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Status Reports - Status: Summary (2020 - March)

Rationale for this Report


Projects in Progress
Actuals & Planning
Detailed Interim Activities

Plans for the Near Future25
  1. Thesis
  2. Religion
  3. Website
  4. Music
  5. Bridge
  6. Chess
  7. Consciousness
  8. Languages
  9. Mathematics
  10. HiQ
  1. Thesis26
    1. Continue with my Thesis27; in particular
      1. Spend at least an hour a day writing something original.
      2. Fill out those sections that I can write something on without further research.
      3. 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 Beliefs28 on the topic of Personal Identity.
    3. Complete a full review and update of the Notes I’ve created on Personal Identity, focusing on:-
      1. Those directly referenced by my Current Beliefs29,
      2. Those without a reading list: Olson30, Organisms31, Perdurantism32, Person33, Personality34, Physical Continuity35, Physicalism36, Probability37, Psychological Continuity – Forward38, Psychological View39, Psychology40, Reductionism41, Religion42, Semantics43, Siliconisation44, Similarity45, Soul Criterion46, Souls47, Statue and the Clay48, Substance49, Survival50, Taking Persons Seriously51, Unity of the Person52.
      3. Those not yet in the latest standard format.
    4. Make progress on specific Chapters of my Thesis, using the materials below →
    5. Chapter 153 (Introduction). Focussing on:-
      1. Locke54
        → "Duncan (Matt) - I Think, Therefore I Persist", Complete Write-up
        → "Maurer (Nicholas) - Too Many Persons, or None At All?", Write-up
        → "Strawson (Galen) - 'The Secrets of All Hearts': Locke on Personal Identity", Read
        → "Strawson (Galen) - 'Where our responsibility lies': Locke on personal identity", Read
      2. Logic of Identity55
        → "Noonan (Harold) - Identity, Constitution and Microphysical Supervenience", Write-up56
    6. Chapter 257 (What Are We?). Focussing on:-
      1. Brains58: "Mitchell (Kevin J.) - Innate: How the Wiring of Our Brains Shapes Who We Are", Read & review
      2. Human Beings59: Review the Symposium between:-
        → "Robinson (Denis) - Human Beings, Human Animals, and Mentalistic Survival", Read and Write-up
        → "Johnston (Mark) - 'Human Beings' Revisited: My Body is Not an Animal", Complete Write-up
      3. Persons60: "Cottingham (John) - Why we are not 'persons'", Complete Write-up
      4. Selves61:-
        1. "Arikha (Noga) - The Interoceptive Turn", Read and Write-up
        2. "Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit", Read and Write-up
        3. "O'Hear (Anthony), Ed. - Mind, Self and Person", Complete Reading and Write-ups
    7. Chapter 362 (What Is A Person63?).
      1. "Nanay (Bence) - Catching Desires": Complete write-up
      2. "Noller (Jorg) - A Transformative Account of Personal Identity",
      3. "Noller (Jorg) - Person",
      4. Personites64, develop Note, using:-
        → "Olson (Eric) - Ethics and the Generous Ontology", then …
        → "Eklund (Matti) - The Existence of Personites",
        → "Johnston (Mark) - The Personite Problem: Should Practical Reason Be Tabled?",
        → "Johnston (Mark) - Personites, Maximality and Ontological Trash",
        → "Kaiserman (Alexander) - Stage Theory and the Personite Problem",
        → "Pautz (Adam) - Johnston’s Puzzle about Personites".
