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Status Reports - Status: Summary (2019 - June)

Rationale for this Report


Projects in Progress
Actuals & Planning
Detailed Interim Activities

Plans for the Near Future24
  1. Thesis
  2. Religion
  3. Website
  4. Music
  5. Chess
  6. Bridge
  7. Consciousness
  8. Languages
  9. Mathematics
  10. HiQ
  1. Thesis25
    1. Continue with my Thesis26; in particular
      1. Fill out those sections that I can write something on without further research.
      2. Rework the structure so that Level-1 or -2 print produces the thesis with the correct reading-list.
    2. Continually review the Note describing my Current Beliefs27 on the topic of Personal Identity.
    3. Complete a full review and update of the Notes I’ve created on Personal Identity, focusing on those directly referenced by my Current Beliefs28.
    4. Make progress on specific Chapters of my Thesis, using the materials below →
    5. Chapter 229 (What Are We?). Focussing on:-
      1. Human Beings: "Johnston (Mark) - 'Human Beings' Revisited: My Body is Not an Animal".
      2. Persons: "Cottingham (John) - Why we are not 'persons'".
      3. Selves:-
        1. "Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit",
        2. "O'Hear (Anthony), Ed. - Mind, Self and Person".
    6. Chapter 430 (Basic Metaphysical Issues). Focus on:-
      1. "Broome (John) - Indefiniteness in Identity",
      2. "Hawley (Katherine) - Almost Identical, Almost Innocent",
      3. "Noonan (Harold) - Vague Identity Yet Again"
      4. "Williams (Christopher) - Death and Other Difficulties"
    7. Chapter 531 (Persistence and Time). Focussing on:-
      1. "Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: A Philosophical Enquiry", and especially
        → "Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History - A Philosophical Inquiry with Dr Sophie Botros"
      2. "Haslanger (Sally) & Kurtz (Roxanne), Eds. - Persistence : Contemporary Readings",
      3. "Miller (Kristie) - Issues in Theoretical Diversity: Persistence, Composition, and Time",
      4. "Orwell (George), Davison (Peter), Taylor (D.J.), Ed. - Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Annotated Edition",
      5. "Rovelli (Carlo) - The Order of Time",
      6. "Sider (Ted), Hawthorne (John) & Zimmerman (Dean), Eds. - Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics",
      7. "Skow (Bradford) - Objective Becoming",
      8. "Hawley (Katherine) - Persistence and Determination",
      9. "Wiggins (David) - Continuants: Their Activity, Their Being, and Their Identity", especially
        → "Wiggins (David) - Identity, Individuation, and Substance"
      10. "Lebens (Samuel) & Goldschmidt (Tyron) - The Promise of a New Past": Complete and send to Sophie Botros & Michael J. Alter,
      11. Robert O. Doyle: Complete running through relevant pages
      12. Various papers by Mauro Dorato,
      13. "Roselli (Andrea) - How Long is Now? A New Perspective on the Specious Present".
    8. Chapter 632 (Animalism). Focussing on:-
      1. "Olson (Eric) - The Human Animal - Personal Identity Without Psychology", my core text,
      2. "Merricks (Trenton) - Objects and Persons",
      3. "Bailey (Andrew M.) - The Elimination Argument",
      4. "Olson (Eric) - On Parfit's View That We Are Not Human Beings",
      5. "Olson (Eric) - The Metaphysical Implications of Conjoined Twining",
      6. "Olson (Eric) - The Role of the Brainstem in Personal Identity",
      7. "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Persons, Animals, and Identity",
      8. "Snowdon (Paul) - Persons, Animals, Ourselves",
      9. "Hershenov (David) - Review of David DeGrazia’s Human Identity and Bioethics",
      10. "Ross (Don) - Consciousness, language, and the possibility of non-human personhood: Reflections on elephants",
      11. Elselijn Kingma. Especially
        → "Kingma (Elselijn) - Lady Parts: The Metaphysics of Pregnancy", and
        → "Kingma (Elselijn) - Were You Part of Your Mother?".
        → Update my Note on Conjoined Twins33.
    9. Chapter 734 (The Constitution View):-
      1. "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View": My other core text. Start a serious review.
      2. "Baker (Lynne Rudder), Etc. - E-Symposium on 'Persons & Bodies: A Constitution View'": Write up reviews of papers,
      3. "Corcoran (Kevin) - Rethinking Human Nature: A Christian Materialist Alternative to the Soul": Read and review,
      4. "Loose (Jonathan) - Constitution and the Falling Elevator": Write a Note.
    10. Chapter 1035 (Thought Experiments):-
      1. Investigate Transhumanism36. In particular,
        1. "Awad (Edmond), Etc. - The Moral Machine experiment": Read,
        2. "Bridle (James) - New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future": Read,
        3. "O'Connell (Mark) - To be a Machine": Briefly review,
        4. "Bostrom (Nick) - Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies": Read,
        5. "Graziano (Michael) - Endless fun": Detailed review,
        6. "Midgley (Mary) - Biotechnology and Monstrosity: Why We Should Pay Attention to the 'Yuk Factor'": Complete,
        7. "Shipley (G.J.) - Review of Andy Clark's 'Natural-Born Cyborgs'": Complete review,
        8. "Harari (Yuval Noah) - Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow": Review, especially Chapter 8,
        9. "Fry (Hannah) - Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine": Read & review,
        10. "Davies (Sally) - Women’s minds matter" (and papers cited / resisted)
    11. Chapter 1137 (Resurrection):-
      1. "Martin (L. Michael) & Augustine (Keith) - The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death": Start a thorough review,
      2. "Luper (Steven), Ed. - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death": Start a review, especially
        → "Olson (Eric) - The Nature of People",
      3. "Bradley (Ben), Feldman (Fred) & Johansson (Jens) - The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death": Start a review, especially
        → "Zimmerman (Dean) - Personal Identity and the Survival of Death",
      4. Read and review
        → "Badham (Paul) - Christian Beliefs About Life After Death",
        → "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Death and the Afterlife",
        → "Corcoran (Kevin) - Dualism, Materialism and the Problem of Post Mortem Survival",
        → "MacIntosh (J.J.) - Reincarnation and Relativized Identity", and
        → "Noonan (Harold) - The Possibility of Reincarnation",
      5. "Barua (Ankur) - Revisiting the Rationality of Reincarnation-Talk": Write a file-note.
    12. As background tasks:-
      1. Ensure all items in:-
        → "Various - Papers on Desktop", and
        → "Various - Papers in Desk Drawer"
        are either addressed or re-filed.
      2. Convert old PDF-précis, Etc38 to Notes,
      3. Complete cataloguing the books downloaded from Springer,
      4. Continue with "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers",
      5. Complete reading:-
        1. "Al-Khalili (Jim) & McFadden (Johnjoe) - Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology",
        2. "Dennett (Daniel) - The Mind's I - Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul: Introduction",
        3. "Everett (Daniel) - Did Homo erectus speak?",
        4. "Hofstadter (Douglas) - Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid - A Metaphorical Fugue on Minds and Machines in the Spirit of Lewis Carroll",
        5. "Gazzaniga (Michael S.) - Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain",
        6. "Rosling (Hans) - Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think" (Note39)
        7. "Sagan (Carl) - The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candel in the Dark"
      6. Complete my Note on "Smith (Martin) - Why Throwing 92 Heads in a Row Is Not Surprising" and discuss with Pete & Mike.
      7. Continue reading and reviewing40 papers issued by Aeon,
      8. Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR & Cambridge Core.
      9. Update my Journals Note41: Review the journals I have access to; more are available as a Cambridge Alumnus.
      10. Keep up with the philosophical world by regular reviews of "Interaction - Philos-List", but only seriously pursue items relevant to my research.
  2. Religion42
    1. Philosophy of Religion:
      1. "Antony (Louise M.) - Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life": Continue reading,
      2. "Ferguson (Matthew) - Κέλσος": Continue reading the Blog.
    2. Resurrection: Continue reviewing43
      1. "Alter (Michael J.) - The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry", and
      2. "Alter (Michael J.) - The Resurrection & Christian Apologetics: A Critical Inquiry Volume 2".
    3. Background:
      1. Aeon (https://aeon.co/): Read & annotate papers as they arise..
      2. "Finkelstein (Israel) & Silberman (Neil Asher) - The Bible Unearthed": Continue reading.
  3. Website44
    1. Own Website: Priority 1 Items By Category:-
      • Architecture
        1. Complete XRef-re-engineering project:-
          1. Ensure all links and link-pages use the new XRef table, and pension off the old tables.
          2. Check all link-types still work and fix any errors.
          3. Complete the auto-triggering of regeneration of “associated” link pages.
          4. Fix update bug in Convert_Webrefs.
          5. Fix Bug whereby PaperSummary pages seem to have “Works-” and “Books/Papers-” Citings that refer to the same link-pages.
        2. Review effectiveness of hyperlinking method in the light of PhD and Philosophy of Religion experience.
        3. Where possible, use ID rather than NAME for in-page hyperlinks
      • Authors
        1. As revealed by Spider: Author pages not regenerated when name corrected, leading to Sundry broken Links from other pages. 72 items.
        2. As revealed by Spider: Philosophers_Index_List_OA.htm. Author Names Scrambled. 133 items.
      • Backups
        1. Review architecture to improve performance; Need to document first
      • Books/Papers
        1. Investigate whether multiple Subject/Topic/Subtopic usage leads anywhere (ie. are just the first (of 3) actually used). Fix anything amiss.
      • Documenter
        1. Provide Functional Documentation for Website Generator (using Notes)
      • Education
        1. "Sitepoint (Learnable) - Sitepoint Learnable Web Development Courses": Plan what to do (and with the eBooks in my possession).
        2. "Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science": Re-start, or maybe just "audit".
        3. "Harvard University - CS50W Web Programming with Python and JavaScript": either complete it in 2019, or check it'll still run in 2020.
        4. Bitcoin & Blockchain: Understand better
        5. Bootstrap: Investigate.
        6. Read "PC Pro - Computing in the Real World".
      • Infrastructure
        1. iCloud: Re-install & solve 'The upload folder for iCloud Photos is missing' problem
        2. Purchase & Commission new Lenovo Laptop
      • Notes
        1. Add "Note Alternates" to Note pages.
        2. Allow the option to concatenate Notes in the Printed version (ie. linearly embed them essay-style), rather than treating the hyperlinks as footnotes – but still keep the hyperlink & cross-referencing in place.
          1. For use as "disclaimers" - eg. for "Plug Notes".
          2. For Thesis / essays: the difficulty here is the need for linking passages to make the text run smoothly.
        3. As revealed by Spider: #Reference links: fail for Printable Notes. 24 items.
        4. As revealed by Spider: Blog45 Achived Notes - sundry links to Printable Notes. Live Note OK. 110 items. 100 items outstanding.
        5. As revealed by Spider: Old links from Archive Notes to (non-existent) Archived Printable Notes. 42 items.
        6. Investigate Note_Links: Section references seem to be incorrect
        7. Printable Notes: fix the bug whereby the “private” flag is round the wrong way.
        8. Suppress the publication of the Printable versions of Temp Notes
      • Photos
        1. Develop software & procedure to make adding more content to the photos pages easier to undertake.
        2. Timeline software: Add photos for Holidays
      • Process
        1. As revealed by Spider: Sundry uncategorised. Refs failing. 17 items.
        2. Determine why Recalculation & Changed Book/Papers produce unneeded regeneration.
        3. Full Website Regeneration is now taking 35 hours. Investigate why so, and improve performance!
      • Spider
        1. Analyse the results of the data collection exercise and design a plan of campaign to fix broken Internal links and prevent recurrence.
          1. Correct the code so the problems discovered by the Spider don’t recur.
          2. Delete 'orphan pages' that are never linked to, ie. Use the Spider to prune redundant pages46 automatically where possible.
          3. Fix the historical data where errors are uncovered by the Spider. An easier task now the site has a full-regen function.
        2. The Spider was generating WebRefs. Procedurally, this ought not to have been possible.
          1. The major problem turned out to be because unprocessed47 URLs got added to the end of the last WebLinks_Tester_Brief page, which then got Spidered. I've stopped this happening, so hopefully the problem will not recur. The fix was made in 18Q2.
          2. However, 4 other creations appeared - dated 18/05/18 - from the run of 10/07/18. The creation date was from the previous spider run, but the IDs show that they were produced in the latest run.
          I've re-opened the case!
      • Technology
        1. Look into Sistrix Smart48. Errors and warnings itemised are:-
          1. Duplicate content: seems to be variants on theotodman.com
          2. Title Tags: Empty, too long, identical
          3. Page Not Found
          4. Filesize in excess of 1Mb
          5. Meta-Description: Empty
          6. Few words on Page
          7. H1: Not used, used multiple times per page, identical across pages
          8. Pictures: Alt attribute missing
      • WebRefs
        1. As revealed by Spider: WebLinks_Tester_Full_Map.htm (etc). Refs failing. 116 items.
        2. As revealed by Spider: WebLinks_Tester_Map_3.htm (etc). Refs failing. 16 items.
        3. Documentation & Bug-fixes: Phase 2
          1. Re-document the procedures in the light of recent changes.
          2. Resolve issues generated / revealed by the spider.
          3. Investigate - and fix where possible - broken links.
        4. Reformat WebLinks_Tester.htm, WebLinks_Tester_Map.htm, WebLinks_Tester_Full.htm & WebLinks_Tester_Full_Map.htm
          1. Clarify 'truncated': Display, not link
          2. Allow more space for 'link returned', 'issue' and 'display text'
          3. The 'As Above" lines waste space. Only for Notes Archive? Consolidate onto single second line.
        5. Reformat WebLinks_Tester_Brief: Allow more space for 'link returned', 'issue' and 'display text'
    2. Other Websites: Priority 1 Items By Category:-
      • Bridge
        1. Create "Small Sites" database for Alaric (if chased)
      • Enigma
        1. Termly updates to the Enigma Ensemble (http://www.enigmaensemble.co.uk/) Website.
      • Sophie
        1. Periodic updates to Sophie Botros: Live Site (http://www.sophiebotros.com/)
  4. Music49
    1. Oboe:-
      1. Practice the oboe for two 30-minute sessions each and every day50 – focussing on the items below and …
      2. Occasionally combine into an hour-long session to build up stamina further.
      3. Attend the summer sessions of The Enigma Ensemble.
      4. Run through the Enigma Ensemble portfolio, practicing the active pieces.
      5. Work through, and perfect, scales & arpeggios51 for Grades I-VII, using
        → "Trinity Guildhall - Trinity Guildhall Scales & Arpeggios for Oboe (Grades 1–8)", and
        → "ABRSM - Scales and Arpeggios for Oboe, Grades 1-8 (ABRSM Scales & Arpeggios)".
      6. Improve sight-reading by playing through
        → "Trinity Guildhall - Sound at Sight Oboe Grades 1-8", and
        → "Davies (John) & Harris (Paul) - 80 Graded Studies for Oboe: Book 1".
      7. Occasionally review Grade VI pieces, in particular
        → "Boni (Giovanni) - Sonata in G" (Prelude only),
        → "Davies (John) & Harris (Paul) - 80 Graded Studies for Oboe: Book 2" (Blatt - Study No. 52),
        → "Miller (Vojislav) & Liebermann (Winfried), Eds. - Test Pieces for Orchestral Auditions (Orchester Probespiel) - Oboe" (Eroica, Aida, Der Freischutz),
        → "Nielsen (Carl) - Two Fantasy Pieces, Op. 2" (Romanze only)
      8. Prepare Grade VII pieces, in particular52
        → "Albinoni (Tomaso) - Concerto in D Minor Op. 9/2 for Oboe & Piano",
        → "Davies (John) & Harris (Paul) - 80 Graded Studies for Oboe: Book 2" (Ferling - Study No. 62)
        → "Fiocco (J.H.) - Arioso - Oboe + Piano",
        → "Head (Michael) - Presto for Oboe & Piano",
        → "Miller (Vojislav) & Liebermann (Winfried), Eds. - Test Pieces for Orchestral Auditions (Orchester Probespiel) - Oboe" (Mozart Jupiter, Tchaikovsky Pathetique, Stravinsky Pucinella),
        → "Mower (Mike) - The Good Tempered Oboe" ('Jauntless Jig' & 'May The Fourth Be With You'),
        → "Nielsen (Carl) - Two Fantasy Pieces, Op. 2" (Humoresque),
        → "Saint-Saens (Camille) - Sonata Op.166 in D Major for Oboe & Piano" (1st Movement),
        → "Schumann (Robert) - 3 Romances, Op. 94 for Oboe and Piano" (1st & 3rd Movements).
      9. Read and apply oboe practice techniques recommended by Martin Schuring.
      10. Read "Caplan (Stephen) - Oboe: The Breathing Book".
    2. Piano: Try to develop some competence as an aid to theory, so:-
      1. Continue working through "Rhodes (James) - How to Play the Piano",
      2. Work through "ABRSM - Selected Piano Exam Pieces 2009-2010: Grade 1", and
      3. Try to play by ear, using for inspiration:-
        → "Cannel (Ward) & Marx (Fred) - How to Play the Piano Despite Years of Lessons: What Music Is and How to Make It at Home".
    3. Theory: Prepare for Grade 5 Theory, so:-
      1. Study
        → "Taylor (Eric) - The AB Guide to Music Theory - Part 1", and
        → "Taylor (Eric) - The AB Guide to Music Theory - Part 2",
      2. Do the exercises in
        → "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 1",
        → "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 2",
        → "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 3",
        → "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 4", and
        → "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 5",
    4. Aural:
      1. Run through:-
        → "Trinity Guildhall - Trinity College London Aural Tests Book 1 (Initial to Grade 5) 2017", and
        → "Trinity Guildhall - Trinity College London Aural Tests Book 2 (Grades 6 to 8) 2017".
      2. Get a grip on the process of ear-training by reading "Deutsch (Diana) - Absolute Pitch", and related material53.
      3. Try out "Boytim (Joan Frey) - The First Book Of Baritone/Bass Solos".
      4. Also follow up items in:-
        → "Various - Music - Aural - Various On-line Training".
  5. Chess54
    1. Study:-
      → "Ris (Robert) - Crucial Chess Skills for the Club Player: Volume 1",
      → "Ris (Robert) - Crucial Chess Skills for the Club Player: Volume 2",
      → "Sadler (Matthew) & Regan (Natasha) - Game Changer: AlphaZero's Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI",
      → "van der Sterren (Paul) - FCO - Fundamental Chess Openings", and
      → "Willemze (Thomas) - The Chess Toolbox: Practical Techniques Everyone Should Know".
    2. Training:-
      → "Chess - Chess Magazine"; work through the “How Good Is Your Chess” articles,
      Chess.com (https://www.chess.com/),
      → Mephisto Monte Carlo,
      → "Chess - Chess - YouTube Videos"
    3. Play: Full participation in Billericay Chess Club:-
      → Club Nights
      → Club Championship
      → NECL matches
      → Southend League matches
  6. Bridge55
    1. Continue playing bridge once a week or so with David. He's due to undergo treatment for a health problem, so the items below depend on his availability:-
      Mountnessing Bridge Club (http://www.bridgewebs.com/mountnessingbc/)
      ECBA Warboys (http://www.bridgewebs.com/cgi-bin/bwom/bw.cgi?club=essex&pid=display_page107) ('B' Flight)
      NICKO Plate (2018-19) (https://www.ebu.co.uk/knockouts/EBU-000027) (Round 4, for Mountnessing A)
      Essex / Herts GP Weekend: July 2019 (https://www.bridgewebs.com//cgi-bin/bwx/bw.cgi?club=herts&pid=display_page8)
      Essex / Herts GP Weekend: September 2019 (https://www.bridgewebs.com/cgi-bin/bwx/bw.cgi?club=herts&pid=display_page34)
    2. Read "Reading - Bridge - Magazines".
    3. Meet up with former partners from time to time.
  7. Consciousness56
    1. Aeon (https://aeon.co/): Read & annotate papers as they arise.
    2. "Crane (Tim) - Elements of Mind - An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind": Re-read and review notes.
    3. "Dehaene (Stanislas) - Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts": Read.
    4. "Papineau (David) - Introducing Consciousness": Re-read and write notes.
  8. Languages57
    1. Thai: Following Nat's emigration to Thailand:-
      → "Lonely Planet - Lonely Planet Thai Phrasebook & Dictionary",
      → "Becker (Benjawan Poomsan) - Thai for Beginners",
      → "ThaiNotes - Thai Notes",
      → "Wikipedia - Thai Alphabet", and
      → "Wikipedia - Thai Language".
    2. Egyptian (Ancient):
  9. Mathematics58
    1. Aeon (https://aeon.co/): Read papers as they arise.
    2. "Gowers (Timothy), Barrow-Green (June) & Leader (Imre), Eds. - The Princeton Companion to Mathematics": Browse.
    3. "Polya (George), Stewart (Ian) - How to Solve IT: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method": Read.
    4. Try the puzzles in
      → "Polya (George) & Kilpatrick (Jeremy) - The Stanford Mathematics Problem Book: With Hints and Solutions", and
      → "UKMT, du Sautoy (Marcus) - The Ultimate Mathematical Challenge".
    5. "Shapiro (Stewart) - Thinking about Mathematics - The Philosophy of Mathematics": Complete reading.
    6. "Smith (Martin) - Why Throwing 92 Heads in a Row Is Not Surprising": Analyze.
  10. HiQ59
    1. ISPE
    2. Mensa
      • Nothing planned.



