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Personal Identity

Artifacts

(Text as at 02/07/2015 23:12:29)

(For earlier versions of this Note, see the table at the end)


  1. There is the claim that adopting a functional approach to personal identity is effectively treating persons as artefacts (which are defined by their functions – eg. a corkscrew – though there can be broken exemplars that can no longer perform the function). Presumably this is intended as a reductio ad absurdum of the functionalist1 account of personhood.
  2. Wiggins touches on the subject of persons as artefacts in "Wiggins (David) - Personal Identity" in "Wiggins (David) - Sameness and Substance Renewed". From a quick look, it seems to me that Wiggins is saying that if we tinker around with human beings enough (whether genetically or by heroic surgical intervention), we have effectively turned them into artifacts of our own devising, and so there is no longer a natural-kind-constrained answer to questions of their persistence conditions. Since Wiggins seems to equate persons and human beings, the thought experiments if carried out in a world would lead to persons that are artefacts. But maybe he’s saying something deeper.
  3. While artefacts aren’t mentioned in "Wiggins (David) - Reply to Snowdon (Persons and Personal Identity)" (in "Lovibond (Sabina) & Williams (S.G.) - Identity, Truth & Value: Essays for David Wiggins"), maybe Wiggins is talking about the same sort of thing.
  4. See also Ship of Theseus2 under this head. It is the standard conundrum concerning the persistence conditions of artefacts, which are also the clearest contenders for the existence of intermittent3 objects. Some philosophers (sensibly) claim that a bicycle can survive being disassembled and then re-assembled, with the (rash) assumption that the bicycle doesn't exist in its disassembled state. Well, my view is that the bicycle does exist in the disassembled state. I'd be miffed if someone returned my bicycle in a disassembled state, but my miffedness wouldn't be because I thought I'd not received my bike back, but because it would be a pain to re-assemble it.
  5. The intermittent existence of objects is relevant to the issue of resurrection4 for physicalists. But the artefact model isn’t appropriate here. A bike can't survive its parts being mulched up and re-manufactured. In any case, we can't logically get our original atoms back (as organisms exchange atoms with their environment all the time, so there's no such thing as "my atoms", which are (over time) shared with other organisms).
  6. An interesting notion – I think due to Trenton Merricks in "Merricks (Trenton) - Objects and Persons" (and others) – is nihilism with respect to artefacts. This is the view that there are no statues, but only atoms arranged statuewise.
    • If this is a correct account, then this would undermine the prime support of the Constitution View5.
    • The reason being that statues, and the like, are prime examples and motivators of the CV, whereby you can have two things (of different sorts) in the same place at the same time, one of which constitutes the other.
    • If there are no such statues, then all this falls apart.
    • Yet of course there are statues, but in what sense?
    • An idea I intend to play with (this may be Merricks’s, for all I know) is that artefacts are shared ideas (memes) projected onto the physical objects (which are indeed collections of atoms arranged X-wise, and the form and structure of the X-wise structure is deliberately chosen to enable it to perform its function).
    • This agrees with, say, Baker’s notion that statues exist only in relation to an art-world. But they are ideas rather than things.
  7. This Note is mostly a place-holder6. See the categorised reading-list below.



Printable Versions:



Table of the Previous 3 Versions of this Note:

Date Length Title
27/06/2011 18:57:36 2304 Artifacts
26/11/2007 23:25:26 1318 Artifacts
12/08/2007 10:17:46 115 Artifacts



Note last updated Reading List for this Topic Parent Topic
02/07/2015 23:12:29 Artifacts Research - Proposal

Summary of Note Links from this Page

Awaiting Attention (Personal Identity) Constitution View Functionalism Intermittent Objects Resurrection
Ship of Theseus        

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.




Summary of Note Links to this Page

Concepts Contingent Identity Convention Intermittent Objects Olson - Immanent Causation and Life After Death
Ship of Theseus        

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.




Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note

Author Title Medium Extra Links Read?
Corcoran (Kevin) The Constitution View Paper Medium Quality Abstract    
Hershenov (David) Review of Nancy Murphy's 'Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?' Paper High Quality Abstract   Yes
Olson (Eric) Immanent Causation and Life After Death Paper High Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Artifacts Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Concepts Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Contingent Identity Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Convention Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Intermittent Objects Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Ship of Theseus Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Wilson (Jack) Beyond Horses and Oak Trees: A New Theory of Individuation for Living Entities Paper High Quality Abstract   Yes



References & Reading List

Author Title Medium Source Read?
Baker (Lynne Rudder) Artifacts Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Baker (Lynne) - The Metaphysics of Everyday Life: An Essay in Practical Realism, Chapter 3 No
Baker (Lynne Rudder) On the Twofold Nature of Artefacts: A Response to Wybo Houkes and Anthonie Meijers Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, 37:132–36, 2006 17%
Baker (Lynne Rudder) Shrinking Difference - Response to Replies Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract American Philosophical Association Newsletter: Philosophy and Computers, 09(2):3–38, 2010 No
Baker (Lynne Rudder) The Metaphysics of Everyday Life: An Essay in Practical Realism Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Low Quality Abstract Baker (Lynne Rudder) - The Metaphysics of Everyday Life: An Essay in Practical Realism 2%
Baker (Lynne Rudder) The Metaphysics of Malfunction Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Forthcoming in Techne, though presented at a conference (Artefacts in Philosophy) at the Delft University of Technology, Oct. 3-4, 2004. 7%
Baker (Lynne Rudder) The Ontological Significance of Artefacts Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Olga Soliarova, Ed., Ontologies of Artefacts. Moscow: Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Delo, 2011 6%
Baker (Lynne Rudder) The Ontology of Artifacts Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Philosophical Explorations, Jun2004, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p99-111, 13p No
Baker (Lynne Rudder) The Shrinking Difference Between Artifacts and Natural Objects Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers, 7(2), Spring 2008 11%
Bloom (Paul) Artifacts Paper - By Subtopic Bloom (Paul) - Descartes' Baby, Chapter 2 No
Bloom (Paul) Descartes' Baby: How Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Medium Quality Abstract Bloom (Paul) - Descartes' Baby: How Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human No
Broackes (Justin) & Hacker (P.M.S.) Substance: Things and Stuffs Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Supplement to the Proceedings of The Aristotelian Society 2004, Vol. 78 Issue 1, p41-63, 23p No
Carter (William) Artifacts of Theseus: Fact and Fission Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 61.3 (September 1983) Yes
Carter (William) Salmon on Artifact Origins and Lost Possibilities Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Philosophical Review 92, No. 2, Apr., 1983, pp. 223-231 No
Chandler (Hugh S.) Theseus' Clothes-Pin Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract Analysis, Vol. 44, No. 2 (Mar., 1984), pp. 55-58 Yes
Dauer (Francis W.) How Not to Reidentify the Parthenon Paper - By Subtopic Analysis, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Dec., 1972), pp. 63-64 No
Denkel (Arda) Artifacts and Constituents Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55, No. 2, Jun., 1995, pp. 311-322 No
Dennett (Daniel) Artifactual Selves: a Response to Lynne Rudder Baker Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Phenomenology and Cognitive Sciences, March 2014 No
Dennett (Daniel) The Self as a Responding - and Responsible - Artifact Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Annals of New York Academy of Sciences, The Self from Soul to Brain 1001: 39-50. No
Elder (Crawford) Artifacts and Other Copied Kinds Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Elder - Real Natures, 2004, Chapter 7 No
Elder (Crawford) Real Natures and Familiar Objects Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Medium Quality Abstract Elder (Crawford) - Real Natures and Familiar Objects No
Elder (Crawford) Real Natures and Familiar Objects: Introduction Paper - By Subtopic Elder - Real Natures, 2004, Introduction No
Ellis (Brian) Australasian Journal of Philosophy - 61.3 (September 1983) Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Ellis (Brian) - Australasian Journal of Philosophy - 61.3 (September 1983) 83%
Fine (Gail) Forms of Artefacts Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Fine - On Ideas - Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Theory of Forms, Chapter 6 No
Fine (Gail) On Ideas - Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Theory of Forms Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) High Quality Abstract Fine (Gail) - On Ideas - Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Theory of Forms 11%