    8. Chapter 465 (Basic Metaphysical Issues). Focus on:-
      1. General: "Hazlett (Allan) - New Waves in Metaphysics"
      2. Existence66: "Williams (Christopher) - Death and Other Difficulties"
      3. Logic of Identity67
        1. Partial Identity68
          → "Baxter (Donald L.M.) - Temporary and Contingent Instantiation as Partial Identity",
          → "Hawley (Katherine) - Almost Identical, Almost Innocent"
        2. Artifacts69
          → "Han (Byung-Chul) - The copy is the original", Write-up
          → "Han (Byung-Chul) - Shanzhai: Deconstruction in Chinese", Read
      4. Parfit70
        → "Colen (J.A.) - In Memoriam Derek Parfit (1942-2017)",
        → "Funkhouser (Eric) - Notes on Parfit, 'Personal Identity'",
        → "Korsgaard (Christine) - Personal Identity and the Unity of Agency: A Kantian Response to Parfit",
        → "Perry (John) - Time, Fission, and Personal Identity",
        → "Parfit (Derek) - Personal Identity",
        → "Parfit (Derek) - Prudence, morality, and the prisoner's dilemma", Note71
        → "Parfit (Derek) - Who do you think you are?",
        → Complete run-through of the Parfit reading-list
      5. Simple View72
        → "Duncan (Matt) - A Challenge to Anti-Criterialism"
        → "Duncan (Matt) - A Renewed Challenge to Anti-Criterialism"
        → "Duncan (Matt) - Dualists Needn’t Be Anti-Criterialists (Nor Should They Be)"
      6. Vague Identity73
        → "Broome (John) - Indefiniteness in Identity",
        → "Noonan (Harold) - Vague Identity Yet Again"
    9. Chapter 574 (Persistence75 and Time76). Focussing on:-
      1. General
        1. "Sider (Ted), Hawthorne (John) & Zimmerman (Dean), Eds. - Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics",
      2. Persistence77
        1. Robert O. Doyle: Complete running through relevant pages, ie:-
          → "Doyle (Robert O.) - Change (Being and Becoming)"
          → "Doyle (Robert O.) - Persistence (Perdurance and Endurance)"
          → "Doyle (Robert O.) - David Wiggins" (part)
        2. "Haslanger (Sally) & Kurtz (Roxanne), Eds. - Persistence : Contemporary Readings",
        3. "Hawley (Katherine) - Persistence and Determination",
        4. "Wiggins (David) - Continuants: Their Activity, Their Being, and Their Identity", especially
          → "Noonan (Harold) - Review of Wiggins's 'Continuants'", and
          → "Wiggins (David) - Identity, Individuation, and Substance"
      3. Time78
        1. "Boccardi (Emiliano), Ed. - Manuscrito vol. 39 no.4: Recent Trends in the Philosophy of Time: An Introduction to Time and Reality - I", and
        2. "Boccardi (Emiliano), Ed. - Manuscrito vol. 40 no.1: The Passage of Time and its Enemies: An Introduction to Time and Reality - II"
        3. "Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: A Philosophical Enquiry", and especially
          → "Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History - A Philosophical Inquiry with Dr Sophie Botros"
        4. "Bourne (Craig) - A Future for Presentism",
        5. "Correia (Fabrice) & Rosenkranz (Sven) - Unfreezing the Spotlight: Tense Realism and Temporal Passage",
        6. "Costa (Damiano), Gilmore (Cody) & Calosi (Claudio) - Relativity and Three Four-Dimensionalisms",
        7. Natalja Deng: Various papers, starting with
          → "Deng (Natalja) - One Thing After Another: Why the Passage of Time is Not an Illusion",
        8. Mauro Dorato: Various papers,
          → "Dorato (Mauro) - Presentism / Eternalism and Endurantism / Perdurantism: why the unsubstantiality of the first debate implies that of the second",
          → "Dorato (Mauro) - Presentism and the Experience of Time",
          → "Dorato (Mauro) - The Irrelevance of the Presentist / Eternalist Debate for the Ontology of Minkowski Spacetime".
        9. "Fischer (Florian) - Philosophy of time: A slightly opinionated introduction",
        10. "Friebe (Cord) - Eternalism and the Temporal Content of Persistence", and
        11. "Friebe (Cord) - Metametaphysics: the Ontology of Spacetime and the Presentist/Eternalist Debate".