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:
  • Since the contents of the groups changes over time, this justification for their segregation isn’t entirely accurate.
Footnote 12:
  • Mind you, the mathematical bits didn’t function very well in my youth, so what hope is there now?
Footnote 14:
  • Due to administrative confusion, I needlessly took their latest entrance test. After chasing them up I was told I “passed with flying colours”, but could get no more information.
Footnote 15:
  • Coxes Farm hails from the 16th century, or possibly earlier, and is very “wonky”, requiring continual maintenance.
  • In December 2017, a base to roof crack appeared in the render at the front.
  • Subsequent investigations revealed that the frame at the front – which had been added in the 17th century – has rotted away, so the front façade was held up by the brick infill and an impervious cement render, the cause of the rot.
  • The front of the house has now been rebuilt, as has ¾ of the rear. A third project – currently on hold – is to rebuild the lower part of a side wall.
  • I’m writing a Blog Item on this saga, with some theoretical thoughts, which I hope to have published in due course.
Footnote 19:
  • 25 hours / week represents the amount of time that I’d need to spend if I were pursuing my research part-time at Birkbeck – which would be something like 5 hours / day, 5 days a week.
Footnote 20:
  • As my purchasing has now dropped to a relative trickle, I’ve extended the selection range to cover the last 6 months.
  • Some of these are random purchases from charity shops, or presents. Others are selectively purchased in support of my various projects.
  • Poverty and lack of space is severely curtailing my purchasing power.
Footnote 21:
  • Or at least those recently added to my database, in the case of electronic items that sometimes arrive too fast to be catalogued immediately.
Footnote 24:
  • In the light of the segregation of my projects into three tiers, items for tertiary projects are only to be addressed if everything of higher priority is in shape.
  • If there are any changes to this list between quarters, they will appear in the Priority Task List.
Footnote 39:
  • Read the Appendices, and extract the Chapter Summaries as learning-points.
Footnote 40:
  • Try to keep up to date, but only read those that are strictly relevant – ignore the rest!
  • At present I have a relatively small reading-backlog, and a much larger reviewing-backlog.
  • Try to add a brief comment for each paper – maybe at the expense of reading the full text!
Footnote 43:
  • While I couldn't submit to Michael Alter's deadlines and the amount of work required, I ought to at least read these books.
Footnote 46:
  • Note that Backup_Prune_Ctrl deletes (relevant) pages that weren't regenerated in the last full site-regen, but this isn't the same thing.
Footnote 47:
  • These are URLs that were used in web pages but hadn't yet been converted to the +WnnnW+ format, so appeared at the end with no WebRef ID.
Footnote 48:
  • See Sistrix (https://www.sistrix.com/smart/)
  • This used to be called Optimizr, see Optimizr (http://www.optimizr.com/) (which now auto-forwards to Sistrix).
  • A quick look doesn’t show it to be an obvious scam, but I need to double-check.
  • An unsolicited analysis of my site turned up monthly from Optimizr from January 2015 to October 2017, listing a large number of “problems” that I think I know about, but which are in the queue to address.
  • It restarted in February 2018, under the Sistrix name (this seems to have been associated with Optimizr since November 2015).
  • The free version of this software is restricted to 1,000 pages, which is a very small proportion of my Site, though I may be able to point it to difference base-URLs.
  • But I do need to address the problems validly itemised, and a sub-set is still useful.
Footnote 50:
  • Well, maybe with the occasional holiday, and excluding days on which I have a lesson or the Enigma Ensemble.
Footnote 51:
  • I don't intend to present these for the Trinity exams, as I can present Orchestral Audition pieces instead; but they are essential for technique.
Footnote 52:
  • I've yet to decide which to present for the Exam, so this long list will get whittled down in due course.
Footnote 53: Ie. The following:-

Note last updated: 14/07/2019 20:29:46


Footnote 2: (Status: Personal Identity (2019 - June))

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 Religion 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 best place to find my current views is here.
  • The jumping-off point for my thesis is here, and a progress dashboard is here, though neither of these has changed for some considerable time.

Summary of Progress during April - June 2019
  1. I spent 252 hours in 19Q2 on this Project, or related work (727.25 hours YTD, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2018). That's 89.1% of the planned effort (83.6% YTD). Overall, 41.8% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 39.9% YTD) - as against 44% planned (64.6% YTD).
  2. My planned effort was 22 hours / week5, reduced slightly from the 25 hours last time on account of a holiday in Mata. This quarter I approached 90% against plan, so not bad. Moreover, much of the effort actually expended against this project was on items relevant to my Thesis!
  3. A full list of items appears below, but the major points are:-
  4. Progress between reports can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List. More detail follows:-
Thesis (Total Hours = 211.75)
  1. Thesis - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 198)
  2. Thesis - Discussions
  3. Thesis - Research Repositioning (Total Hours = 12.5)
  4. Thesis - Seminars (Reading)
Thesis Background (Total Hours = 39)
  1. Thesis Background - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 36)
  2. Thesis Background - Books Admin
  3. Thesis Background - Status (Total Hours = 2.75)
Thesis (Aeon) (Total Hours = 1.25)
Plans for the Near Future – Top Priority Tasks
Summary of Progress to Date

This was hived off to a separate Note back in 2010, and hasn’t changed much since.




In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 5:
  • 25 hours / week is approximately what I’d expect to put in to a part-time PhD, based on 5 hours / day, 5 days a week.
Footnote 11:
  • Hopefully, I may complete, or get stuck, earlier.
  • I had hoped to complete this phase of my research by my 65th birthday – ie. by 13/11/2018. Previously, I’ve remarked “This is not to slip!” Unfortunately, the distraction of the problems with Coxes Farm – as well as a general lack of focus – have meant that it has!
  • On the plus side, I’m already much further advanced than would be expected of someone commencing a PhD.
  • On the minus side, I want to go into much greater depth, and have other projects on the go – most notably Music, Philosophy of Religion, Bridge, Chess and – particularly – my Web-tools project.
  • The original reason for deferring to my 65th birthday was that this is when I am eligible for my State Pension. This may not be much to live on – but it is a quite generous supplement which would make a significant contribution towards the fees and expenses, which prior thereto I couldn’t afford.
  • Unfortunately, my state pension (and Julie’s, for that matter) has been more than gobbled up by payments on the mortgage I’ve managed to obtain for Coxes Farm. We’ll be repaying that until 2031, by which time I’ll be 77. Maybe litigation against a negligent surveyor will liberate some cash.
Footnote 12:
  • This used to say “complete a thesis …”, which is obviously impossible, given that my idea of a thesis is way in excess of what is required.
Footnote 14:
  • This is still ludicrously inadequate for what I want to achieve, but is approximately what would be expected of a part-time research student.
Footnote 16:
  • This is obviously far too long, and keeps getting items “carried forward” tacked on to it.
  • Maybe I’ll prune it next time.
Footnote 30:
  • Read the Appendices, and extract the Chapter Summaries as learning-points.
Footnote 31:
  • Try to keep up to date, but only read those that are strictly relevant – ignore the rest!
  • At present I have a relatively small reading-backlog, and a much larger reviewing-backlog.
  • Try to add a brief comment for each paper – maybe at the expense of reading the full text!