Griffin (Donald) Animal Minds Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Medium Quality Abstract Griffin (Donald) - Animal Minds 2%
Griffin (Donald) Construction of Artifacts Paper - By Subtopic Griffin (Donald) - Animal Minds, 1992, Chapter 4 No
Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) Aeon: L-P Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Low Quality Abstract Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) - Aeon: L-P 27%
Hazlett (Allan) Disassembly and Destruction Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract The Monist, Vol. 89, No. 3, Coming into Being and Passing Away (July 2006), pp. 418-433 Yes
Hershenov (David) Organisms, Artifacts, and Eliminativism Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. (Resubmission Requested). 4%
Hershenov (David) Scattered Artifacts Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Southern Journal of Philosophy 42, 2002, pp. 211-216 No
Hoffman (Joshua) & Rosenkrantz (Gary) Substance: Its Nature and Existence Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Medium Quality Abstract Hoffman (Joshua) & Rosenkrantz (Gary) - Substance: Its Nature and Existence No
Hoffman (Joshua) & Rosenkrantz (Gary) What Kinds of Physical Substances are there? Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Hoffman & Rosenkrantz - Substance: Its Nature and Existence, Chapter 5 No
Houkes (Wybo) & Vermaas (Pieter) Actions Versus Functions: A Plea For An Alternative Metaphysics Of Artifacts Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Monist, Jan2004, Vol. 87 Issue 1, p52-71, 20p No
Katayama (Errol) Aristotle on Artifacts: A Metaphysical Puzzle Book - By Subtopic Katayama (Errol) - Aristotle on Artifacts: A Metaphysical Puzzle No
Lovibond (Sabina) & Williams (S.G.) Identity, Truth & Value: Essays for David Wiggins Book - Cited High Quality Abstract Lovibond (Sabina) & Williams (S.G.) - Identity, Truth & Value: Essays for David Wiggins 11%
Lowe (E.J.) On the Identity of Artifacts Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Journal of Philosophy 80.4, April 1983, pp. 220-232 No
Lowenthal ( David) Material Preservation and Its Alternatives Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract Perspecta, Vol. 25 (1989), pp. 66-77 Yes
Matthes (Erich Hatala) Palmyra’s ruins can rebuild our relationship with history Paper - By Subtopic Aeon, 08 March, 2017 Yes
Merricks (Trenton) Belief and Practice Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract Merricks - Objects and Persons, 2001, Chapter 7 6%
Merricks (Trenton) Explaining Eliminativism Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract Merricks - Objects and Persons, 2001, Chapter 1 25%
Merricks (Trenton) Objects and Persons Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Merricks (Trenton) - Objects and Persons 10%
Pollock (John L.) How to Build a Person: A Prolegomenon Book - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Pollock (John L.) - How to Build a Person: A Prolegomenon 6%
Puccetti (Roland) Person-Artifacts Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Puccetti - Persons: A Study of Possible Moral Agents in the Universe, 1968, Chapter 2 No
Puccetti (Roland) Persons: A Study of Possible Moral Agents in the Universe Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Puccetti (Roland) - Persons: A Study of Possible Moral Agents in the Universe 3%
Putman (Daniel) Natural Kinds and Human Artifacts Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Mind, 91, No. 363 (Jul., 1982), pp. 418-419 No
Richmond (Alasdair) Time Travel, Parahistory and the Past Artefact Dilemma Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Philosophy, Vol. 85, No. 333 (July 2010) (pp. 369-373) 17%
Simons (Peter) On Being the Same Ship(s) - or Electron(s): Reply to Hughes Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Mind, 106, No. 424, Oct., 1997, pp. 761-767 No
Smart (Brian) The Ship of Theseus, the Parthenon and Disassembled Objects Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Analysis, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Oct., 1973), pp. 24-27 No
Symons (John) The Individuality of Artifacts and Organisms Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, Vol. 32, No. 2/3, The Concept of Organism: Historical, Philosophical, Scientific Perspectives (2010), pp. 233-246 No
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Artifacts Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Van Inwagen (Peter) Artifacts Paper - By Subtopic Van Inwagen - Material Beings; 1990; Ch. 13 No
Van Inwagen (Peter) Material Beings Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Medium Quality Abstract Van Inwagen (Peter) - Material Beings 40%
Wiggins (David) Personal Identity Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Wiggins - Sameness and Substance Renewed, 2001, Chapter 7 64%
Wiggins (David) Reply to Snowdon (Persons and Personal Identity) Paper - Cited Lovibond & Williams - Identity, Truth & Value: Essays for David Wiggins, 1996 Yes
Wiggins (David) Sameness and Substance Renewed Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Wiggins (David) - Sameness and Substance Renewed 16%
Zimmerman (Dean) Theories of Masses and Problems of Constitution Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Philosophical Review, vol. civ (1995), pp. 53–110 No



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