Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
Status: Personal Identity (2016 - June)
(Text as at 21/07/2016 16:12:00)
(For other versions of this Note, see the tables at the end)
Rationale for this Project
- I am researching the subject of Personal Identity primarily because of its intrinsic interest and importance. It is really a sub-topic in my Philosophy of Religion1 project, with its penultimate chapter considering the metaphysical possibility of resurrection.
- While I’m interested in the topic of my research in its own right, I think when I’ve sorted it out a bit, and have something to say, I’ll want to engage with other philosophers active in this field – and re-starting a PhD at Birkbeck or elsewhere might be the only effective way to do this.
- While a PhD is not an end in itself, and certainly not the ultimate aim of my doing philosophy, it’s still true that a PhD would teach me research techniques, provide focus and direction, and furnish a professional qualification should I want to publish any results in this or any other area of philosophy.
- The jumping-off point for my thesis is here2, and a progress dashboard is here3.
Summary of Progress during April - June 2016
- I spent 100 hours in 2Q16 on my Thesis or Thesis-related work (519 hours YTD, where for “YTD” – Year to Date – I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2015). That’s 48% of the planned effort (77% YTD). Overall, 15% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 27% YTD) – as against 31% planned (34% YTD).
- This quarter, effort was severely curtailed by the need to focus on Pete’s PhD Appendices (see Web Tools4). Even the time spent was directed almost exclusively to peripheral matters:-
- Progress between reports can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List (Click Here5).
- More detail follows:-
Thesis (Total Hours = 44.5)
- Thesis - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 25.5)
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Explaining Attitudes: A Practical Approach to the Mind" (Read / Write, 1.5 hours)
- "Claxton (Guy) - RSA Lecture: Why Your Mind Needs Your Body" (Write, 0.5 hours)
- "Dretske (Fred) - Explaining Behaviour - Reasons in a World of Causes" (Write, 0.75 hours)
- "Dretske (Fred) - Knowledge and the Flow of Information: Preface" (Read / Write, 2 hours)
- "Korsgaard (Christine) - Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity" (Read / Write, 3.25 hours)
- "Olson (Eric) - Psychology and Personal Identity" (Write, 9.25 hours)
- "Patterson (Sarah) - Mind & Language (7.1-2, Spring/Summer 1992): Introduction" (Write, 0.5 hours)
- "Perry (John) - Review of Bernard Williams' 'Problems of the Self'" (Write, 0.25 hours)
- "Sacks (Oliver) - A Matter of Identity" (Read / Write, 1.5 hours)
- "Sacks (Oliver) - The Lost Mariner" (Read / Write, 2.25 hours)
- "Schechtman (Marya) - The Same and the Same: Two Views of Psychological Continuity" (Write, 0.25 hours)
- "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Personal Identity: a Materialist Account" (Write, 0.75 hours)
- "Stone (Tony) & Davies (Martin) - Mental Simulation: Introduction" (Read / Write, 2.25 hours)
- "Torrengo (Giuliano) - Feeling the Passing of Time" (Write, 0.5 hours)
- Thesis - Discussions (Total Hours = 1.75)
- Thesis - Lectures (Total Hours = 14)
- Thesis - Research Repositioning
Thesis Background (Total Hours = 55.25)
- Thesis Background - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 50.25)
- Lao Tzu, Lau (D.C.) - Tao Te Ching (Write, 0.5 hours)
→ See "Lao Tzu, Lau (D.C.) - Tao Te Ching"
- "Anderson (Stephen R.) - How Many Languages are there in the World?" (Read, 0.75 hours)
- "Bickerton (Derek) - Words Cannot Express" (Read / Write, 0.75 hours)
- "Chomsky (Noam) - The Architecture of Language" (Read / Write, 0.5 hours)
- "Comrie (Bernard) - Linguistic Typology" (Read, 2.5 hours)
- "Confucius, Lau (D.C.) - The Analects" (Write, 0.5 hours)
