<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="utf-8"> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /> <title>Note: Personal Identity - Thesis - Current Stance (Theo Todman's Web Page)</title> </head><body> <a name="Top"></a> <h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages</h1><hr><h2>Personal Identity</h2><h3>Thesis - Current Stance</h3><p class = "Centered">(Text as at 06/07/2018 18:56:10)<br><br>(For earlier versions of this Note, <a href="#TableOfPreviousVersions">see the table at the end</a>)</p><hr> <P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">The purpose of this Note is to provide a periodic refocusing of what my thoughts and beliefs about the topic of Personal Identity currently are. Previous versions can be found from the list below. This version has links to the various other Notes that expand further on the issues raised, and supply extensive reading lists. While very often these Notes are of the  promissory variety, the links will remind me to improve them as needed. <BR><ol type="1"><li><a name="1"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_7/Notes_734.htm">What are we</A><SUP>1</SUP>? This is one of the most important questions we need to ask ourselves. Just what kind of things are we? The question is closely related to a similar one: just what sort of adventures can individuals such as ourselves survive? This second question sheds light on the first for if there are certain contingencies that we think we would  or would not  survive, when a typical member of that kind would not  or would  survive, then that kind may not represent what we really think we are. Of course, we might be wrong in our estimations, but at least this will raise the question. </li><li>Why is this not a trivial question? If we look at a dog, say, and ask what it is, the answer to such a question is obvious  it s a dog! It may be our pet  with a name  a particular <a name="2"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_77.htm">individual</A><SUP>2</SUP>, but when we ask what <a name="3"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_80.htm">kind</A><SUP>3</SUP> of thing it is, it s a member of the species <em>canis lupus</em>. So, when we look at ourselves, the obvious answer is that we are <a name="4"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_74.htm">human beings</A><SUP>4</SUP>  specifically human animals, members of the species <em><a name="5"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_11.htm">homo sapiens</A><SUP>5</SUP></em>. That is the answer posited by the <a name="6"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_50.htm">Animalists</A><SUP>6</SUP>, amongst whose number  broadly speaking  I place myself, who accept the <a name="7"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_53.htm">biological view</A><SUP>7</SUP> of personal identity. </li><li>If this is true, then our <a name="8"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_91.htm">persistence conditions</A><SUP>8</SUP>  the necessary and sufficient conditions for us to continue in existence  are the same as those of other <a name="9"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_30.htm">animals</A><SUP>9</SUP>  the great apes, say, under which category we fall, biologically speaking. Why is this not the end of the story? Well, this is because  despite being a species of great ape  human beings are special in that we have enhanced cognitive capacities. We are morally accountable. In sum, we are <a name="10"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_9.htm">persons</A><SUP>10</SUP>, and have a  <a name="11"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_22.htm">first person perspective</A><SUP>11</SUP> (FPP) on the world  something most philosophers deny to other animals  and care about our <a name="12"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_9/Notes_940.htm">futures</A><SUP>12</SUP> and  <a name="13"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_107.htm">wantons</A><SUP>13</SUP> apart  agonise over our past mistakes. <a name="96"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/B/Author_Baker (Lynne Rudder).htm">Lynne Rudder Baker</A> claims this perspective makes an <a name="14"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_8.htm">ontological</A><SUP>14</SUP> difference, rather than being  as I think  a special property of human beings that may or may not be had in particular cases. <a name="15"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_8/Notes_869.htm">Baker</A><SUP>15</SUP> accuses the animalists of <a name="16"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_28.htm">not taking persons seriously</A><SUP>16</SUP>. I might just note that there s a facile and confusing answer to <a name="17"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_7/Notes_734.htm">what we are</A><SUP>17</SUP>, that is  people . You may have noticed that I used the technical term  persons as the plural of  person . Some philosophers annoyingly use the term  people , but this confuses the issue. When we say there are ten people in the room, while it is