Note last updated: 14/07/2019 20:29:46


Footnote 4: (Status: Web-Tools (2019 - June))

Rationale for this Project

  • This Project was alluded to briefly in a footnote on research methodology in my original Research Proposal under the head Research - Internet Technology. When last at Birkbeck, I wrote a more extensive paper defending the Project and describing its rationale. Now that my PhD is in suspense, I have decided to take this Project further. There’s a lot to do: still quite a few items on the “wish list”. It is fairly critical as an enabler for my research, so I need to get a move on as I want it all out of the way before I re-start4 formal research.
  • For documentation on my website (currently password protected) follow the links below:-
    1. Functional5 Documentation.
    2. Technical7 Documentation.
  • Other Websites
    1. Sometime around 2005, I created a website for Dr. Sophie Botros (Sophie Botros: Live Site (http://www.sophiebotros.com/)), one of my supervisors at Birkbeck, but we then lost touch and it got maintained (very badly) by some desktop support outfit. In 15Q2 I took it back on again and spruced it up a bit, and maintain it periodically, though it still requires more work.
    2. I created and / or ran a multitude of bridge websites, but as of January 2018 I have either handed them over or mothballed them9:-
      1. I established the Hutton Bridge Club (http://www.bridgewebs.com/hutton.html) Website in 11Q4 using the standard Bridgewebs service, but with a couple of competitions using my own routines. This was handed over in 15Q3.
      2. In 15Q1, I took over the support and development of the Essex Contract Bridge Association (http://www.bridgewebs.com/essex/) (ECBA) website, which also uses Bridgewebs, but is very much larger. I wrote a lot of code10 to make this job less tedious. The site was handed over in 17Q4.
      3. For several years, I collected data11 on bridge activity in the Billericay / Brentwood area (initially needed for a project to set up a new consolidated club) – by “scraping” data off web pages, consolidating it into a database and modelling it in various ways.
      4. I used this data to generate websites with a multitude of ladders for small clubs (Essex Bridge Results (http://www.theotodman.com/Bridge/index.htm)). These are now mothballed.
      5. I created and maintained a new website for the First Class Bridge (http://www.bridgewebs.com/firstclassbridge/) Academy, giving it “small clubs” ladders as these were easy to maintain with little intervention.
      6. In 16Q3 I revived the Mountnessing Bridge Club Archive (http://mountnessing.theotodman.com/index.shtml) website.
    3. I’ve created and continue to maintain a small website for a music group Julie and I attend – the Enigma Ensemble (http://www.enigmaensemble.co.uk/).
    4. I created a website for displaying the textual and grammatical analyses and appendices of Pete’s PhD on the Acts of the Apostles. It exists in two versions: Acts: Live Site (http://www.acts-research.website/) and Acts: Test Site (http://www.theotodman.com/Petes_PhD/index.htm).
  • I did consider returning to work part-time as an MS Access/Excel developer, with a spin-off into website generation, but have done nothing about it so far.

Summary of Progress during April - June 2019
  1. I spent 73 hours in 19Q2 on this Project, or related work (332.25 hours YTD, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2018). That's 94.6% of the planned effort (106.6% YTD). Overall, 12.1% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 18.2% YTD) - as against 12% planned (23.2% YTD).
  2. Again, I made no progress at all on the courses put out by Harvard
    → "Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science", and
    → "Harvard University - CS50W Web Programming with Python and JavaScript".
    I still intend to make a serious attempt to complete the former sometime (I will need to re-start). However, I have decided to precede it with the latter which is more immediately relevant. Unfortunately, I’ve no time available to pursue either course at the moment.
  3. Sophie Botros has let me know that she’s having her website professionally redeveloped by Bookswarm (https://bookswarm.co.uk/).
  4. I’ve stuck to the greatly reduced “budget” of only 6 hours a week, and approximately achieved it this time.
  5. Completed items included:-
    1. Own Website:
      • Authors
        1. Added Jump Table to sections of Authors Pages
      • General
        1. Created 'Chess' Home Page
          1. Created as a main menu item and Note
          2. Created consolidated results pages
          3. Added games & links to pgn4web
      • Status
        1. Corrected Quarterly Reporting for uneven Plan (Holidays)
    2. Other Websites:
      • Nothing to Report.
  6. Full details for 19Q2 are given below:-
Website (Total Hours = 72)
  1. Website - Bridge Development
  2. Website - Bridge Maintenance (Total Hours = 3.75)
    • Bridge - ECBA Website - Assistance to Petra (OneDrive) (0.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Website - Results Database Maintenance (3.5 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Admin" (3.75 hours)
  3. Website - Development (Total Hours = 36.5)
    • Review Webalizer Methodology & Consolidate Stats (0.5 hours)
    • Website - 'Chess' as a main menu-item to Website (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Chess Results & Games Pages - Create & Maintain (6.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Add a pick-list to my Priority Task List (Functor_10) (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Add Jump Table to sections of Authors Pages (3.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Add 'Statistics' Comment to Book/Paper Summaries (1.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Automatic Key-word Hyperlinking to Notes Project: Bug - Authors not being updated (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Automatic Key-word Hyperlinking to Notes Project: Remove 'Methodology' to linked Note (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Chess Results & Games Pages - Add pgn4web (6 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Chess Results & Games Pages - Create & Maintain (4.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Correct Quarterly Reporting for uneven Plan (Holidays) (3.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Document Functional Overview (1.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Document Printable Notes (4 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Fix Bug - Error 62 (Input Past EOF) for degenerate files (1.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Fixed obscure bug in CreateAuthorsWebPages for new Authors (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Improve automatic WebRefs Checking (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Periodic Full Regeneration - Add debug-print of stage timestamps (1.5 hours)
      → See "Software Development - Website - Development" (36.5 hours)
  4. Website - Education
  5. Website - Infrastructure (Total Hours = 14.75)
  6. Website - Maintenance (Total Hours = 16)
    • 19Q1 Status Reports (2.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs - Manual / Automatic URL Checks (2.5 hours)
    • Website - Maintain Text of Family Page (2.5 hours)
    • Website - Maintain Text of my Personal Page (2.25 hours)
    • Website - Periodic Full Regeneration (4.5 hours)
    • Website - Run Web Spider (1.25 hours)
    • Website - ZoomSearch database refresh (0.75 hours)
      → See "Admin - Website - Admin & Maintenance" (16 hours)
Website Others
Plans for the Near Future

I’ve had to maintain the planned weekly effort on this project at the much reduced 6 hours in order to allow for other commitments. While there’s still a lot on my development “priority list”, my hope for the current academic year was to focus on updating my technical competence. However, I can’t see how to fit it in. The Plan below is taken automatically from the Priority 1 items on my Development Log, as published in my Outstanding Developments Report.
  1. Own Website: Priority 1 Items By Category:-
    • Architecture
      1. Complete XRef-re-engineering project:-
        1. Ensure all links and link-pages use the new XRef table, and pension off the old tables.
        2. Check all link-types still work and fix any errors.
        3. Complete the auto-triggering of regeneration of “associated” link pages.
        4. Fix update bug in Convert_Webrefs.
        5. Fix Bug whereby PaperSummary pages seem to have “Works-” and “Books/Papers-” Citings that refer to the same link-pages.
      2. Review effectiveness of hyperlinking method in the light of PhD and Philosophy of Religion experience.
      3. Where possible, use ID rather than NAME for in-page hyperlinks
    • Authors
      1. As revealed by Spider: Author pages not regenerated when name corrected, leading to Sundry broken Links from other pages. 72 items.
      2. As revealed by Spider: Philosophers_Index_List_OA.htm. Author Names Scrambled. 133 items.
    • Backups
      1. Review architecture to improve performance; Need to document first
    • Books/Papers
      1. Investigate whether multiple Subject/Topic/Subtopic usage leads anywhere (ie. are just the first (of 3) actually used). Fix anything amiss.
    • Documenter
      1. Provide Functional Documentation for Website Generator (using Notes)
    • Education
      1. "Sitepoint (Learnable) - Sitepoint Learnable Web Development Courses": Plan what to do (and with the eBooks in my possession).
      2. "Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science": Re-start, or maybe just "audit".
      3. "Harvard University - CS50W Web Programming with Python and JavaScript": either complete it in 2019, or check it'll still run in 2020.
      4. Bitcoin & Blockchain: Understand better
      5. Bootstrap: Investigate.
      6. Read "PC Pro - Computing in the Real World".
    • Infrastructure
      1. iCloud: Re-install & solve 'The upload folder for iCloud Photos is missing' problem
      2. Purchase & Commission new Lenovo Laptop
    • Notes
      1. Add "Note Alternates" to Note pages.
      2. Allow the option to concatenate Notes in the Printed version (ie. linearly embed them essay-style), rather than treating the hyperlinks as footnotes – but still keep the hyperlink & cross-referencing in place.
        1. For use as "disclaimers" - eg. for "Plug Notes".
        2. For Thesis / essays: the difficulty here is the need for linking passages to make the text run smoothly.
      3. As revealed by Spider: #Reference links: fail for Printable Notes. 24 items.
      4. As revealed by Spider: Blog Achived Notes - sundry links to Printable Notes. Live Note OK. 110 items. 100 items outstanding.
      5. As revealed by Spider: Old links from Archive Notes to (non-existent) Archived Printable Notes. 42 items.
      6. Investigate Note_Links: Section references seem to be incorrect
      7. Printable Notes: fix the bug whereby the “private” flag is round the wrong way.
      8. Suppress the publication of the Printable versions of Temp Notes
    • Photos
      1. Develop software & procedure to make adding more content to the photos pages easier to undertake.
      2. Timeline software: Add photos for Holidays
    • Process
      1. As revealed by Spider: Sundry uncategorised. Refs failing. 17 items.
      2. Determine why Recalculation & Changed Book/Papers produce unneeded regeneration.
      3. Full Website Regeneration is now taking 35 hours. Investigate why so, and improve performance!
    • Spider
      1. Analyse the results of the data collection exercise and design a plan of campaign to fix broken Internal links and prevent recurrence.
        1. Correct the code so the problems discovered by the Spider don’t recur.
        2. Delete 'orphan pages' that are never linked to, ie. Use the Spider to prune redundant pages17 automatically where possible.
        3. Fix the historical data where errors are uncovered by the Spider. An easier task now the site has a full-regen function.
      2. The Spider was generating WebRefs. Procedurally, this ought not to have been possible.
        1. The major problem turned out to be because unprocessed18 URLs got added to the end of the last WebLinks_Tester_Brief page, which then got Spidered. I've stopped this happening, so hopefully the problem will not recur. The fix was made in 18Q2.
        2. However, 4 other creations appeared - dated 18/05/18 - from the run of 10/07/18. The creation date was from the previous spider run, but the IDs show that they were produced in the latest run.
        I've re-opened the case!
    • Technology
      1. Look into Sistrix Smart19. Errors and warnings itemised are:-
        1. Duplicate content: seems to be variants on theotodman.com
        2. Title Tags: Empty, too long, identical
        3. Page Not Found
        4. Filesize in excess of 1Mb
        5. Meta-Description: Empty
        6. Few words on Page
        7. H1: Not used, used multiple times per page, identical across pages
        8. Pictures: Alt attribute missing
    • WebRefs
      1. As revealed by Spider: WebLinks_Tester_Full_Map.htm (etc). Refs failing. 116 items.
      2. As revealed by Spider: WebLinks_Tester_Map_3.htm (etc). Refs failing. 16 items.
      3. Documentation & Bug-fixes: Phase 2
        1. Re-document the procedures in the light of recent changes.
        2. Resolve issues generated / revealed by the spider.
        3. Investigate - and fix where possible - broken links.
      4. Reformat WebLinks_Tester.htm, WebLinks_Tester_Map.htm, WebLinks_Tester_Full.htm & WebLinks_Tester_Full_Map.htm
        1. Clarify 'truncated': Display, not link
        2. Allow more space for 'link returned', 'issue' and 'display text'
        3. The 'As Above" lines waste space. Only for Notes Archive? Consolidate onto single second line.
      5. Reformat WebLinks_Tester_Brief: Allow more space for 'link returned', 'issue' and 'display text'
  2. Other Websites: Priority 1 Items By Category:-
    • Bridge
      1. Create "Small Sites" database for Alaric (if chased)
    • Enigma
      1. Termly updates to the Enigma Ensemble (http://www.enigmaensemble.co.uk/) Website.
    • Sophie
      1. Periodic updates to Sophie Botros: Live Site (http://www.sophiebotros.com/)

Summary of Progress to Date

This is hived off to various separate documents, which have now been harmonising and / or consolidated:-
  1. Summary of Progress to Date.
  2. Outstanding Developments,
  3. Functional Documentation,
  4. A summary of time expended across the years developing my website23 is at "Software Development - Website - Development".





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 4:
  • Well, I’ve missed the boat, so will need to continue with both projects in parallel.
  • This was always likely to be necessary, as new features will always arise in use. It’s a prototype methodology, after all.
Footnote 5:
  • This is very tedious to produce and consequently is both incomplete and out of date.
Footnote 7:
  • This is much more fun, as it’s a purely technical task.
  • I’ve written a vastly-improved general-purpose technical documenter for MS Access.
Footnote 9:
  • It’s a shame to abandon the “mini websites” with all their ladders, as it’s rather well done.
  • However, I couldn’t waste time on these after I’d abandoned bridge.
Footnote 10:
  • In particular, for the ECBA “Victor Ludorum” competition.
  • I cannot hand any of this code over, so the tedium will return, though not to me!
Footnote 11:
  • I had agreed to share this data sometime early in 2018
  • But will wait until asked again, as I doubt it’ll be of any real use to anyone.
Footnote 17:
  • Note that Backup_Prune_Ctrl deletes (relevant) pages that weren't regenerated in the last full site-regen, but this isn't the same thing.
Footnote 18:
  • These are URLs that were used in web pages but hadn't yet been converted to the +WnnnW+ format, so appeared at the end with no WebRef ID.
Footnote 19:
  • See Sistrix (https://www.sistrix.com/smart/)
  • This used to be called Optimizr, see Optimizr (http://www.optimizr.com/) (which now auto-forwards to Sistrix).
  • A quick look doesn’t show it to be an obvious scam, but I need to double-check.
  • An unsolicited analysis of my site turned up monthly from Optimizr from January 2015 to October 2017, listing a large number of “problems” that I think I know about, but which are in the queue to address.
  • It restarted in February 2018, under the Sistrix name (this seems to have been associated with Optimizr since November 2015).
  • The free version of this software is restricted to 1,000 pages, which is a very small proportion of my Site, though I may be able to point it to difference base-URLs.
  • But I do need to address the problems validly itemised, and a sub-set is still useful.
Footnote 23:
  • As distinct from developing other peoples’ websites – time which is also recorded against this project, but not against this task.

Note last updated: 14/07/2019 20:29:46


Footnote 10: (Status: Languages (2019 - June))

The text of this report – apart from some statistics – hasn’t been changed since end September 2018 as this project is in abeyance. This report is generated automatically.