- "Dasgupta (Shreya) - Can any animals talk and use language like humans?" (Read, 0.75 hours)
- "Davis (Joel) - Mother Tongue: How Humans Create Language" (Write, 0.25 hours)
- "Deutscher (Guy) - Does Your Language Shape How You Think?" (Read / Write, 1.5 hours)
- "Deutscher (Guy) - The Unfolding Of Language: The Evolution of Mankind's Greatest Invention" (Write, 0.25 hours)
- "Deutscher (Guy) - Through the Language Glass: Why The World Looks Different In Other Languages" (Write, 0.25 hours)
- "Ethnologue - Endangered Languages" (Read / Write, 0.5 hours)
- "Ethnologue - Language Status" (Read, 1 hour)
- "Fromkin (Victoria A.), Rodman (Robert) & Hyams (Nina) - An Introduction to Language (8th Edition)" (Write, 0.25 hours)
- "Georgia Tech - The Waggle Dance of the Honeybee" (Read, 0.75 hours)
- "Interaction - Discussion with Sylvia" (Write, 4.25 hours)
- "Jackendoff (Ray) - How did Language begin?" (Read, 0.5 hours)
- "Labov (William) - A Life of Learning: Six People I Have Learned From" (Read / Write, 2.5 hours)
- "Leroi (Armand Marie) - Mutants: On the Form, Varieties and Errors of the Human Body" (Write, 0.5 hours)
- "Lugea (Jane) - Early Language Exposure Leaves Imprint On The Brain" (Read / Write, 0.5 hours)
- "Maddieson (Ian) - Consonant Inventories" (Read, 0.75 hours)
- "Maddieson (Ian) - Vowel Quality Inventories" (Read, 0.75 hours)
- "McWhorter (John) - Don't Believe the Hype About Aborigines, Yiddish, or Ebonics" (Read / Write, 1 hour)
- "Mencius, Lau (D.C.) - Mencius" (Read / Write, 0.75 hours)
- "Moravcsik (Edith A.) - Introducing Language Typology" (Write, 0.25 hours)
- "Obler (Loraine K.) & Gjerlow (Kris) - Language and the Brain" (Write, 0.25 hours)
- Philos_List (Read, 0.5 hours)
→ See "Admin - Thesis - Outline & Initial Research (April - June)"
- "Puett (Michael) & Gross-Loh (Christine) - The Path: A New Way to Think About Everything" (Read / Write, 1 hour)
- "Romaine (Suzanne) - Language in Society: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics" (Write, 0.25 hours)
- "Schwyter (Jörg) - ‘Me talk funny’ - A stroke patient’s personal account" (Read / Write, 0.5 hours)
- "Schwyter (Jörg) - Losing Language: Multilingualism and Aphasia" (Read / Write, 1.25 hours)
- Somerset Maugham (W.) - Short Stories: Before the Party (Write, 0.25 hours)
- Somerset Maugham (W.) - Short Stories: Mackintosh (Write, 0.25 hours)
- Somerset Maugham (W.) - Short Stories: Mr Harrington's Washing (Read / Write, 3.25 hours)
- Somerset Maugham (W.) - Short Stories: P & O (Write, 1 hour)
- Somerset Maugham (W.) - Short Stories: Rain (Write, 1.25 hours)
- Somerset Maugham (W.) - Short Stories: Sanatorium (Read, 0.25 hours)
- Somerset Maugham (W.) - Short Stories: The Fall of Edward Barnard (Write, 0.5 hours)
- Somerset Maugham (W.) - Short Stories: The Letter (Read / Write, 3.25 hours)
→ See "Somerset Maugham (W.) - Short Stories"
- "Tallerman (Maggie) - Understanding Syntax" (Write, 0.25 hours)
- "Tomasello (Michael) - Origins of Human Communication" (Write, 0.25 hours)
- van Oostendorp (Marc) - Miracles of Human Language: Background Reading (Read, 2 hours)
- van Oostendorp (Marc) - Miracles of Human Language: Tests (Write, 9.75 hours)
→ See "van Oostendorp (Marc) - Miracles of Human Language: An Introduction to Linguistics"
- "Whatley (Stuart) - The Magnificent “Accretion of Random Habits”: On Language, Perception, and the World" (Read / Write, 1 hour)
- "Woodbury (Anthony C.) - What is an Endangered Language?" (Read / Write, 0.5 hours)
- Thesis Background - Books Admin (Total Hours = 2.25)
- Thesis Background - Status (Total Hours = 2.75)
Plans for the Near Future – Top Priority Tasks
- I now have a clear idea of what I want to do over the next 3 years6, which is to complete a thesis to my own satisfaction. As such I require rigorous focus on the priority tasks, books and papers. Lower-priority reading is not likely to get a look in, so will be cut.