clear in normal circumstances what we mean  dogs don t count, for instance  but if there happened to be a Klingon and a visiting angel, would they count as people or not? They are  we may suppose  persons, but they are not <a name="18"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_75.htm">human persons</A><SUP>18</SUP></li><li>Since at least <a name="97"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/L/Author_Locke (John).htm">John Locke</A>, this fact of our mental exceptionalism has tempted philosophers to say that it s our <a name="19"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_16.htm">psychological continuity</A><SUP>19</SUP> that is more important for our identity-preservation than our <a name="20"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_15.htm">physical continuity</A><SUP>20</SUP>. This view still has its supporters  not only for those such as <a name="98"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/Z/Author_Zimmerman (Dean).htm">Dean Zimmerman</A> and <a name="99"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/S/Author_Swinburne (Richard).htm">Richard Swinburne</A> who believe in immaterial <a name="21"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_100.htm">souls</A><SUP>21</SUP>  but for the many who think that psychological continuity and <a name="22"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_60.htm">connectedness</A><SUP>22</SUP> is constitutive of the identity of persons. It is also implicit in the ideas of the <a name="23"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_9/Notes_939.htm">Transhumanists</A><SUP>23</SUP> who think that  come <a name="24"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_9/Notes_972.htm">the Singularity</A><SUP>24</SUP>  we might be capable of being <a name="25"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_12/Notes_1246.htm">uploaded</A><SUP>25</SUP> to <a name="26"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_12/Notes_1244.htm">computers</A><SUP>26</SUP> and thereby <a name="27"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_9/Notes_979.htm">live almost forever</A><SUP>27</SUP>. </li><li>Before proceeding further we have to say something brief and sketchy about identity and <a name="28"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_90.htm">persistence</A><SUP>28</SUP>.  Identity  in the sense of  <a name="29"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_9/Notes_977.htm">numerical identity</A><SUP>29</SUP>  is a relation a thing holds to itself and to nothing else. A is identical to B if A and B are the very same thing. It is an equivalence relation, being transitive, reflexive and idempotent; and, many of the sticking points in the philosophy of personal identity arise from this fact. <ol type="i"><li>It has nothing to do with  identity as a sociological concept such as national identity, sexual identity or identification with a particular group. </li><li>Also, John may be said  not to be the same person since he took heroin, but he is still John and still the same individual; it s just that his <a name="30"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_92.htm">personality</A><SUP>30</SUP> has changed. </li><li>It also has nothing to do with  <a name="31"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_9/Notes_905.htm">narrative identity</A><SUP>31</SUP> which is the story we tell about ourselves in an attempt to make sense of our lives. </li><li>Finally, it has nothing to do with  <a name="32"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_125.htm">exact similarity</A><SUP>32</SUP> : my television may be  identical to yours, but that doesn t mean I can have yours if mine breaks. They are  or were, when manufactured  exactly similar, but are distinct. </ol></li><li> Persisting is what a thing does in continuing in existence. As we noted above, there are what are called  persistence conditions  specific to a kind of thing  that set out what vicissitudes a thing can survive if it is to remain that very same thing. There are sometimes hard cases, and there can seem sometimes that there is an element of <a name="33"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_64.htm">convention</A><SUP>33</SUP>: is a particular club still the same clubs after it has lost all its original members, changed its name, and so on? But we can t accept that our own existence is a matter of convention, though this could seem the case with the once-dominant <a name="34"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_114.htm">psychological view</A><SUP>34</SUP> of personal identity: just how much psychological connection could I lose with my former self  philosophers wondered  and still be me? However, things seem simpler and more objective for organisms, which persist despite exchanging material with the environment and changing many of their <a name="35"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_93.htm">properties</A><SUP>35</SUP>, provided they are caught up in a complex and hopefully long drawn-out event (or process) known as a  <a