Rationale for this Project
  • I don’t claim to have any linguistic ability, and am usually too shy to utter anything in public in a language other than English – partly because of an obsession with accuracy, but also because of a lack of interest in the use of language for basic communication, leading to a lack of command of everyday speech.
  • I’m interested in how languages function, and in particular how languages in related or unrelated groups compare as far as their grammar and vocabulary are concerned.
  • I’m also interested in nativist theses about the innate hard-wiring of human brains for the acquisition of natural languages at critical phases of psychological development (see my BA Philosophy dissertation “Poverty of Stimulus Arguments for Innate Grammar”).
  • Anyway, at various times of my life I have made forays into various languages by formal or informal study.
  • This used to involve listening on my iPod while walking to and from the station, when exercising down the gym, or in the car to and from music lessons. Now these opportunities have mostly gone. I do have the opportunity when walking Henry the dog, but prefer to let my mind wander.
  • Another problem is that, while initially progress seems rapid, after a while repeated listening to a very limited conversational CD doesn’t lead to any further progress in vocabulary and grammatical understanding – for this, reading and careful study is required.
  • Other reasons for bothering with languages are that Classical Greek, Hebrew and maybe Syriac, Arabic and Latin should be of use in my theological studies, and Brazilian Portuguese, Turkish and (potentially) Thai are important with family-members (or potential family-members) as native speakers.
  • This project has varied in priority over recent years, but is now mostly moth-balled. This is to provide focus for my major projects, but also reflects the fact that time spent on occasional forays into language-learning is effectively wasted.
  • However, now Nat has arranged to work remotely in Thailand, learning Thai has some relevance.

Summary of Progress during 18Q4 - 19Q2
  1. I have spent 12.75 hours YTD on this Project, or related work, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2018). That's 32.6% of the planned effort. Overall, 0.7% of my Project effort YTD has been directed towards this project.
  2. YTD Activity2
    Languages (Total Hours = 12.75)
    1. Languages - Admin (Total Hours = 2.5)
      • 18Q3 Status Reports (1.5 hours)
      • 18Q4 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
      • 19Q1 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
        → See "Admin - Languages - Admin" (2.5 hours)
    2. Languages - Arabic (Total Hours = 2)
    3. Languages - Maltese (Total Hours = 4.5)
    4. Languages - Thai (Total Hours = 3.75)
  3. Progress (if any) in the current quarter can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List, and YTD in the current & future “automatic” editions of this report.

Plans for the Near Future Materials for Use

These can be followed up here. The document needs a review, but not a major update.




In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 2:
  • As this project is substantially inactive, I don’t update the text quarterly as for the active projects, but only at the end of the academic year.
  • Hence, the YTD Activity is to make the end-year task easier, and to give a clearer idea of what – if anything – has been going on in the interim.

Note last updated: 14/07/2019 20:29:46


Footnote 11: (Status: Mathematics (2019 - June))

The text of this report – apart from some statistics – hasn’t been changed since end September 2018 as this project is in abeyance. This report is generated automatically.

Rationale for this Project
  • This is rather an eccentric activity, partly an attempt to exorcise some ancient demon – the rather bruising experience of reading mathematics at King’s College Cambridge back in the mid 1970’s.
  • However, any modern educated person should be reasonably up to date with the mathematical sciences, and statistical and probability theory are essential tools for evaluating evidence, and are useful in Bridge! If only advanced mathematics wasn’t such a difficult subject.
  • This project is diverging from Mathematics per se to the Philosophy of Mathematics and other related subjects. For instance, Philosophy of Mathematics features in Philosophy of Religion by providing an analogy or model of the sort of necessary existence that God is supposed to have.

Summary of Progress during 18Q4 - 19Q2
  1. I have spent 6.5 hours YTD on this Project, or related work, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2018). That's 24.9% of the planned effort. Overall, 0.4% of my Project effort YTD has been directed towards this project.
  2. Very little time has been spent on this project this year and – as noted above – none of it is real mathematics.
  3. YTD Activity1
    Mathematics (Total Hours = 6.5)
    1. Mathematics - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 4.75)
    2. Mathematics - Admin (Total Hours = 1.75)
      • 18Q3 Status Reports (0.75 hours)
      • 18Q4 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
      • 19Q1 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
        → See "Admin - Mathematics - Admin" (1.75 hours)
  4. Progress (if any) in the current quarter can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List, and YTD in the current & future “automatic” editions of this report.

Plans for the Near Future:
Mathematical Resources




In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:
  • As this project is substantially inactive, I don’t update the text quarterly as for the active projects, but only at the end of the academic year.
  • Hence, the YTD Activity is to make the end-year task easier, and to give a clearer idea of what – if anything – has been going on in the interim.
Footnote 3:
  • These are not left over from my Cambridge days as these few books were given away to my sister’s high-school in Gloucester by my mother during my brief sojourn with the Carthusians.
  • Rather, I found them going cheap in bulk at a local second-hand bookshop.
  • They are accessible via …this link.

Note last updated: 14/07/2019 20:29:46


Footnote 13: (Status: HiQ (2019 - June))

The text of this report – apart from some statistics – hasn’t been changed since end September 2018 as this project is in abeyance. This report is generated automatically.

Rationale for this Project
  1. I was very active in Mensa and ISPE in the years prior to taking up formal study of philosophy at Birkbeck in 2000. Thereafter I was too busy, and no longer felt the need to contribute, so I let my memberships lapse.
  2. When I retired from HSBC at the end of 2010, and given that I was no longer involved in formal academic study, I re-joined both societies for a year to see how things were going, but then let my memberships lapse again.
  3. ISPE seemed no better than when I was involved last time. The Mensa SIGs seem active enough, but I didn’t have the time to contribute.
  4. I re-joined ISPE1 yet again for the calendar year 2017, to see what was going on, and renewed for 2018. Membership is cheaper now Telicom is electronic, so I intend to let my membership continue – and have paid my $40 for 2019.
  5. Society Details:-
    • For Mensa – see Mensa (https://www.mensa.org.uk/). In 2010 I joined, or re-joined, a bundle of societies, but did nothing.
    • For ISPE – see ISPE (https://www.thethousand.com/). Since re-joining I have done nothing other than pay my dues and exchange friendly emails with a couple of old contacts.
    • For a site2 giving details of the various tests, and other Hi-Q information, see Uncommonly Difficult IQ Tests (http://tthqi.free.fr/Uncommonly%20Difficult%20IQ%20Tests.php). The site doesn’t seem to have been updated since 2006.
    • See High-IQ Societies and their Tests (http://www.polymath-systems.com/intel/hiqsocs/hiqsocs1.html) for a site that gives the admission tests used for entry to ISPE and peer and “higher” societies (and which refers to the defunct site mentioned in the footnote above-mentioned).
  6. Between 1997 and 2001 I edited a newsletter (Commensal - Past Issues) in my capacity as secretary of the Philosophical Discussion Group of British Mensa.
  7. I also edited "ISPE, Todman (Theo) - Under the Sycamore Tree: Correspondence Folder for the UK Members and Associates of ISPE" for a year.
  8. My intention has been to participate in these societies just so far as doing so would support my other projects by way of stimulation and the opportunity for interaction. As such, most of the time recorded against this project could equally be recorded against others.

Summary of Progress during 18Q4 - 19Q2
  1. I have spent 2.5 hours YTD on this Project, or related work, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2018). That's 9.6% of the planned effort. Overall, 0.1% of my Project effort YTD has been directed towards this project.
  2. YTD Activity3
    HiQ (Total Hours = 2.5)
    • 18Q3 Status Reports (1.25 hours)
    • 18Q4 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
    • 19Q1 Status Reports (0.25 hours)
    • Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE - Membership Dues (0.5 hours)
      → See "Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE" (2.5 hours)
  3. As can be seen from the list above, this project has been inactive so far this year. It will remain so for the foreseeable future.
  4. Progress (if any) in the current quarter can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List, and YTD in the current & future “automatic” editions of this report.

Plans for the Near Future:
  • Because of the need to focus on higher-priority projects, it is not possible to schedule any time on this project.
  • If I do find the time, I’ll be looking into:-
    1. ISPE
    2. Mensa
      • Nothing planned.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:
  • All that ought to have been required was that I pay my dues, but because of a mix-up I was asked to sit the latest version of their test, which I did.
  • I didn’t initially hear back – though I was re-instated OK. On chasing them up for the results I eventually got the response that “I’d passed with flying colours”, but no further details could be elicited.
  • My rationale for the enquiry was set out in an email: “On the test itself – it’s similar to, though not the same as – the first one I took, and leaves me feeling similarly uncomfortable. Theory is massively underdetermined by data, so – in a sense – “it depends what you want”. It’d be possible – no doubt – to think more and more deeply and come up with more and more Byzantine reasons for excluding particular items. But how would I know this is what is wanted? It wasn’t until I got the same percentile on the (much more satisfying but now sadly compromised) Mega Test that I trusted the ISPE test at all (actually, I was surprised that I didn’t do better on the Mega Test, and an inquest revealed I’d made at least 3 howlers that more care would have avoided).”
Footnote 2:
  • The reference given in previous reports is defunct.
  • I think this is the same basic site.
Footnote 3:
  • As this project is substantially inactive, I don’t update the text quarterly as for the active projects, but only at the end of the academic year.
  • Hence, the YTD Activity is to make the end-year task easier, and to give a clearer idea of what – if anything – has been going on in the interim.

Note last updated: 14/07/2019 20:29:46


Footnote 18: (Status: Summary - Actual versus Plan (2019 - July))

This page shows the following tables (which are unlikely to be of any interest to anyone other than myself):-

  1. Plan versus Actual Effort Summary - Split (Current Quarter & YTD)
  2. Plan versus Actual Effort Summary - Actual (Current Quarter & YTD)
  3. Plan Summary (Next Quarter & Full Year)
  4. Actual & Plan Summary (2007 - Current Year)

Plan versus Actual Effort Summary - Split (Current Quarter & YTD)


Summary figures against the QTD (July - September 2019) Plan, and for the YTD (2018/19) Academic Year, are as below. This table shows the actual %age split of work (YTD & QTD) as against the planned %age split of work. The second table below compares the amount of work done, as against plan:-

ProjectPlanned Weekly HoursPlanned QTD %ageQTD Actual %Planned YTD %ageYTD Actual %QTD Actual HoursYTD Actual Hours
Bridge7142861026192
Chess71412131311246
Consciousness  21 27
HiQ   1  3
Languages   21 13
Mathematics   1  7
Music91825171824336
Religion12 21 23
Thesis214119423918745
Website61214151813346
        
TOTALS51100100100100951917
        
Comparisons14 days287 days89% 88%1072168

Notes
  • All figures above are rounded to the nearest unit.
  • The bottom row - "Comparisons" - in the above table is non-standard.
    → The first two columns show the number of days in the current reporting Quarter and YTD, and
    → the last two columns show the hours planned (according to the latest quarterly plan) for the current reporting Quarter and pro-rata YTD.
    → The middle non-empty columns show %age actual vs plan (actuals taken from the Total row) for the Quarter and YTD.
  • In principle this allows monitoring of total effort vs plan, as well as the distribution of effort across projects.


Plan versus Actual Effort Summary - Effort (Current Quarter & YTD)


Summary figures against the QTD (July - September 2019) Plan, and for the YTD (2018/19) Academic Year, are as below. This table shows the actual percentage against plan:-

ProjectQTD Planned HoursYTD Planned HoursQTD Actual HoursYTD Actual HoursQTD Actual % v PlanYTD Actual % v Plan
Bridge1513126192189147
Chess15274112468190
Consciousness 2627 25
HiQ 26 3 10
Languages 39 13 33
Mathematics 26 7 26
Music193562433613594
Religion241 231357
Thesis44913187454382
Website1332413346112107
       
TOTALS107215595191789%89%

Notes
  • All figures above are rounded to the nearest unit.
  • There can be a minor difference in the YTD Plan total between this table and the previous one if there is a holiday in the current incomplete quarter.



Plan Summary (Next Quarter & Full Year)


The plan for the distribution of effort, in hours / week, for the coming Quarter & Academic Year is as below. As the year goes by, estimates are replaced by actuals, and re-estimates are made. In the final quarter of the academic year (July - September) this table just shows the plan for the next academic year. In the light of the above "re-focusing" decisions, Secondary Projects have no time estimated for them:-

ProjectPlanned Hours / Week Next QtrPlanned %age Next QtrFull Year Planned %agePlanned Hours Next QtrFull Year Planned HoursComparison (%ages)
Bridge7141492365100
Chess7141492365100
Consciousness      
HiQ      
Languages      
Mathematics      
Music91818118469100
Religion1221352100
Thesis2141412761095100
Website6121279313100
       
TOTALS511001006702659100


All figures above are rounded to the nearest unit.