        12. "Lebens (Samuel) & Goldschmidt (Tyron) - The Promise of a New Past": Complete and send to Sophie Botros & Michael J. Alter,
        13. "LePoidevin (Robin) - Travels in Four Dimensions: The Enigmas of Space and Time",
        14. "LePoidevin (Robin) & MacBeath (Murray), Eds. - The Philosophy of Time: Oxford Readings in Philosophy",
        15. "Miller (Kristie) - Issues in Theoretical Diversity: Persistence, Composition, and Time",
        16. "Roselli (Andrea) - How Long is Now? A New Perspective on the Specious Present",
        17. "Rovelli (Carlo) - The Order of Time",
        18. "Sattig (Thomas) - The Flow of Time in Experience",
        19. "Savitt (Steven) - Presentism and Eternalism in Perspective",
        20. "Skow (Bradford) - Objective Becoming",
        21. "Torrengo (Giuliano) - Time and Simple Existence",
        22. "Zimmerman (Dean) - Presentism and the Space-Time Manifold"
    10. Chapter 679 (Animalism80). Focussing on:-
      1. Animals81:
        1. "Ross (Don) - Consciousness, language, and the possibility of non-human personhood: Reflections on elephants"
      2. Animalism82
        1. "Hershenov (David) - Review of David DeGrazia’s Human Identity and Bioethics",
        2. "Merricks (Trenton) - Objects and Persons",
        3. "Olson (Eric) - The Human Animal - Personal Identity Without Psychology", my core text,
        4. "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Persons, Animals, and Identity",
        5. "Snowdon (Paul) - Persons, Animals, Ourselves",
      3. Life83
        1. "Al-Khalili (Jim) & McFadden (Johnjoe) - Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology",
        2. "Difrisco (James) & Mossio (Matteo) - Diachronic Identity in Complex Life Cycles: An Organizational Perspective",
        3. "Lachmann (Michael) & Walker (Sara) - Life ≠ alive",
        4. "Schrodinger (Erwin) - What is Life?"
    11. Chapter 784 (The Constitution View85):-
      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.
      5. "Mellor (D.H.) - Micro-composition": Read
      6. "Zahavi (Dan) - Subjectivity and Selfhood: Investigating the First-Person Perspective": Write-up.
    12. Chapter 886 (Arguments against Animalism87):-
      1. "Bailey (Andrew M.) - The Elimination Argument",
      2. Dicephalus & Conjoined Twins88
        1. "Buchanan (Rachael) - The battle to separate Safa and Marwa"
        2. "Campbell (Tim) & McMahan (Jeff) - Animalism and the Varieties of Conjoined Twinning"
        3. "Olson (Eric) - The Metaphysical Implications of Conjoined Twining"
        4. "Stone (James L.) & Goodrich (James T.) - The craniopagus malformation: classification and implications for surgical separation"
        5. "Wikipedia - Craniopagus twins"
      3. "Olson (Eric) - The Role of the Brainstem in Personal Identity",
      4. "Olson (Eric) - On Parfit's View That We Are Not Human Beings",
      5. Pregnancy89
        1. "Damschen (Gregor), Gomez-Lobo (Alfonso) & Schonecker (Dieter) - Sixteen Days? A Reply to B. Smith and B. Brogaard on the Beginning of Human Individuals",
        2. Elselijn Kingma. Especially
          → "Finn (Suki) - Bun or bump?",
          → "Kingma (Elselijn) - Lady Parts: The Metaphysics of Pregnancy", and
          → "Kingma (Elselijn) - Were You Part of Your Mother?".
        3. "Gomez-Lobo (Alfonso) - Sortals and Human Beginnings",
        4. "Isaac (Sasha) - Is artificial-womb technology a tool for women’s liberation?",
        5. "Oderberg (David) - The Metaphysical Status of the Embryo: Some Arguments Revisited",
        6. "Smith (Barry) & Brogaard (Berit) - Sixteen Days".