name="36"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_9/Notes_942.htm">life</A><SUP>36</SUP> . </li><li>In the above I have assumed at least three things. <ol type="i"><li>Firstly, that  things  or at least some things  exist. There s a philosophical position known as  <a name="37"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_12/Notes_1259.htm">Process Metaphysics</A><SUP>37</SUP> (or  Naturalised Metaphysics ) that gives the focus to process rather than ontology, particularly in the case of organisms. I m not sure how fatal this is to my approach, since I admit that animals are individuated by their lives, which are processes. </li><li>Secondly, that <u>we</u> exist. This would seem hardly worth mentioning, other than that certain philosophers  <a name="38"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_87.htm">nihilists</A><SUP>38</SUP>  have argued that we (whatever we are) or  for similar reasons  various common things like hands  don t exist. </li><li>Finally, I assume that things do indeed persist, at least some of the time. </ol>I can t really address these foundational issues here, but will just say a few words on the second issue. There are a lot of interconnected issues to do with the philosophy of time and change, in particular the problem of <a name="39"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_12/Notes_1254.htm">temporary intrinsics</A><SUP>39</SUP>. How can the leaf that was green yesterday be the same leaf if it is brown today? How can the old bald bloke I am today be the same individual as the hirsute teenager all those years ago? <ol type="i"><li>Some philosophers  the <a name="40"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_7/Notes_761.htm">exdurantists</A><SUP>40</SUP>  say that there s no relation of identity across time, but merely a weaker counterpart relation analogous to that between an individual and its counterpart in another possible world. </li><li>Others  in particular <a name="41"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_89.htm">Derek Parfit</A><SUP>41</SUP>  have said that even if there <em>is</em> identity across time, it s not <a name="42"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_108.htm">what matters</A><SUP>42</SUP>. </ol>In what follows, I assume that we exist and that we continue to exist self-identically across time and that this identity relation is important. We could not carry on our lives without these assumptions even if  philosophically-speaking  they were false; but I think they are true: I don t want to distinguish the  strict and philosophical from the  loose and popular senses of identity first raised by <a name="100"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/B/Author_Butler (Joseph).htm">Joseph Butler</A>. I also assume the standard <a name="43"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_12.htm">logic of identity</A><SUP>43</SUP> and reject all heretical accounts that are invented from time to time as radical solutions to the difficult questions of persistence. In particular, I reject the view  known as <a name="44"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_88.htm">occasional identity</A><SUP>44</SUP> that  while (say) I am not identical to my younger self  yet I was that person, just not any more. </li><li>Now back to the main thread. Most Anglophone philosophers these days are <a name="45"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_13.htm">physicalists</A><SUP>45</SUP> (though maybe most non-philosophers are unreflective <a name="46"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_124.htm">dualists</A><SUP>46</SUP>). This gives physicalist philosophers a problem if they have hopes of <a name="47"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_67.htm">post-mortem</A><SUP>47</SUP> <a name="48"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_14.htm">survival</A><SUP>48</SUP>. If the human organism is totally destroyed  eg. by cremation, explosion, or eating of worms  just how does the very same individual <a name="49"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_9/Notes_978.htm">get from this life to the next</A><SUP>49</SUP>? <a name="50"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_11/Notes_1136.htm">Christian Materialists</A><SUP>50</SUP> have had a go at thinking this through, and acknowledge the difficulties. <a name="101"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/V/Author_Van Inwagen (Peter).htm">Peter Van Inwagen</A> attempted to show that it is at least logically possible by having God snatch away the dying body immediately pre-mortem, replacing it with a simulacrum. <a name="102"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/Z/Author_Zimmerman (Dean).htm">Dean Zimmerman</A>  while himself a dualist  has suggested a  falling elevator model to help out his materialist friends, whereby there is immanent <a name="51"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_39.htm">causation</A><SUP>51</SUP> (by some unknown natural or supernatural process) between the dying body and the <a name="52"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_97.htm">resurrection</A><SUP>52</SUP> one so that the dying individual escapes in the nick of time to the next world without loss of <a name="53"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_12.htm">numerical identity</A><SUP>53</SUP>. Others claim that God s omnipotence is sufficient and is sovereign even over the laws of logic, so that problems raised by identity being an equivalence relation can be overcome by brute force. Maybe so, but without the constraints of logical <a name="54"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">possibility</A><SUP>54</SUP>, we have no way of arguing the matter, so let s not bother.