Actual & Plan Summary (2007 - 2019)


Below is a table showing the split amongst my various projects of time expended or planned over a 12-year period. :-

Project2007/08 (Actuals)2008/09 (Actuals)2009/10 (Actuals)2010/11 (Actuals)2011/12 (Actuals)2012/13 (Actuals)2013/14 (Actuals)2014/15 (Actuals)2015/16 (Actuals)2016/17 (Actuals)2017/18 (Actuals)2018/19 (Actual + Plan)Total%age
Bridge776632757796106293494138066287061248811828.72
Chess 291614661149611593025101.8
Consciousness 417630152191614421773141.11
HiQ   17148111563560.2
Languages234331232268952564292912461313794.88
Mathematics232884551862841872440.86
Music63132144618323716817927841413994.95
Religion91198412849203305248116108601482327619.77
Thesis6084533494771804027358965618281142935756626.77
Website671981812043486514949471117664643401591520.93
               
TOTALS18622042225027181928239425422507257426752420235128262100

Note last updated: 14/07/2019 23:55:41


Footnote 23: (Status: Summary Task List (YTD: 18Q4 - 19Q3))

This is a list of the tasks performed on my various projects since the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year. It is automatically generated from my time-recording system, so is fairly crude. See also the Quarterly Report. This Annual Report is mostly for use for the "inactive" projects for which commented Quarterly Status reports are not produced. Projects are in priority sequence, broken down by sub-project where appropriate. If the project name has a superscript, clicking on the name will take you to the last published report for this project. To jump to the Project task-lists, click on the links in the list below:-

  1. Thesis (For the latest Status Dashboard, Click Here)
  2. Thesis Background
  3. Thesis (Aeon)
  4. Religion
  5. Religion Background
  6. Website
  7. Website Others
  8. Music
  9. Chess
  10. Bridge
  11. Consciousness
  12. Languages
  13. Mathematics
  14. HiQ
Links to the latest time-analyses are given first.
  1. Total Time outstanding this period = 562 hours
  2. Click Here for Actual Detail Summary (2007 - 2019) by Sub-Project
  3. Click Here for (by Project)
    • Summary of Effort YTD & QTD
    • Time Analysis (YTD by Study-location)
  4. Click Here for (by Project)
    • Plan versus Actual Effort Summary - Split (Previous Quarter & YTD)
    • Plan versus Actual Effort Summary - Actual (Previous Quarter & YTD)
    • Plan Summary (Next Quarter & Full Year)
    • Actual & Plan Summary (2007 - 2019)
Project 1: Thesis (Total Hours = 599.25)
  1. Thesis - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 551.5)
  2. Thesis - Discussions (Total Hours = 3.25)
    • Interaction - Correspondence with Zenen Kristensen (0.5 hours)
    • Interaction - Discussions at Anne & Ken's (1 hour)
    • Interaction - Discussions at King's (0.25 hours)
    • Interaction - Discussions with Mike & Sylvia (0.5 hours)
    • Interaction - Discussions with Pete (1 hour)
      → See "Todman (Theo) - Thesis - Current Position" (3.25 hours)
  3. Thesis - Lectures (Total Hours = 1.75)
  4. Thesis - Research Repositioning (Total Hours = 30)
  5. Thesis - Seminars (Total Hours = 6.75)
  6. Thesis - Seminars (Reading) (Total Hours = 3.25)
  7. Thesis - Seminars (Writing)
Project 2: Thesis Background (Total Hours = 140.25)
  1. Thesis Background - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 107.5)
  2. Thesis Background - Books Admin (Total Hours = 16)
  3. Thesis Background - Status (Total Hours = 16.75)
Project 3: Thesis (Aeon) (Total Hours = 6.75) Project 4: Religion (Total Hours = 2.25) Project 5: Religion Background (Total Hours = 21)
  1. Religion Background - Reading / Writing
  2. Religion Background - Admin (Total Hours = 3.5)
    • 18Q3 Status Reports (1.75 hours)
    • 18Q4 Status Reports (1 hour)
    • 19Q1 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
    • 19Q2 Status Reports (0.25 hours)
      → See "Admin - Religion - Admin" (3.5 hours)
  3. Religion Background - Discussions (Total Hours = 15.25)
    • Interaction - Discussions at Anne & Ken's (1 hour)
    • Interaction - Discussions at King's (0.5 hours)
    • Interaction - Discussions with Mike (1 hour)
    • Interaction - Discussions with Mike & Sylvia (4.5 hours)
    • "Interaction - Discussions with Pete" (5.25 hours)
    • Interaction - Discussions with Pete & Caro (0.25 hours)
    • Interaction - Discussions with Willie (1 hour)
    • Interaction - Discussions with Willie, Mike, Sylvia, Pete, Caro, … (1.75 hours)
Project 6: Website (Total Hours = 340.75)
  1. Website - Bridge Development
  2. Website - Bridge Maintenance (Total Hours = 5.75)
    • Bridge - ECBA Website - Assistance to Petra (OneDrive) (0.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Website - Results Database Maintenance (5.5 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Admin" (5.75 hours)
  3. Website - Development (Total Hours = 260.75)
    • Review Webalizer Methodology & Consolidate Stats (13.5 hours)
      → See "Software Development - Website - Development" (13.5 hours)
    • Todman (Theo) - Tottering Towers & Listing Buildings: Add / annotate photos of Coxes Farm to Timeline (79.25 hours)
      → See "Todman (Theo) - Tottering Towers & Listing Buildings" (79.25 hours)
    • Website - Add 'Chess' as a main menu-item to Website (0.5 hours)
    • Website - 'Chess' as a main menu-item to Website (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Chess Results & Games Pages - Create & Maintain (7.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Reference_Author: Re-format 'Not found' Author Links (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Add a pick-list to my Priority Task List (Functor_10) (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Add Jump Table to sections of Authors Pages (3.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Add 'Statistics' Comment to Book/Paper Summaries (1.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Add timestamps to MsgBox completion messages (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Add totals to Maintenance Dashboard (5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Automatic Key-word Hyperlinking to Notes Project: Bug - Authors not being updated (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Automatic Key-word Hyperlinking to Notes Project: Remove 'Methodology' to linked Note (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Chess Results & Games Pages - Add pgn4web (6 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Chess Results & Games Pages - Create & Maintain (4.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Correct Quarterly Reporting for uneven Plan (Holidays) (5.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Create Timeline software (59.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Development Log - Bug Fixes (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Document Functional Overview (1.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Document Printable Notes (4 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Document Referencing functions (plus sundry referencing fixes) (4 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Document Timeline functions (4 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Fix Bug - Error 62 (Input Past EOF) for degenerate files (1.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Fixed obscure bug in CreateAuthorsWebPages for new Authors (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Fixes re Broken Links revealed by Spider (19 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Image Link Recording (Images) (4 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Improve automatic WebRefs Checking (1.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Improve processing for WebRefs Generated by Spider (1.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Investigate Spider_Copy: Full_Link_Up_Levels_Gen. (2 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Investigating pgn4web Chess-game viewer (1.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Links from Blog in Level 1 or 2 Printed Notes 512 and 981 failing (1 hour)
    • Website - Generator - Links occasionally missing from Summary Task Lists (1.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Maintain consolidated Development Log (1 hour)
    • Website - Generator - Password Protection - Review (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Periodic Full Regeneration - Add debug-print of stage timestamps (2.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Priority Task List Report (1 hour)
    • Website - Generator - Refine totals in Functor_08 (2 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Remove Blackberry Pages & Processing (1 hour)
    • Website - Generator - Run and Refine File Pruning process (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Upgrade Functors to facilitate Quarterly Reporting (1.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Various fixes re Supervisions Notes Directory errors (4.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Web Spider - Delete Raw_Links associated with Pruned Files (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs - Added Display text to WebRefs (2.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs - Added Display text to WebRefs for Links to Stanford, Wikipedia & Aeon (5.25 hours)
    • Website - Investigating https / ssl (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Update 'Photos' Page to link to Coxes Farm Photo Pages (0.75 hours)
      → See "Software Development - Website - Development" (168 hours)
  4. Website - Education (Total Hours = 4.25)
  5. Website - Infrastructure (Total Hours = 27.75)
  6. Website - Maintenance (Total Hours = 40.75)
    • 18Q3 Status Reports (1 hour)
    • 18Q4 Status Reports (1.25 hours)
    • 19Q1 Status Reports (2.25 hours)
    • 19Q2 Status Reports (1.75 hours)
    • Renew Kaspersky License (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Correct WHOIS Data for theotodman.com Domain Name (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - General: Tidy up Site - delete un-updated pages (1 hour)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs - Manual / Automatic URL Checks (3.25 hours)
    • Website - Maintain Text of Family Page (2.5 hours)
    • Website - Maintain Text of my Personal Page (2.25 hours)
    • Website - Periodic Full Regeneration (17.25 hours)
    • Website - Run Web Spider (4 hours)
    • Website - ZoomSearch database refresh (2.75 hours)
      → See "Admin - Website - Admin & Maintenance" (40.75 hours)
Project 7: Website Others (Total Hours = 5.5)
  1. Website Others - Enigma Ensemble (Total Hours = 2.5)
    • Added 'EE' shortcut icon (used Logomakr (https://logomakr.com/)) (1 hour)
    • Enigma Ensemble Website - Creation, Admin & Maintenance (1.5 hours)
      → See "Admin - Music - Administration" (2.5 hours)
  2. Website Others - Sophie Botros (Total Hours = 3)
Project 8: Music (Total Hours = 339.25)
  1. Music - Administration (Total Hours = 38.75)
  2. Music - Aural (Total Hours = 21)
  3. Music - Oboe (Total Hours = 266)
  4. Music - Piano (Total Hours = 0.75)
  5. Music - Theory (Total Hours = 12.75)
Project 9: Chess (Total Hours = 246.25)
  1. Chess - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 11.25)
  2. Chess - Admin (Total Hours = 80.75)
    • "Chess" Chess Clock: Fixed rocker mechanism (0.25 hours)
    • 18Q3 Status Reports (2.75 hours)
    • 18Q4 Status Reports (1.75 hours)
    • 19Q1 Status Reports (2 hours)
    • 19Q2 Status Reports (1.75 hours)
    • Add content to 'Chess' page accessible from main menu on Website (2.25 hours)
    • Billericay Chess Club: Communications, Admin, Grading, etc. (48.75 hours)
    • Billericay Chess Club: Travel to Matches (15.5 hours)
    • Chess - Billericay Chess Club - Club Nights (1.75 hours)
    • Chess - Discussions with Chris (1.25 hours)
    • DGT 2010 Chess Clock: Reading Essex Guide (0.5 hours)
    • DGT XL Chess Clock: Reading User Manual (1 hour)
    • Leap PQ99075 Chess Clock: Reading User Manual (0.5 hours)
    • Purchase chess set for home matches (0.75 hours)
      → See "Chess - Admin" (80.75 hours)
  3. Chess - Play (Total Hours = 84.25)
    • Chess - Billericay Chess Club - Christmas Teams & Blitz games (4.25 hours)
    • Chess - Billericay Chess Club - Club Championship (15 hours)
    • Chess - Billericay Chess Club - Club Nights (5.25 hours)
    • Chess - Billericay Chess Club - NECL Match (33.75 hours)
    • Chess - Billericay Chess Club - Southend League Match (24.5 hours)
    • Chess - Billericay Chess Club - Southend League Match - Adjourned Game (1.5 hours)
      → See "Chess - Playing" (84.25 hours)
  4. Chess - Study (Total Hours = 25.25)
  5. Chess - Training (Total Hours = 44.75)
    • Chess - Training - Mephisto Monte Carlo (1 hour)
    • Chess - Training - Mephisto Monte Carlo - Review Games (0.25 hours)
    • Chess - Training - Review Club games (39.5 hours)
      → See "Chess - Training" (40.75 hours)
    • Chess - YouTube Videos - Agadmator's Chess Channel (0.25 hours)
    • Chess - YouTube Videos - Hutch: Chess with GM Tal Baron (3.75 hours)
      → See "Chess - Chess - YouTube Videos" (4 hours)
Project 10: Bridge (Total Hours = 192)
  1. Bridge - Reading / Writing
  2. Bridge - Admin (Total Hours = 22)
    • 18Q3 Status Reports (1 hour)
    • 18Q4 Status Reports (1 hour)
    • 19Q1 Status Reports (2.5 hours)
    • 19Q2 Status Reports (3.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Bernie / John re 'Contact Webmaster' (0.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Discussion with Jon & Coral (0.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Discussions with David (1.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Emails to David, Etc. (5.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Emails to Margaret (0.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Emails to Petra (0.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Socialising with Tony (3 hours)
    • Bridge - Strong Diamond - Convention Card Update (2.75 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Admin" (22 hours)
  3. Bridge - Play (Total Hours = 100.5)
    • Bridge - Bernie's Friday (David Tennet) (3 hours)
    • Bridge - ECBA Championship Pairs (David Tennet) (7 hours)
    • Bridge - ECBA League Match (David Tennet) (10.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Hutton (David Tennet) (3.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Mayflower (David Tennet) (9.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Mountnessing (David Tennet) (40.25 hours)
    • Bridge - NICKO Plate R3 Match (David Tennet) (3 hours)
    • Bridge - NICKO Plate R4 Match (David Tennet) (4 hours)
    • Bridge - Warboys B (David Tennet) (13.75 hours)
    • Holiday - Estimation Whist (6.25 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Playing" (100.5 hours)
  4. Bridge - Study (Total Hours = 59)
    • Bridge - Session Reviews (David Tennet) (28 hours)
    • Bridge - Systems Review (Strong Diamond) (31 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Study" (59 hours)
Project 11: Consciousness (Total Hours = 6.5) Project 12: Languages (Total Hours = 13)
  1. Languages - Admin (Total Hours = 2.75)
    • 18Q3 Status Reports (1.5 hours)
    • 18Q4 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
    • 19Q1 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
    • 19Q2 Status Reports (0.25 hours)
      → See "Admin - Languages - Admin" (2.75 hours)
  2. Languages - Arabic (Total Hours = 2)
  3. Languages - Maltese (Total Hours = 4.5)
  4. Languages - Thai (Total Hours = 3.75)
Project 13: Mathematics (Total Hours = 6.75)
  1. Mathematics - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 4.75)
  2. Mathematics - Admin (Total Hours = 2)
    • 18Q3 Status Reports (0.75 hours)
    • 18Q4 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
    • 19Q1 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
    • 19Q2 Status Reports (0.25 hours)
      → See "Admin - Mathematics - Admin" (2 hours)
Project 14: HiQ (Total Hours = 2.5)
  • 18Q3 Status Reports (1.25 hours)
  • 18Q4 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
  • 19Q1 Status Reports (0.25 hours)
  • Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE - Membership Dues (0.5 hours)
    → See "Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE" (2.5 hours)

Note last updated: 15/07/2019 14:52:48


Footnote 26: (Thesis - Introduction)

