no longer identify with does benefit us, even if we are not better off, even if we don't appreciate our desires being satisfied.
  3. This stance leaves us better able to make sense of the obscure artist who only benefits after her death. Baber defends the view that we benefit when the desires are satisfied.




In-Page Footnotes ("Baber (Harriet E.) - Ex Ante Desire and Post Hoc Satisfaction")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 18 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Bradley (Ben) - Eternalism and Death's Badness"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, IV - Death, Chapter 13


Abstract1
  1. Construing death as an evil seems to place some constraints on our metaphysics; after my death, the presentist will claim that I do not exist to be benefited or harmed.
  2. Ben Bradley claims that we must be eternalists to make sense of the cross-temporal relation between a person and that person's death. Although they do not exist simultaneously, they do both exist.
  3. He spends the bulk of his essay responding to arguments offered by Harry S. Silverstein "Silverstein (Harry) - The Evil of Death" (1980/1993), “Revisited” (2000) that death is an "atemporal" harm to the person who has died.
  4. Bradley contends in contrast (and in a spirit similar to "Baber (Harriet E.) - Ex Ante Desire and Post Hoc Satisfaction") that death is bad for a person when that person would have been living a good life had death not occurred.




In-Page Footnotes ("Bradley (Ben) - Eternalism and Death's Badness")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 18 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Silverstein (Harry) - The Time of the Evil of Death"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, IV - Death, Chapter 14


Abstract1
  1. Silverstein finds "Bradley (Ben) - Eternalism and Death's Badness" perplexing. He addresses Bradley's criticism, sharpening and expanding his previous view that the question 'when is S's death an evil for S?' has, and needs, no answer.
  2. He points out that Bradley's view seems to entail some strange conclusions: for example, that we ought to celebrate the point at which a dead loved one would have died had he or she not died the death he or she in fact died — as we might celebrate a loved one's release from prison.




In-Page Footnotes ("Silverstein (Harry) - The Time of the Evil of Death")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 18 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Levenbook (Barbara Baum) - The Retroactivity Problem"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, IV - Death, Chapter 15


Abstract1
  1. Barbara Levenbook wishes to accommodate the intuition that death is an evil (ceteris paribus). And she makes clear what is at stake: the very intelligibility of our possessing a "right to life" plausibly depends on our ability to explain how death counts as a frustration of interests.
  2. Addressing the Epicurean challenge in the guise of what she calls "The Retroactivity Problem" and also developing previous work ("Levenbook (Barbara Baum) - Harming Someone after His Death", 1984), Levenbook articulates a series of principles that give rise to the problem.
  3. Ultimately, the issue depends more on moral rather than metaphysical principles — in particular, a substantive theory of the "good for" and "bad for" relations. Thus, it would seem our intuitions about death carry with them more than merely metaphysical implications.




In-Page Footnotes ("Levenbook (Barbara Baum) - The Retroactivity Problem")

Footnote 1: Taken from p. 19 of "Slater (Matthew H.) - Framing the Problems of Time and Identity", footnotes removed (for now).



"Light (Andrew) - Love Conquers All, Even Time?"

Source: Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein - Time and Identity, V - Postlude, Chapter 16



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



© Theo Todman, June 2007 - Dec 2019. Please address any comments on this page to theo@theotodman.com. File output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this Page Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page Return to Theo Todman's Home Page