</li><li>However, most Christian materialists prefer an alternative. They recognise that getting from here to the next world with temporal or spatial gaps raises difficult questions as to whether the numerical identity of the individual is preserved but adopt an alternative solution  the <a name="55"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_25.htm">Constitution View</A><SUP>55</SUP>. On this thesis, the person is distinct from the human animal   just as the <a name="56"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_11/Notes_1171.htm">statue</A><SUP>56</SUP> is distinct from its <a name="57"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_62.htm">constituting</A><SUP>57</SUP> marble  so that the very same person  tagged by the unique  first person perspective noted above  can be constituted first by its earthly body, and subsequently by its heavenly one. </li><li>Some Animalists have what they think of as a knock-down argument against the Constitution View. <a name="103"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/O/Author_Olson (Eric).htm">Eric Olson</A> calls it the  <a name="58"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_8/Notes_872.htm">Thinking Animal</A><SUP>58</SUP> argument. If the person and the animal are distinct things, albeit co-located, there are too many thinkers  because the animal can certainly think, as can the person, so we have two thinkers where we thought we had one  which is one problem; and there s another  how do we know which we are, the person or the animal? I m not impressed by this argument. There are several  multiple occupancy conundrums that have been claimed at one time or another to deny the existence of things we are sure do exist. <a name="59"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_8/Notes_871.htm">Dion and Theon</A><SUP>59</SUP>, <a name="60"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_11/Notes_1169.htm">Tib and Tibbles</A><SUP>60</SUP>, the  <a name="61"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_11/Notes_1170.htm">problem of the many</A><SUP>61</SUP> and so on. We just need to sort out our rules for counting. Also, the whole question of three- versus <a name="62"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_42.htm">four-dimensionalism</A><SUP>62</SUP> (4D)  whether a persisting thing is wholly present at a time  or whether only a temporal part is present, the thing as a whole being a  space-time worm  bears on the question of counting. If different things can share stages  say the person and the human animal, or the statue and the clay  then we have to be careful how we count. In the case of a future <a name="63"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_33.htm">fission</A><SUP>63</SUP>  whereby two space-time worms share their past stages, but will ultimately diverge  we might not know how many to count at a time, but this will often not matter for practical purposes. </li><li>I think the idea of a first-person perspective is important. It is this that provides the pull against <a name="64"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_24.htm">animalism</A><SUP>64</SUP> when linked to various <a name="65"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>65</SUP> (TEs) that we ll come on to presently. However, I still <a name="66"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_26.htm">don t like the Constitution View</A><SUP>66</SUP>. My objection is that the FPP is a property of something else  like a smile  in this case of a human animal, though the smile might belong to a cat. You can t take the very same smile from one cat and place on another (it would be at best an exactly similar smile)  let alone have a disembodied smile like that of the Cheshire Cat. Similarly, you can t take the very same FPP from one body and plop it onto another. True, it might be a qualitatively exactly similar FPP, but not the same one. What s to stop that FPP being plopped on several resurrection bodies? Which would be numerically identical to me, given that they can t all be, in the absence of 4D? </li><li>What are the temptations for not sticking with the animalist approach  which ought these days to be the default position in the absence of anything more compelling? As noted, the apparent lack of rational expectation of an afterlife is one incentive to look elsewhere, so  elsewhere is a favourite for those who can t bear the thought of their <a name="67"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_98.htm">selves</A><SUP>67</SUP> expiring