  • The Thesis seems to fall naturally into three sections (other than the Introduction and the Conclusion); namely,
    1. Setting up the problem (Chapters 2-5),
    2. Olson and Baker’s views contrasted (Chapters 6-9); and
    3. Testing the preferred solution (Chapters 10-11).
  • General Notes
    • For convenience, brief abstracts (as currently intended) of the Thesis chapters are given below.
    • In order to maintain the structure of the Thesis once it is printed out, I’ve refrained – in this Note – from hyperlinking to any Notes other than the Chapter Notes themselves, which should be followed up for further information.
    • For the Printable versions of the Thesis, see the links below this text.
  • Each Chapter follows a standard format, though there may be additions or omissions in particular cases:-
    • Chapter Abstract: as given below.
    • Research Methodology: How I intend to pursue research on the Chapter in question. There’s a lot of commonality between Chapters in this regard, though most of this narrative is segregated to a further document.
    • Notes Referenced: My background research has been broken down into over 200 other Notes . Those most relevant to the Chapter in hand are listed.
    • Chapter Introduction: This will explain why I’ve undertaken this research, and encourage the reader to continue.
    • Chapter Main Text
    • Concluding Remarks: Including a motivating link to the next Chapter, where relevant.
    • Books and Papers Referenced: Or “to be addressed”.
      1. I’m piloting the idea of providing a “cut”, ie. dividing between
        → Works that have or will be addressed
        → Works that might have been addressed but on which a decision has been made to omit them for the time being.
      2. These works – where not cited directly in the Main Text – are derived from the Notes in the list above. These Notes further segregate Works cited into:-
        → Those read.
        → Those still to be read, or on which reading is incomplete.
  • Chapter Abstracts
    1. Introduction: Provides a motivating statement for the study of the particular path through the topic of Personal Identity I intend to pursue and a brief historical survey of the subject to situate my particular stance.
    2. What are We: The topic “personal identity” has historically presupposed that we are (in the sense of “identical to”, or “most fundamentally”) persons, whereas I (along with other animalists) claim that we are identical to human animals. “We” requires explanation. This chapter will sort out the topic of discussion for the Thesis as a whole.
    3. What is a Person?: This chapter will canvass the various views and consider how important issues in this area are to my main concern of our identity.
    4. Basic Metaphysical Issues: We must consider the logic of identity, as non-standard logics are favourite means of escaping from some of the puzzle cases. We ask – along with Parfit – whether identity matters. Substances and sortals are central to the persistence of anything, and define their persistence conditions. In particular my claim is that persons are phase sortals of human animals (the substances). The question of Kinds – and in particular Natural Kinds – are related to those of Substance, and are important in considering whether PERSON is a natural kind concept. Metamorphosis might be important if it is claimed that we can change kind.
    5. Persistence and Time: A number of thought experiments that feature in Chapter 10 seem to fail if perdurantism is true (because the reduplication objections fail). Depending on whether any of these are critical to my arguments, I may need to consider the impact of perdurantism. But this complex area may be a step too far within a fairly limited word-count. I’m also unsure whether it should feature before or after the account of Thought Experiments.
    6. Animalism and Arguments for it: This Chapter describes what Animalism is, with an excursus on animals and organisms and their persistence. It puts forward the arguments in favour of animalism, those against being reserved for a later Chapter. It focuses on the account of Eric Olson, the primary contemporary exponent of Animalism.
    7. The Constitution View and Arguments for it: This Chapter gives an account of Lynne Rudder Baker’s thesis that human persons are not identical to human animals, but are – temporarily at least – constituted by them.
    8. Arguments against Animalism: A discussion of the arguments against animalism, as given by those of anti-animalist persuasion and defended by the principal animalists (with a focus on Olson), with a critique.
    9. Arguments against the Constitution View: A discussion of the arguments against the Constitution View, focusing on the principal animalists, with a critique. In particular, I intend to critique Olson’s “thinking animal” argument against the Constitution View (though I think this argument is unnecessary for Olson to establish the case for Animalism).
    10. Thought Experiments: Any account of personal identity needs to give an account of what is going on in the various thought experiments that have been thought relevant to the topic. It’s also the area that’s most fun. Indeed, I think that the entire Thesis will be an exercise in inference to the best explanation. It needs to account for our intuitions (if there is a universal response) or explain them away as confused. I will firstly briefly consider the propriety of using thought experiments in this domain of enquiry, and then consider the usual suspects.
    11. Resurrection: If mind-body substance dualism is false, and we are identical to human animals, then the only possibility for post-mortem existence is some form of bodily resurrection. Since the body is destroyed at death, it would seem that any resurrected individual could only be a copy of the original. It might think of itself as the resurrected pre-mortem individual, but it would be wrong. Consideration of arguments by Peter Van Inwagen in this respect. This chapter is likely to be controversial, so needs to be very carefully argued, and factually correct concerning what is actually believed by intellectually-aware Christians and Muslims (unlike what seems to be the case with most swipes against religion). Maybe I should also cover reincarnation.
    12. Conclusion:
      • We are human animals,
      • Human persons fall under phase sortals of the concept HUMAN ANIMAL,
      • The person is inseparable from the animal,
      • The animal is utterly destroyed at death,
      • Substance dualism is false, and
      • Consequently (given the sort of thing we are) resurrection or any other post-mortem survival is impossible for us.

Note last updated: 18/04/2019 18:18:43


Footnote 27: (Thesis - Current Stance)

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.

  1. What are we? 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.
  2. 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 individual, but when we ask what kind of thing it is, it’s a member of the species canis lupus. So, when we look at ourselves, the obvious answer is that we are human beings – specifically human animals, members of the species homo sapiens. That is the answer posited by the Animalists, amongst whose number – broadly speaking – I place myself, who accept the biological view of personal identity.
  3. If this is true, then our persistence conditions – the necessary and sufficient conditions for us to continue in existence – are the same as those of other animals – 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 persons, and have a “first person perspective” (FPP) on the world – something most philosophers deny to other animals – and care about our futures and – wantons apart – agonise over our past mistakes. Lynne Rudder Baker claims this perspective makes an ontological difference, rather than being – as I think – a special property of human beings that may or may not be had in particular cases. Baker accuses the animalists of not taking persons seriously. I might just note that there’s a facile and confusing answer to what we are, 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 human persons
  4. Since at least John Locke, this fact of our mental exceptionalism has tempted philosophers to say that it’s our psychological continuity that is more important for our identity-preservation than our physical continuity. This view still has its supporters – not only for those such as Dean Zimmerman and Richard Swinburne who believe in immaterial souls – but for the many who think that psychological continuity and connectedness is constitutive of the identity of persons. It is also implicit in the ideas of the Transhumanists who think that – come the Singularity – we might be capable of being uploaded to computers and thereby live almost forever.
  5. Before proceeding further we have to say something brief and sketchy about identity and persistence. “Identity” – in the sense of “numerical identity” – 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.
    1. It has nothing to do with “identity” as a sociological concept such as national identity, sexual identity or identification with a particular group.
    2. 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 personality has changed.
    3. It also has nothing to do with “narrative identity” which is the story we tell about ourselves in an attempt to make sense of our lives.
    4. Finally, it has nothing to do with “exact similarity”: 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.
  6. “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 convention: 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 psychological view 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 properties, provided they are caught up in a complex and hopefully long drawn-out event (or process) known as a “life”.
  7. In the above I have assumed at least three things.
    1. Firstly, that “things” – or at least some things – exist. There’s a philosophical position known as “Process Metaphysics” (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.
    2. Secondly, that we exist. This would seem hardly worth mentioning, other than that certain philosophers – nihilists – have argued that we (whatever we are) or – for similar reasons – various common things like hands – don’t exist.
    3. Finally, I assume that things do indeed persist, at least some of the time.
    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 temporary intrinsics. 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?
    1. Some philosophers – the exdurantists – 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.
    2. Others – in particular Derek Parfit – have said that even if there is identity across time, it’s not what matters.
    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 Joseph Butler. I also assume the standard logic of identity 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 occasional identity that – while (say) I am not identical to my younger self – yet I was that person, just not any more.
  8. Now back to the main thread. Most Anglophone philosophers these days are physicalists (though maybe most non-philosophers are unreflective dualists). This gives physicalist philosophers a problem if they have hopes of post-mortem survival. If the human organism is totally destroyed – eg. by cremation, explosion, or eating of worms – just how does the very same individual get from this life to the next? Christian Materialists have had a go at thinking this through, and acknowledge the difficulties. Peter Van Inwagen 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. Dean Zimmerman – while himself a dualist – has suggested a “falling elevator” model to help out his materialist friends, whereby there is immanent causation (by some unknown natural or supernatural process) between the dying body and the resurrection one so that the dying individual escapes in the nick of time to the next world without loss of numerical identity. 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 possibility, we have no way of arguing the matter, so let’s not bother.
  9. 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 Constitution View. On this thesis, the person is distinct from the human animal – “just as” the statue is distinct from its constituting 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.
  10. Some Animalists have what they think of as a knock-down argument against the Constitution View. Eric Olson calls it the “Thinking Animal” 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. Dion and Theon, Tib and Tibbles, the “problem of the many” and so on. We just need to sort out our rules for counting. Also, the whole question of three- versus four-dimensionalism (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 fission – 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.
  11. I think the idea of a first-person perspective is important. It is this that provides the pull against animalism when linked to various thought experiments (TEs) that we’ll come on to presently. However, I still don’t like the Constitution View. 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?
  12. 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 selves expiring with their bodies. 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 reduplication, 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.
    1. 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 universal rather than a particular, and “we” are particulars.
    2. 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 no principled way of saying which. The same objection prevents Star Trek-like teletransportation – were it possible – being identity-preserving. I might also add that no “program” is – in itself – conscious, though a machine that runs it might conceivably be. Mind you, there are arguments here as well – originated by John Searle – at least for digital computers.
    Incidentally, the transhumanists seem to imagine unending computer life as a secular heaven, but it could just as easily be a secular hell.
  13. So, I remain wedded to my view that we are human animals with the persistence conditions of such. “Person” is not a substance term, but an honorific that refers to some substance during some periods of its existence when it has the requisite mental and moral properties to qualify. “Person” is a Phase Sortal (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 no moral obligations towards non-persons – 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.
  14. So, what are the problems for animalists? There are several. Some – like the so-called “corpse problem” (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 “fetus problem”. 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 proper part 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.
  15. The real problems for animalism stem from the force of thought experiments such as the “brain transplant intuition”. An animalist seems forced to say that I would not “go with my brain” in the circumstance where my brain is transplanted into another body, when it seems to most people that I would. 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 brains 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 Olson asks?
  16. 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 “brain in a vat” – 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 fusion of two animals (the brain from one fusing with the body of the other). It might be argued that our identity-logic isn’t quite up to deciding who is who in such circumstances, but the stakes seem high enough to demand an answer, for which read on.
  17. I doubt whether the transhumanist hopes of augmenting our physical or mental attributes by effectively converting us into cyborgs 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.
  18. 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 cerebrum transplant, say – but I am mistaken? Some philosophers argue that this happens every night – I go to sleep, 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.
  19. I continue to think that there is a distinction to be made between forward and backward psychological continuity, 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 someone else wakes up thinking they are me – as against the normal case where I go to sleep and I 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Of course, there are physical and metaphysical issues with the whole idea of brain transplants – the physical structure of the brain 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. Kathleen Wilkes – 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 us, not our concepts.
  22. 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 David Hume – have argued; and others – such as Galen Strawson – 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 Buddhist-inspired “no-self” view makes the animalist’s task easier, if maybe less interesting.

Note last updated: 06/07/2018 18:56:10


Footnote 29: (Thesis - Chapter 02 (What are We?))

Abstract

  • The topic “personal identity” has historically presupposed that we are (in the sense of “identical to”, or “most fundamentally”) persons, whereas I (along with other animalists) claim that we are identical to human animals.
  • “We” requires explanation.
  • This chapter will sort out the topic of discussion for the Thesis as a whole.



Research Methodology
  • Follow this Link for a generic statement of how I intend to pursue each Chapter.
  • The method is broken down into 12, possibly iterative, stages.
  • Follow this Link for my progress dashboard on these tasks.
  • Progress on this Chapter is unusual in that it was the sample Chapter on which I was working with my Supervisor when registered for the PhD at Birkbeck.



Links to Notes
  1. For an out-of-date skeleton giving a fuller reading list, see
    • What Are We?.
  2. Candidates for what we are, considered in this Chapter:-
    • Human Beings,
    • Brains,
    • Cerebra,
    • Selves,
    • Souls,
    • Others to be Supplied?
  3. Candidates for what we are, considered in later Chapters:-
    • Animals,
    • Bodies,
    • Organisms,
    • Persons,
    • Nihilism.



Chapter Introduction
  1. The topic “personal identity” has historically presupposed that we are (in the sense of “identical to”, or “most fundamentally”) persons, whereas I (along with other animalists) claim that we are identical to human animals.
  2. “We” requires explanation. This chapter attempts to sort out the topic of discussion for the Thesis as a whole.
  3. I need to address the concept of a SOUL as souls are the major counter-claim to the persisting entity being an animal; or at least popularly so. The same goes for SELVES, and also for HUMAN BEINGS, insofar as these are supposed to be distinct from HUMAN ANIMALs.
  4. I also need to have some discussion of what is meant by the various other possibilities of what we are, but leave explications of PERSONs, BODIES and ANIMALs / ORGANISMs until later Chapters.
  5. I’m not quite sure where the possibility that we are BRAINs ought to go, but for the time being it’s here; and this leads on to the possibility (tacitly assumed in some TEs) that we might be individual CEREBRA.



Main Text
  1. This Chapter has the title “What Are We?”. The “We” is of some significance, as we will see in the course of this Thesis when we consider the social and reciprocal aspects of what it is to be a person. Nonetheless, should we not start with the singular, maybe even solipsist, question “What Am I?”, and expand out from there into the collective question? How we phrase our initial question has an impact on the course of our investigations, and may reflect our deepest presuppositions. The first-person question adopts the Cartesian stance of looking from the inside out, whereas the third-person question considers “us” collectively. The first-person question may presuppose that the answer to the question is that I am primarily a psychological being, whereas the third-person question may assume or expect the answer that I am fundamentally physical.
  2. Some of the potential answers to the question will be the same whether we phrase the question in the singular or the plural.
  3. Taking it in the plural for now, we need to distinguish, as candidates for what we might be on the physical side, (prefixing “human-” passim):-
    • Animals,
    • Organisms,
    • Bodies,
    • Beings, and
    • Brains.
  4. On the psychological side, I might be a self or, more popularly, a person. I might even be a non-essentially-embodied entity like a soul.
  5. I will consider all these options in due course; with the exception of a detailed discussion of the concept PERSON (which is reserved for the next Chapter), I will do so later in this chapter.
  6. Olson15 also considers whether we might be Humean bundles of mental states and events, and even the nihilist view that we don’t exist at all. I’m not sure I’ll have space for these, but need to remain aware of the possibilities and motivations for these positions.
  7. However, for the moment I want to consider some themes connecting the possible answers to our question. Firstly, does there have to be a single answer? I know that I, and presume that my readers also, fall happily under the concepts HUMAN ANIMAL, HUMAN ORGANISM and HUMAN BEING. I at least have a human body and a human brain, though I would initially feel reluctant to say that I am one of either of these things. I would certainly claim to be a SELF, and also a PERSON, as no doubt would my reader. So, cannot all these answers be correct?
  8. This raises the question of what I mean by saying what I am (or we are) something. In saying that I am any of these things, what sort of relation is the “am”? Am I using am in the sense of an identity relation, a constitution relation, ascribing a predicate, or have some other sense in mind?
  9. There are two kinds of questions I want to ask. Firstly, what sort of being am I identical to? Secondly, what sort of properties do I have; both metaphysically essential properties (those without which I would cease to exist), and those I merely consider essential (that is, “very important”, though I would continue to exist without them)?
  10. Any “is” that does duty for the identity relation inherits the formal properties of an equivalence relation; in particular, it is a transitive relation. Additionally, the “two” identical entities either side of the copula must satisfy Leibniz’s law; “they” share (at a time) all their properties; actual and modal, intrinsic and relational. So, if I am identical to a human animal, and also identical to a human person, then that human animal must be identical to that human person. This would mean that these “two” entities are really one. They co-exist at all times in all possible worlds where either of “them” exists, and share all their properties and relations, at any time and world. Everything that happens to “one” at a world and time happens to the “other” at those coordinates. This places strong logical constraints on how much cake I can have and eat. I may want to say that I am identical both to a human animal, and to a human person, yet claim that a human person has certain mental properties essentially, but deny that a human animal does. However, I am then claiming what is logically impossible, at least for the classical logic of identity that denies that such notions as relative identity are coherent. As we will see, this point is essential to the animalist case that we are not identical to human persons (given the claim that we are identical to human animals).
  11. My thesis addresses the topic of personal identity, but we might claim that what we’re really interested in is in our identity. Not that we have doubts as individuals as to which particular individual we are (as though I, as Bill Clinton, don’t know whether I am Bill Clinton or George W. Bush), but what sort of individual we are, together with worries about our persistence (how long we are going to last, and in what form). Historically, it has been a standard presupposition that what we are most fundamentally is persons, or at least that’s all we care about. So, concern about our identity has been elided with concern for personal identity, almost as though we thought that the two questions are the same. Animalists argue that the two questions are indeed different, but for convenience, and the historical continuity of the general topic under discussion, still say they are talking about personal identity.
  12. Further text to be supplied.