- An “ideal” next step (and one previously suggested) is to ensure that everything of relevance that I have actually read is written up and incorporated in my Notes database and only later – and secondly – consider anything that I have not yet read. This would require discipline, in that interesting new stuff is always turning up, and would be an iterative process. Further, given I’m not getting any younger, it could also be wasting time which should be focussed on using the most relevant materials.
- So, if what I’ve read and written on – in the form of particular papers on a particular topic – is most relevant, I’ll “process” that, but otherwise will start anew.
- As far as effort is concerned, to balance the books I’ve had to reduce planned hours / week yet further from 16 to 15 – though this will increase once I’ve caught up with the backlog of work on my web-tools7 project (Pete’s PhD Appendices).
- So, the task for the next quarter will be to continue my analysis of "Olson (Eric) - The Human Animal - Personal Identity Without Psychology".
- Following that, the focus (if you can call it that) will be on the following bumper list:-
- Continue with my Thesis8; in particular fill out those sections that I can write something on without further research.
- Complete a full review and update of the Notes I’ve created on Personal Identity, focusing on those with least content.
- Make progress on specific Chapters, using the materials below …
- Chapter 29 (What Are We?). Focussing on:-
- Human Beings: "Johnston (Mark) - 'Human Beings' Revisited: My Body is Not an Animal".
- "Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit",
- "O'Hear (Anthony), Ed. - Mind, Self and Person".
- Chapter 610 (Animalism). Focussing on:-
- "Olson (Eric) - The Human Animal - Personal Identity Without Psychology", my core text,
- "Merricks (Trenton) - Objects and Persons",
- "Bailey (Andrew M.) - The Elimination Argument",
- "Olson (Eric) - On Parfit's View That We Are Not Human Beings",
- "Olson (Eric) - The Metaphysical Implications of Conjoined Twining",
- "Olson (Eric) - The Role of the Brainstem in Personal Identity",
- "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Persons, Animals, and Identity",
- "Snowdon (Paul) - Persons, Animals, Ourselves".
- Chapter 711 (The Constitution View):-
- Start a serious review of "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View", my other core text.
- Read and review "Corcoran (Kevin) - Rethinking Human Nature: A Christian Materialist Alternative to the Soul".
- Chapter 1112 (Resurrection):-
- Start a thorough review of "Martin (L. Michael) & Augustine (Keith) - The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death",
- Start a review of "Luper (Steven), Ed. - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death", especially
- "Olson (Eric) - The Nature of People",
- Read and review "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Death and the Afterlife",
- "Corcoran (Kevin) - Dualism, Materialism and the Problem of Post Mortem Survival".
- As background tasks:-
- Convert old PDF-précis, Etc13. to Notes,
- Complete cataloguing the books downloaded from Springer,
- Continue with "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers",
- Complete "Erber (Joan T.) & Szuchman (Lenore T.) - Great Myths of Aging",
- Continue reading and reviewing "Somerset Maugham (W.) - Short Stories",
- Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR14.
Summary of Progress to Date
This was hived off to a separate Note15 back in 2010, and hasn’t changed much since.
In-Page FootnotesFootnote 6:
- Hopefully, I may complete, or get stuck, earlier.
- By “3 years”, I mean the period ending on my 65th birthday – ie. 13/11/2018. This is not to slip!
- On the plus side, I’m much further advanced than would be expected of someone commencing a PhD.
- On the minus side, I want to go into greater depth, and have other projects on the go – most notably my Web-tools project.
Live Version of this Archived Note
Table of 12 Earlier Versions of this Note (of 61)
Table of the 8 Later Versions of this Note
Summary of Notes Links from this Page
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Summary of Note Links to this Page
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Text Colour Conventions
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018