with their <a name="68"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_18.htm">bodies</A><SUP>68</SUP>. We ve noted the Christian dualists and materialists, but what about the Transhumanists? There s the relatively metaphysically uninteresting case of cryoscopy followed by repair and resuscitation; there we have material continuity, and no possibility of <a name="69"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_10/Notes_1003.htm">reduplication</A><SUP>69</SUP>, though some might claim there is too much outside interference for identity to be preserved. But, what about the  hope of  you being uploaded to a computer? There seems to be an idea about that  we are really software (or data), when we are clearly material beings. If we are software, it is said, then we might  run on different hardware. I have two issues with this, apart from the immense technical obstacles to be overcome both in  scanning the  real you and providing a computer of sufficient power to run your program and the virtual world for you to experience, Matrix-like. <ol type="i"><li>Firstly, what sort of thing is a program? It s an interesting question whether a program has persistence conditions. Is Windows 10 the same program as Windows 0? Whatever the answer to this question is, a program would seem to be a kind of <a name="70"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universal</A><SUP>70</SUP> rather than a particular, and  we are particulars. </li><li>This leads to the second issue  a reduplication objection. Say we developed a sophisticated program that could run on an open-ended number of exactly similar robots. No two of these would be numerically identical to one another  they would be distinct, though exactly similar. So, were the program to be a simulation of your brain, it could run  presumably  on an open-ended number of computers  and these computers (or computer partitions) would not be identical to one another, so none of them could be you, as you could only be one of them, and there s <a name="71"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_41.htm">no principled way</A><SUP>71</SUP> of saying which. The same objection prevents Star Trek-like <a name="72"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_46.htm">teletransportation</A><SUP>72</SUP>  were it possible  being identity-preserving. I might also add that no  program is  in itself  <a name="73"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_61.htm">conscious</A><SUP>73</SUP>, though a machine that runs it might conceivably be. Mind you, there are arguments here as well  originated by <a name="104"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/S/Author_Searle (John).htm">John Searle</A>  at least for digital computers. </ol>Incidentally, the transhumanists seem to imagine unending computer life as a secular heaven, but it could just as easily be a secular hell. </li><li>So, I remain wedded to my view that we are human animals with the persistence conditions of such.  Person is not a <a name="74"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_101.htm">substance</A><SUP>74</SUP> term, but an honorific that refers to some substance during some periods of its existence when it has the requisite mental and <a name="75"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_19.htm">moral properties</A><SUP>75</SUP> to qualify.  Person is a <a name="76"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_29.htm">Phase Sortal</A><SUP>76</SUP> (like  teacher ) that  in the case of  person  applies to most humans most of the time, but need not apply to all humans all the time. There are ethical consequences for this view, but they are not as dramatic as is sometimes urged. Non-persons don t have moral responsibilities, as is already recognised for demented or infant humans, and all non-human animals. The obverse  that persons allegedly have <a name="77"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_11/Notes_1149.htm">no moral obligations towards non-persons</A><SUP>77</SUP>  or that non-persons have no rights  is the sticking point, and ought to be reflected in a more humane treatment of all non-persons rather than that we might contemplate sending human non-persons as well as non-human non-persons to the slaughter-house. </li><li>So, what are the <a name="78"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_112.htm">problems for animalists</A><SUP>78</SUP>? There are several. Some  like the so-called  <a name="79"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_65.htm">corpse problem</A><SUP>79</SUP> (is my corpse me  only dead  if not, where does it come from? It doesn t have the persistence conditions of an organism) are probably relatively easy to overcome. Recently, I ve discovered that animalists  like (but for different reasons) those who think we are essentially persons  allegedly have a  <a name="80"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_71.htm">fetus problem</A><SUP>80</SUP> . Animalists  saying that we are essentially animals  have (it seems) to say that we were once foetuses  which appears to be what our animal