Concluding Remarks
  1. In our next Chapter, we consider just what a Person is.
  2. This is work in progress.



Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed19
  1. For this Chapter I have already worked on the various papers or book chapters under supervisory control. Where this is the case, for ease of reference, the analytical Note for each reference is hyperlinked directly.
  2. Additionally, I may need to consider other papers or book chapters in the following lists (together with some others referenced by these). There are doubtless many more that are relevant and which will be addressed in the course of the thesis, but these are probably sufficient to get us going. Some that I have considered have been culled or reserved for later.
  3. The General Question:-
  4. Brains / Cerebra
  5. Neurological Background
  6. Human Beings
  7. Selves46
  8. Souls48
  9. Nihilism
  10. Many aspects of these papers will need to be left for later chapters.



The Cut
  1. There had already been a lot of cutting in the various selections of the original reading list – the reading lists attached to the Notes run on and on – and these items just represent the works in my possession (though I have sought out all that I’ve heard of that look relevant).
  2. However, the items in the lists following were given some attention, and have been culled – at least temporarily – from the lists above, where they originally appeared. I’ve not always given a reason as I’ve not studied them sufficiently closely. But, you have to draw a line somewhere.
  3. The General Question
  4. Brains / Cerebra
  5. Human Beings
  6. Selves
  7. Souls





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 15: In "Olson (Eric) - What are We? A Study of Personal Ontology"

Footnote 19:
  • See the section on Research Methodology for what is to be done with these.
  • The author’s surname is repeated in the text to make it easier for me to see what’s going on in the encoded text I work on.
Footnote 26: The excerpt from Brandom raises some questions about the community we call “we”.

Footnote 29: Baker often expresses indebtedness to Roderick Chisholm, who is reviewed on that account.

Footnote 31: An annoying book, but one I ought to study.

Footnote 35: The book. From my perspective, probably the most important source for this Chapter.

Footnote 36: See also the Chapters on Brains and Souls in the subsequent reading-lists.

Footnote 40: Useful historical background, maybe!

Footnote 42: Lockwood might deny that this is his view, but he seems committed to it, as far as I can see.

Footnote 43: This maybe ought to be categorised as an “anti-soul” view.

Footnote 44:
  • Some of the papers by Puccetti will be reconsidered in (or maybe reserved for – a couple already have been) Chapter 10.
Footnote 46:
  • This list is rather long, and contains many whole books. I may have to cull several of these further down the line.
  • However, the Self is important, as it’s the root of Baker’s FPP, and the motivator for all psychological theories of PI, so understanding just what it is supposed to be is central to my concerns.
Footnote 47:
  • Alexander thinks that we are Selves, and that Selves are tropes – abstract particulars – which by my lights is about as far from the truth as you can get, so I need to consider his arguments carefully.
Footnote 48:
  • The comment about the prolixity of the reading list applies even more to Souls than Selves, without the positive connection my primary thesis.
  • However, if we were to be souls, this would solve the resurrection problem; so I need to thoroughly understand the reasons why we might be – but most likely are not – souls.
Footnote 49: This looks interesting, but is somewhat off-topic for a priority reading-list.

Footnote 50: This is rather elementary, and ought to have been reviewed in Chapter 01.

Note last updated: 02/06/2019 10:10:34


Footnote 30: (Thesis - Chapter 04 (Basic Metaphysical Issues))

Abstract

  • We must consider the logic of identity, as non-standard logics are favourite means of escaping from some of the puzzle cases. We ask – along with Parfit – whether identity matters.
  • Substances and sortals are central to the persistence of anything, and define their persistence conditions. In particular my claim is that persons are phase sortals of human animals (the substances).
  • The question of Kinds – and in particular Natural Kinds – are related to those of Substance, and are important in considering whether PERSON is a natural kind concept.
  • Metamorphosis might be important if it is claimed that we can change kind.



Research Methodology
  • Follow this Link for a generic statement of how I intend to pursue each Chapter.
  • The method is broken down into 12, possibly iterative, stages.
  • Follow this Link for my progress dashboard on these tasks.



Links to Notes
  1. Logic of Identity, including:-
    Contingent Identity, and
    Indeterminate Identity,
    Occasional Identity.
    Relative Identity,
    Vague Identity.
  2. Criteria of Identity,
  3. Does Identity Matter?,
  4. Substance,
  5. Sortals,
    Phase Sortals,
  6. Kinds,
    Natural Kinds,
    Metamorphosis,
  7. Others?
    → to be supplied as they come up.



Chapter Introduction
  1. I need to discuss the logic of identity, survival and persistence, and even whether identity matters in survival.
  2. Substances and sortals are central to the persistence of anything, and in particular to my claim that persons are phase sortals of human animals (the substances).
  3. The question of Natural Kinds arises in considering whether PERSON is a natural kind concept.
  4. Certain four-dimensional approaches to persistence do away with the substance concept, but I discuss this issue in the next Chapter.



Main Text
  1. The purpose of this chapter is to clarify my views on a number of logical and metaphysical issues that are central to the core of this Thesis.
  2. I will also consider Derek Parfit’s claim that “Identity is not what matters in survival” in this Chapter.
  3. The coverage in the Chapter itself will have to be very brief lest it consume the word-count for the entire thesis. Most information – and in particular the bulk of the justification for my views – will remain in the Notes.
  4. Three background issues, namely my views on:-
    • Persistence and Time,
    • Thought Experiments, and
    • Constitution
    are covered elsewhere (follow the links above).
  5. Other topics may be added as they arise.
  6. Further text to be supplied.



Concluding Remarks
  1. In our next Chapter, we need to consider further the question of Persistence and Time and how they impact on the topic of Personal Identity.
  2. This is work in progress.



Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed23
  1. In this Chapter I will consider the following papers or book chapters (together with some others referenced by these). There are doubtless many more that are relevant and which will be addressed in the course of the thesis, but these are probably sufficient to get us going:-
  2. Basic Metaphysics24
  3. Logic of Identity (General)
  4. Relative Identity
  5. Vague Identity
  6. Indeterminate Identity
  7. Contingent Identity
  8. Occasional Identity
  9. Criteria of Identity
  10. Substances
  11. Sortals & Phase Sortals
  12. Kinds and Natural Kinds
  13. Metamorphosis
  14. Does Identity Matter?
  15. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
  16. The motivation for these works is as follows:-
    • To be supplied.



The Cut
  1. There had already been a lot of cutting in the various selections of the original reading list – the reading lists attached to the Notes run on and on – and these items just represent the works in my possession (though I have sought out all that I’ve heard of that look relevant).
  2. However, the items in the lists following were given some attention, and have been culled – at least temporarily – from the lists above, where they originally appeared. I’ve not always given a reason as I’ve not studied them sufficiently closely. But, you have to draw a line somewhere.
  3. I’m well aware that the cut has not been sufficiently rigorous. Some of the items above are likely to be culled when I come to process them, and will appear below.
  4. Items to be Supplied.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 23:
  • See the section on Research Methodology for what is to be done with these.
  • The author’s surname is repeated in the text to make it easier for me to see what’s going on in the encoded text I work on.
Footnote 24: There’s an endless amount of stuff in this area, so I’ve (for now) chosen a couple of contrasting approaches.

Footnote 25: Footnote 26:
  • Modality is important in my thesis, because modal questions come into persistence criteria.
  • That said, the last two essays in the book – by Hossack and Olson – are the most important, though of these two only that by Hossack really belongs to this Chapter.
Footnote 27: I’m not sure where this book should be parked, and not all of it is relevant.

Footnote 28: I doubt this paper is really about Relative Identity, but more about Brain Transplants).

Footnote 29: Read the Synopsis below first.

Note last updated: 02/06/2019 10:10:34


Footnote 32: (Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It))

Abstract

  • This Chapter describes what Animalism is, with an excursus on animals and organisms and their persistence.
  • It puts forward the arguments in favour of animalism, those against being reserved for a later Chapter.
  • It focuses on the account of Eric Olson, the primary contemporary exponent of Animalism.



Research Methodology
  • Follow this Link for a generic statement of how I intend to pursue each Chapter.
  • The method is broken down into 12, possibly iterative, stages.
  • Follow this Link for my progress dashboard on these tasks.



Links to Notes
  1. Animalism,
    Animalists,
  2. Animals
    Bodies,
    Organisms,
    Life,
  3. Olson,
    Thinking Animal Argument,
    Other Arguments for Animalism12,
  4. Others to be supplied?



Chapter Introduction
  1. As we saw in Chapter 02, nothing is more obvious than that we are human animals.
  2. The disadvantages of whole-hearted acceptance of this seemingly obvious fact are firstly that it seems to demote human beings from their status of being made in the image of the God most people no longer believe in. There are two responses to this; either to deny that it does, or to accept that the differences between human beings and other animals are those of degree rather than kind.
  3. A second disadvantage is that accepting that we are human animals makes the prospects for post-mortem survival look bleak. This is addressed in Chapter 11.
  4. So, while saying that we are human animals might seem to be the default position – and so the burden is on others to demonstrate that we are not – the historical situation places a burden on the animalist to present the case for animalism with as much rigour as possible.
  5. Further text to be supplied.



Main Text
  1. To be supplied.



Concluding Remarks
  1. Having discussed Animalism, we can now in our next Chapter turn to the main alternative I want to consider, the Constitution View and the arguments for it.
  2. This is work in progress.



Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed19
  1. In this Chapter I will consider the following papers or book chapters (together with some others referenced by these). There are doubtless many more that are relevant and which will be addressed in the course of the thesis, but these are probably sufficient to get us going.
  2. As this is a “core” chapter, the coverage of the literature will be very complete, if not exhaustive, when it comes to Animalism itself.
  3. For background topics, it will be more selective20. Hence, I have divided the reading list into two.
  4. I’ve not been overly careful to segregate the reading-list of this Chapter from that of Chapter 8. I will address the segregation in due course. There will, in any case, be some overlap.
  5. Core Topics
  6. Background Material
  7. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
  8. The motivation for these works is as follows:-
    • To be supplied.



The Cut
  1. There had already been a lot of cutting in the various selections of the original reading list – the reading lists attached to the Notes run on and on – and these items just represent the works in my possession (though I have sought out all that I’ve heard of that look relevant).
  2. However, the items in the lists following were given some attention, and have been culled – at least temporarily – from the lists above, where they originally appeared. I’ve not always given a reason as I’ve not studied them sufficiently closely. But, you have to draw a line somewhere.
  3. I’m well aware that the cut has not been sufficiently rigorous. Further items beyond the items below are likely to be culled when I come to process them.
    • To be supplied.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 12: This needs a Note!

Footnote 19:
  • See the section on Research Methodology for what is to be done with these.
  • The author’s surname is repeated in the text to make it easier for me to see what’s going on in the encoded text I work on.
Footnote 20:
  • There are a few papers listed on the cognitive capacities of animals.
  • I got bored with listing these, so the sample may not be representative.
  • These are, in any case, probably more relevant to Chapter 9 – as an antidote to Baker’s attempted ontological separation of human persons from human animals – so I will move them there – and expand the list if necessary – in due course.
Footnote 22: A knowledge of genetics is important in arguments about the comings into being and identities of animals.

Footnote 23: What is this important book doing here?

Note last updated: 02/06/2019 00:57:36


Footnote 33: (Dicephalus)