once was. But was this fetus once a <a name="81"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_85.htm">proper part</A><SUP>81</SUP> of its mother? There s work currently going on to suggest that this is so  and if so, just when did the new human animal come into existence? However, I don t think any of this seriously threatens animalism. Maybe animalists should have considered the problem more than they have, but animals do come into existence sometime  presumably by the time of birth at the latest  and that s enough for an animalist. </li><li>The real problems for animalism stem from the force of thought experiments such as the  <a name="82"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_7/Notes_763.htm">brain transplant</A><SUP>82</SUP> intuition . An animalist seems forced to say that I would <em>not</em>  go with my brain in the circumstance where my brain is <a name="83"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_104.htm">transplanted</A><SUP>83</SUP> into another body, when it seems to most people that I <em>would</em>. The alleged reason for this is that at least some animalists consider the brain to be  just another organ that we might lose like we might lose a kidney, provided the animal is kept alive. Doubts about this have led some to think that we are not  really whole human animals but proper parts thereof, maybe not <a name="84"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_9/Notes_909.htm">brains</A><SUP>84</SUP> as such, but brains and a few other bits. This does seem comical. Just how large am I  would I fit into a hat-box, as <a name="85"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_8/Notes_868.htm">Olson</A><SUP>85</SUP> asks? </li><li>My view is as follows. I am currently (thankfully) a whole human animal. My wife worked in the NHS with amputees, and I think it is right to say that they also are whole human animals, though they lack parts that most of us have. No doubt they could lose more parts  and some diabetics sadly do. So, we might view a  <a name="86"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_56.htm">brain in a vat</A><SUP>86</SUP>  one ready for transplant  as a  maximally mutilated human animal. Maybe  in the case of a brain transplant  a prior animal has fissioned (divided into two) when the brain is extracted and we now have a case of the <a name="87"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_34.htm">fusion</A><SUP>87</SUP> of two animals (the brain from one fusing with the body of the other). It might be argued that our identity-logic <a name="88"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_106.htm">isn t quite up to deciding</A><SUP>88</SUP> who is who in such circumstances, but the stakes seem high enough to demand an answer, for which read on. </li><li>I doubt whether the transhumanist hopes of augmenting our physical or mental attributes by effectively converting us into <a name="89"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_66.htm">cyborgs</A><SUP>89</SUP> is much of a threat to animalism. We don t worry about our spectacles or our mobiles phones making us any less mammalian. Closer integration with AI applications is only the next step for the extended mind. </li><li>So, is there any purchase in thought experiments that putatively have my first person perspective persisting in cases where there is no identity preservation. Could it be the case that  it seems to me that I have survived some vicissitude  a <a name="90"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_10/Notes_1013.htm">cerebrum</A><SUP>90</SUP> transplant, say  but I am mistaken? Some philosophers argue that this happens every night  I <a name="91"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_11/Notes_1138.htm">go to sleep</A><SUP>91</SUP>, and when I wake up I just assume that I am identical to the individual who got into bed, but how do I know? I might be intellectually convinced by third parties  those other than the sleeper and the waker  one way or another, but how would this affect how it seems to me? Take the teletranportation case. Because of the reduplication objection (unless we are 4-dimensionalists), we should say that numerical identity is not preserved. But  if the technology works, and I am the teletransportee  the individual (or 77 duplicates) would (all) wake up convinced they were me, yet they must be deceived. Thankfully, reduplication is not a problem for whole-brain transplants, but it is for idempotent half-brain transplants, though I think the identity problem there occurs during the fissioning process rather than when the half-brains are implanted. </li><li>I continue to think that there is a distinction to be made between <a name="92"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_38.htm">forward and backward psychological continuity</A><SUP>92</SUP>, though I don t see how third parties  or even first or second parties  could tell the difference. It makes all the difference to me if I go to sleep and <em>someone else</em> wakes up thinking they are me  as against the normal case where I go to sleep and <em>I</em> wake up. In the former case  for me  there s just an endless nothingness, of which I know nothing, while in the latter case my experiential life carries on. However, backward psychological continuity  what it feels like looking back  is the same for a survivor and one who only thinks he s survived. </li><li>In the case of the split brain transplant, however, how is it all supposed to work, experientially? Neurosurgery is  even today  carried out on substantially conscious patients, as that way there s a quick feedback loop to tell the surgeon whether he s destroying any important areas of cognitive function. What would it be like to  fission ? Maybe I lack the imagination, but it seems to me that my First Person Perspective would go along with whatever was the dominant hemisphere, assuming this  seat of consciousness is initially located in one hemisphere or the other. If it is not, then it would presumably be destroyed and two new ones would be created in this miracle operation. Either way, this would sit comfortably with the logic of identity which would not be violated, as at most one of the recipients would be me. I can imagine being ripped apart psychologically, but I can t imagine going two ways. </li><li>Of course, there are physical and metaphysical issues with the whole idea of brain transplants  the physical structure of the <a name="93"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_55.htm">brain</A><SUP>93</SUP> reflects  its body, and mental faculties are not fully localised, so it s not just the immensely complex task of  wiring up the brain to its new body that presents a challenge. Half-brain transplants are even more problematical as in the TEs the brain stem is not split, but only the cerebra are supposed to be transplanted. It s not clear to me whether there is pervasive confusion here and that these thought experiments are underspecified to the degree of incoherence. Some philosophers  eg. <a name="105"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/W/Author_Wilkes (Kathleen).htm">Kathleen Wilkes</A>  think TEs are unhelpful in the philosophy of personal identity, and that our concepts are not up to being probed in this way. I m not so sure  the TEs are about <em>us</em>, not our <a name="94"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_0/Notes_23.htm">concepts</A><SUP>94</SUP>. </li><li>There is finally the question whether there is any such thing as  the Self , which is what is supposed to have this FPP. Some contemporary philosophers argue that the Self is an illusion that the brain generates. Others  such as <a name="106"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/H/Author_Hume (David).htm">David Hume</A>  have argued; and others  such as <a name="107"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/S/Author_Strawson (Galen).htm">Galen Strawson</A>  do argue that when they introspect they find no evidence of a persisting Self. I don t know where they are coming from, as I can t think of anything more certain. But a <a name="95"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_9/Notes_943.htm">Buddhist-inspired</A><SUP>95</SUP>  no-self view makes the animalist s task easier, if maybe less interesting. </li></ol></P> <br><hr><h3 class = "Left">Printable Versions:</h3> <UL><li>Follow (<A Href="Notes_Print/NotesPrint_7_0_P_R.htm" TARGET = "_top">this link</A>) for level 0 (with reading list), and </li><li>Follow (<A Href="Notes_Print/NotesPrint_7_0_P.htm" TARGET = "_top">this link</A>) for level 0, and </li><li>Follow (<A Href="Notes_Print/NotesPrint_7_1_P_R.htm" TARGET = "_top">this link</A>) for level 1 (with reading list), and </li><li>Follow (<A Href="Notes_Print/NotesPrint_7_1_P.htm" TARGET = "_top">this link</A>) for level 1.</li></UL> <a name="TableOfPreviousVersions"></a><BR><HR><h3 class= "Left">Table of the Previous 6 Versions of this Note:</h3> <TABLE class = "ReadingList" WIDTH=700> <TR><TD WIDTH="20%" class = "BridgeCenter"><strong>Date</strong></TD> <TD WIDTH="10%" class = "BridgeRight"><strong>Length</strong></TD> <TD WIDTH="70%" class = "BridgeLeft"><strong>Title</strong></TD></TR> <TR><TD class = "BridgeCenter">05/01/2018 00:11:31</TD> <TD class = "BridgeRight">24177</TD> <TD class = "BridgeLeft"><A HREF = "Notes_7_43105008.htm">Thesis - 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Wiggins</TD> <TD WIDTH="10%" class = "BridgeLeft"><A HREF="../../Abstracts/Abstract_17/Abstract_17908.htm#2">Paper</A> <img src="../../asterisk_yellow.png"alt="Medium Quality Abstract" Title="Medium Quality"></TD> <TD WIDTH="15%" class = "BridgeLeft">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="5%" class = "BridgeCenter">Yes</TD> </TR> </TABLE></center> <a name="ColourConventions"></a><br><hr><br><h3 class = "Left">Text Colour Conventions</h3><OL TYPE="1"><li><FONT COLOR = "000000">Black</FONT>: Printable Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><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><BR> <center><BR><HR><BR><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="2018-08-06T09:33" pubdate>06/08/2018 09:33:34</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>