Plug Note1

  • There are several related pathological conditions in which the number of animals and the number of individuals may fail to align. In sequence of severity of the “condition”:-
    1. Conjoined Twins: Wikipedia: Conjoined Twins (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjoined_twins). Varies from a fairly loose conjunction of individuals, who may be separated, to more severe forms with shared organs and limbs. This article is of interest not least because it discusses the issue of fission versus fusion, with the latter now the favourite suggestion.
    2. Polycephaly: Wikipedia: Polycephaly (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycephaly). Animals or humans with apparently more than one head. Dicephaly is the limiting case. Usually an extreme version of conjunction.
    3. Diprosopus: Wikipedia: Diprosopus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diprosopus). Animals (including humans – see Link (http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/conjoined-twins-hope-faith-fight-survival-article-1.1789137) & Link (https://uk.news.yahoo.com/one-body-two-faces-rare-twins-born-sydney-083226701.html#4U6U96d); see Link (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2862950/Record-setting-cat-2-faces-dies-15.html) for Janus cats) with two faces. There may be one or two brains, but only one skull. The important thing – and what differentiates the diprosopus from the dicephalus – is that there is much less duplication of body parts, so it is very much two brains sharing one body – though it can also be the relatively superficial – though tragic – case of one brain, one body and two faces.
  • All these situations – and in particular the paradigm case of dicephalus, wherein it appears that we have a (human) animal with two heads – are often cited as a prima facie problems for Animalism.
  • The claim is that while we have multiple persons, we only have a single animal, so the animalist claim that persons are numerically identical to their organisms is false.
  • Of course, the above claim is somewhat bald. Animalism - at least in the form expounded by Eric Olson - has no truck with psychology as necessary for our persistence. While Olson often refers to “people” this is just shorthand for “some of us”, rather than “persons”, the plural of person.
  • So, if the animalist claim is that we are human animals, then the question is – in the case of dicephalus and related conditions – how many of us are present, and how many human animals are present. Animalism need the numbers to be equal.
  • The cases under consideration have the advantage over standard Thought Experiments, in that they are real-life cases. What is actual must be possible, and a standard argument against TEs is thereby avoided – namely that some of them, at least, whatever our intuitions may say, may not in fact be possible because the TEs are under-described.
  • That said, there’s still a temptation to push the boundaries, and to consider cases in this general area that are not actual, yet are not quite as science-fiction as the usual TEs.
  • Cases of dicephalus are fairly rare, and often one “twin” is degenerate so it’s not clear that we have two persons or two of “us”. However, the case of the dicephalus twins, Abigail and Brittany Hensel, where one body appears to be coordinated by two brains (see Abigail and Brittany Hensel (https://mymultiplesclerosis.co.uk/ec/abigail-and-brittany-hensel-the-twins-who-share-a-body/), and probably more “official” sites – see Wikipedia: Abigail and Brittany Hensel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abigail_and_Brittany_Hensel) for instance) shows that this is not necessarily the case. Here we definitely have two persons, but maybe only one animal. This is probably a real-life case of either incomplete fission or of fusion.
  • There are two issues with these cases:-
    1. How should they be best described?
    2. How should the animalist respond?
  • Description:
    1. I need to research this further, but it seems to me that we have a sliding scale of pathological cases – from that of Siamese twins (who are often fairly loosely connected, and can often be surgically separated) to the much more extreme cases of diprosopus.
    2. I presume, also, that we can have both fission and fusion.
    3. In the case of (incomplete) fission, the twins will be identical, as the situation is one where the twinning process has not completed.
    4. But (I imagine) we can also have a case of fusion, where the twin-embryos – whether identical or fraternal – that were separate have subsequently partially fused.
  • Response:
    1. The most likely response from the animalist is that the dicephalus is not a single organism, but two organisms that share some body-parts.
    2. The force of the arguments in this kind of case depends on “relevant similarity” – if the dicephalus-case is sufficiently similar to the general case, it can be used to show things about the general case. But this claim can be rejected.
    3. In the case of diprosopus, it is more difficult to claim that there are two organisms. Now – in practice – there are never two persons either (as all the 30-odd cases recorded since 1860, the condition has proved quickly fatal, so there are no persons present). But this might not always be so. So, Lynne Rudder Baker might claim that the rudimentary persons are indeed persons – as there is a possibility that they would develop into robust persons. Failing that, it might be the case in the future that there is a case where the diprosopus survives to develop personality.
  • For a page of Links11 to this Note, Click here.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read12, include13 the following:-
    1. "Blatti (Stephan) - Animalism, Dicephalus, and Borderline Cases", Blatti
    2. "Blatti (Stephan), Ed. - The Lives of Human Animals", Blatti
    3. "Blatti (Stephan) - Animalism and its Implications", Blatti
    4. "Hershenov (David) - Countering the Appeal of the Psychological Approach to Personal Identity", Hershenov
    5. "Liao (S. Matthew) - The Organism View Defended", Liao
    6. "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity and Immortality", Shoemaker
    7. "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity, Rational Anticipation, and Self-Concern", Shoemaker
    8. "Wilson (Jack) - Beyond Horses and Oak Trees: A New Theory of Individuation for Living Entities", Wilson
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. "Barilan (Y. Michael) - One or Two: An Examination of the Recent Case of the Conjoined Twins from Malta", Barilan
    2. "Campbell (Tim) & McMahan (Jeff) - Animalism and the Varieties of Conjoined Twinning", Campbell & McMahan
    3. "Hershenov (David) - Problems with a Constitution Account of Persons", Hershenov
    4. "Hershenov (David) - Shoemaker's Problem of Too Many Thinkers", Hershenov
    5. "Koch-Hershenov (Rose J.) - Conjoined Twins and the Biological Account of Personal Identity", Koch-Hershenov
    6. "Olson (Eric) - The Metaphysical Implications of Conjoined Twining", Olson
    7. "Reid (Mark D.) - A Case in Which Two Persons Exist in One Animal", Reid
    8. "Snowdon (Paul) - Animalism and the Unity of Consciousness", Snowdon
  • This is mostly a place-holder.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:
  • A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
  • I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
  • As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
  • The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
Footnote 11:
  • If only a “non-updating” run has been made, the links are only one-way – ie. from the page of links to the objects that reference this Note by mentioning the appropriate key-word(s). The links are also only indicative, as they haven’t yet been confirmed as relevant.
  • Once an updating run has been made, links are both ways, and links from this Notes page (from the “Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note” and “Summary of Note Links to this Page” sections) are to the “point of link” within the page rather than to the page generically. Links from the “links page” remain generic.
  • There are two sorts of updating runs – for Notes and other Objects. The reason for this is that Notes are archived, and too many archived versions would be created if this process were repeatedly run.
Footnote 12:
  • Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
  • In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
  • In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
  • My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
Footnote 13:
  • I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
  • Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.

Note last updated: 17/08/2018 17:35:31


Footnote 34: (Thesis - Chapter 07 (The Constitution View and Arguments for It))

Abstract

  • This Chapter gives an account of Lynne Rudder Baker’s thesis that human persons are not identical to human animals, but are – temporarily at least – constituted by them.



Research Methodology
  • Followthis Link for a generic statement of how I intend to pursue each Chapter.
  • The method is broken down into 12, possibly iterative, stages.
  • Follow this Link for my progress dashboard on these tasks.



Links to Notes
  1. Baker,
  2. Constitution View,
    Constitution,
    First-Person Perspective,
  3. Mereology,
    Dion and Theon,
  4. Others to be supplied?



Chapter Introduction
  1. Baker’s account of constitution is not the standard mereological account, of some larger body being constituted by its parts, but is her own idea that requires explication.
  2. Baker also has a commitment to PERSONs being substances in their own right, rather than being an honorific title applied to substances that at other times might not deserve the honorific.
  3. She also reifies a useful idea – that of a First-person Perspective. It is the FPP that individuates persons, according to Baker, so the FPP requires explanation as well.
  4. Further text to be supplied.



Main Text
  1. To be supplied.



Concluding Remarks
  1. Having now discussed both Animalism and the Constitution View, we can now in our next Chapter turn to the arguments against these views, starting with those against Animalism.
  2. This is work in progress.



Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed14
  1. In this Chapter I will consider the following papers or book chapters (together with some others referenced by these). There are doubtless many more that are relevant and which will be addressed in the course of the thesis, but these are probably sufficient to get us going.
  2. I’ve not been overly careful to segregate the reading-list of this Chapter from that of Chapter 9. I will address the segregation in due course. There will, in any case, be some overlap.
  3. Baker
  4. Constitution
  5. Mereology16
  6. Co-Location17
  7. First-Person Perspectives
  8. Constitution View
  9. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
  10. The motivation for these works is as follows:-
    • To be supplied.



The Cut
  1. There had already been a lot of cutting in the various selections of the original reading list – the reading lists attached to the Notes run on and on – and these items just represent the works in my possession (though I have sought out all that I’ve heard of that look relevant).
  2. However, the items in the lists following were given some attention, and have been culled – at least temporarily – from the lists above, where they originally appeared. I’ve not always given a reason as I’ve not studied them sufficiently closely. But, you have to draw a line somewhere.
  3. I’m well aware that the cut has not been sufficiently rigorous. Further items beyond the items below are likely to be culled when I come to process them.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 14:
  • See the section on Research Methodology for what is to be done with these.
  • The author’s surname is repeated in the text to make it easier for me to see what’s going on in the encoded text I work on.
Footnote 16: While Baker’s understanding of constitution is distinct from a mereological one, it is necessary to understand mereology.

Footnote 17: I’m not sure whether this section belongs here, but it must go somewhere!

Footnote 18: This may properly belong to one of the Chapters on Animalism.

Footnote 19: This Chapter has rather more to do with distributive ethics than personal identity or the FPP.

Note last updated: 02/06/2019 00:57:36


Footnote 35: (Thesis - Chapter 10 (Thought Experiments))

Abstract

  • Any account of personal identity needs to give an account of what is going on in the various thought experiments that have been considered relevant to the topic.
  • It’s also the area that’s most fun. Indeed, I think that the entire Thesis will be an exercise in inference to the best explanation of what’s going on in these thought experiments.
  • Any theory of Personal Identity needs to account for our intuitions (if there is a universal response) or explain them away as confused.
  • I will firstly briefly consider the propriety of using thought experiments in this domain of enquiry, and then consider the usual suspects.



Research Methodology
  • Follow this Link for a generic statement of how I intend to pursue each Chapter.
  • The method is broken down into 12, possibly iterative, stages.
  • Follow this Link for my progress dashboard on these tasks.



Links to Notes
  1. Propriety of Thought Experiments
  2. Principal Examples:-
    • Fission
      Clones
      Twinning
    • Fusion
    • Pregnancy
    • Replication
    • Commissurotomy
    • Multiple Personality Disorder
    • Brain-state Transfers
    • Brain Transplants
    • Teletransportation
    • Siliconisation
  3. Transhumanism
    Cyborgs
    Androids
    Chimeras
  4. Others?



Chapter Introduction
  1. In this chapter we will consider all the usual suspects, as itemised in the list of Notes above.
  2. It is to be noted that some – in particular Commissurotomy – are more actual experiments than thought-experiment, though quite a lot of armchair thinking is involved in working out their import.
  3. Pregnancy and birth in placental mammals might be described as fusion followed by fission.
  4. Multiple Personality Disorder is again – at least allegedly – an existent pathology rather than a Thought Experiment. Moreover, it might be better situated in Chapter 9 as a critique of the idea of an individuating First-Person Perspective.
  5. Brain Transplants come in various forms. We need to distinguish Whole-Brain Transplants (WBTs) from single or double Cerebrum transplants, and these from brain-tissue transplants, which shade off into Siliconisation and Brain State Transfers.



Main Text
  1. To be supplied.



Concluding Remarks
  1. Having now discussed Thought Experiments in general, we now in our next Chapter turn to the question of Resurrection – the matter that first motivated Locke (and – I suspect - Lynne Rudder Baker and many others) in their discussions of Personal Identity.
  2. This is work in progress.



Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed25
  1. In this Chapter I will consider the following papers or book chapters (together with some others referenced by these). There are doubtless many more that are relevant and which will be addressed in the course of the thesis, but these are probably sufficient to get us going.
  2. I have segregated the papers by sub-topic, but some would fit into more than one category.
  3. Theory
  4. Brain State Transfers26
  5. Brain Transplants
  6. Commissurotomy
  7. Fission
  8. Fusion
  9. Multiple Personality Disorder
  10. Replication
  11. Siliconisation27
  12. Teletransportation
  13. Transhumanism29
  14. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
  15. The motivation for these works is as follows:-
    • To be supplied.



The Cut
  1. There had already been a lot of cutting in the various selections of the original reading list – the reading lists attached to the Notes run on and on – and these items just represent the works in my possession (though I have sought out all that I’ve heard of that look relevant).
  2. However, the items in the lists following were given some attention, and have been culled – at least temporarily – from the lists above, where they originally appeared. I’ve not always given a reason as I’ve not studied them sufficiently closely. But, you have to draw a line somewhere.
  3. I’m well aware that the cut has not been sufficiently rigorous. Further items beyond the items below are likely to be culled when I come to process them.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 25:
  • See the section on Research Methodology for what is to be done with these.
  • The author’s surname is repeated in the text to make it easier for me to see what’s going on in the encoded text I work on.
Footnote 26:
  • There must be many more papers than the classic one by Williams (and commentaries thereon) – I just haven’t got them correctly categorised.
  • Under this head should be included references to “Brain Zaps” and the like.
Footnote 27: Footnote 28:
  • Tye seems to be discussing brain-partition, with silicon transceivers. But he uses Unger’s term “zippering”.
  • He is indebted to Arnold Zuboff, who may be worth following up.
Footnote 29:
  • This is is a very wide topic, and is different to the other notions, in which we are and remain organic.
  • One item of particular interest is where “we” – that is, our psychology – is supposedly uploaded to a computer.
  • Most of the papers in my possession on the subject seem to assume this is possible, and some even argue whether it is – unbeknownst to us – actual.
  • Olson argues against the metaphysical possibility in "Marshall (Richard) & Olson (Eric) - Eric T. Olson: The Philosopher with No Hands", pp. 61-2.
  • This is associated with “Brains in Vats”.
Footnote 30: I’ve read this book, but it’s insufficiently philosophical for its arguments – such as they are – to be worth considering as a priority.

Footnote 31: Cover in the next Chapter.

Note last updated: 02/06/2019 10:10:34


Footnote 36: (Transhumanism)

Plug Note

Note last updated: 14/07/2019 18:05:46


Footnote 37: (Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection))

Abstract

  • If mind-body substance dualism is false, and we are identical to human animals, then the only possibility for post-mortem existence is some form of bodily resurrection.
  • Since the body is destroyed at death, it would seem that any resurrected individual could only be a copy of the original. It might think of itself as the resurrected pre-mortem individual, but it would be wrong.
  • Consideration of arguments by Peter Van Inwagen in this respect.
  • This chapter is likely to be controversial, so needs to be very carefully argued, and factually correct concerning what is actually believed by intellectually-aware Christians and Muslims (unlike what seems to be the case with most swipes against religion).
  • Maybe I should also cover reincarnation.



Research Methodology
  • Follow this Link for a generic statement of how I intend to pursue each Chapter.
  • The method is broken down into 12, possibly iterative, stages.
  • Follow this Link for my progress dashboard on these tasks.



Links to Notes
  • A lot of my notes seem to mention resurrection and the Notes fall into at least two categories3:-
    1. Thesis:-
      1. Life,
      2. Death,
        Near Death Experiences,
        Corpses,
      3. Life after Death.
        Resurrection,
        Immortality,
        Reincarnation,
      4. Makropulos Case,
    2. Philosophy of religion13:-
      1. Resurrection,
      2. Resurrection (Metaphysics),
      3. 1 Corinthians 15,
      4. Heythrop.



Chapter Introduction
  1. While I wish in this chapter to consider seriously the religious hope of resurrection, I do not want to get side-tracked onto matters of Scriptural exegesis, or into evidential matters of whether particular resurrections – specifically of Jesus – happened or not. In this regard, I’m interested only in what they take resurrection to be, and whether they provide any detailed metaphysical account of how it is supposed to work.
  2. As in the chapter on Thought Experiments, this chapter is partly aimed at checking how (my version of) animalism copes with projected situations. As such, I may extend this to other posited versions of post-mortem survival, though most are ruled out by the essentially physical nature of the human person as proposed by animalism.
  3. While not wanting to get too far off topic, especially at the end of the thesis, I want to consider some of the ethical consequences of adopting Animalism with – I presume – the lack of hope of post-mortem existence. Hence the reading material on death itself and on “matters of life and death”.
  4. Further text to be supplied.



Main Text
  1. To be supplied.



Concluding Remarks
  1. Having now discussed everything on our Agenda, we now in our next Chapter make our conclusions.
  2. This is work in progress.



Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed22
  1. In this Chapter I will consider the following papers or book chapters (together with some o