    13. Chapter 1090 (Thought Experiments91):-
      1. "Nielsen (Lasse) - Reconstructing Thought Experiments in Personal Identity",
      2. "Searle (John), Etc. - Minds, Brains, and Programs",
      3. Investigate Transhumanism92. In particular,
        1. "Alexander (Denis) - Healing, enhancement and the human future": Read,
        2. "Awad (Edmond), Etc. - The Moral Machine experiment": Read,
        3. "Ball (Philip) - Sim ethics": Write up,
        4. "Bostrom (Nick) - Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies": Read,
        5. "Bridle (James) - New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future": Read,
        6. "Davies (Sally) - Women’s minds matter" (and papers cited / resisted)
        7. "Fry (Hannah) - Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine": Read & review,
        8. "Graziano (Michael) - Endless fun": Detailed review,
        9. "Hanson (Robin) - The Age of Em: Work, Love, and Life when Robots Rule the Earth", Read
        10. "Harari (Yuval Noah) - Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow": Review, especially Chapter 8,
        11. "Kent (Adrian) - Replication Ethics": Read,
        12. "Madary (Michael) & Metzinger (Thomas) - Real Virtuality: A Code of Ethical Conduct": Read,
        13. "Marshall (Richard) & Metzinger (Thomas) - Thomas Metzinger: All About the Ego Tunnel": Read,
        14. "Midgley (Mary) - Biotechnology and Monstrosity: Why We Should Pay Attention to the 'Yuk Factor'": Complete,
        15. "O'Connell (Mark) - To be a Machine": Briefly review,
        16. "Schneider (Susan) - Artificial You": Read,
        17. "Shipley (G.J.) - Review of Andy Clark's 'Natural-Born Cyborgs'": Complete review,
        18. "Smith (Wilfred Cantwell) - The Promise of Artificial Intelligence": Read,
        19. "Tegmark (Max) - Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence": Read,
        20. "Wyatt (John) - Artificial intelligence and simulated relationships": Write-up.
    14. Chapter 1193 (Resurrection94):-
      1. Death95
        1. "Baillie (James) - We all know that we will die, so why do we struggle to believe it?": Complete review
        2. "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",
        3. "Luper (Steven), Ed. - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death": Start a review, especially
          → "Olson (Eric) - The Nature of People",
        4. "Stone (Alison) - Thinking about one’s birth is as uncanny as thinking of death": review
      2. Makropulos Case96
        1. "Moore (Adrian W.) - Is the quest for immortality worse than death?": Detailed analysis
        2. "Moore (Adrian W.) - Williams, Nietzsche, and the Meaninglessness of Immortality": Read and review
      3. Reincarnation97
        1. "Barua (Ankur) - Revisiting the Rationality of Reincarnation-Talk": Write a file-note.
        2. "MacIntosh (J.J.) - Reincarnation and Relativized Identity": Read and review
        3. "Noonan (Harold) - The Possibility of Reincarnation": Read and review
      4. Resurrection98
        1. "Martin (L. Michael) & Augustine (Keith) - The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death": Start a thorough review,
        2. "Badham (Paul) - Christian Beliefs About Life After Death": Read and review
        3. "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Death and the Afterlife": Read and review
        4. "Corcoran (Kevin) - Dualism, Materialism and the Problem of Post Mortem Survival": Read and review
    15. 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. Maintain "Various - Papers Yet To Be Logged", and log papers therein if they become important.
      3. Convert old PDF-précis, Etc99 to Notes: As an interim task, correct the dates + email address on the longer pdfs.
      4. Complete cataloguing the books downloaded from Springer,
      5. Continue with "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers",
      6. Complete reading:-
        1. "Barker (Jonathan) - Debunking Arguments and Metaphysical Laws",
        2. "Carey (John), Ed. - The Faber Book of Science",
        3. "Dennett (Daniel) - The Mind's I - Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul: Introduction",
        4. "Erber (Joan T.) & Szuchman (Lenore T.) - Great Myths of Aging",
        5. "Everett (Daniel) - Did Homo erectus speak?",
        6. "Hofstadter (Douglas) - Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid - A Metaphorical Fugue on Minds and Machines in the Spirit of Lewis Carroll",
        7. "Gazzaniga (Michael S.) - Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain",
        8. "Rosling (Hans) - Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think" (Note100)
      7. Complete my Note on "Smith (Martin) - Why Throwing 92 Heads in a Row Is Not Surprising" and discuss with Pete & Mike.
      8. Continue reading and reviewing papers issued by Aeon101,
      9. Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR & Cambridge Core.
      10. Update my Journals Note102: Review the journals I have access to; more are available as a Cambridge Alumnus.
      11. Keep up with the philosophical world by regular reviews of "Interaction - Philos-List", but only seriously pursue items relevant to my research.
  2. Religion103
    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 reviewing104
      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. "Finkel (Irving) - The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood": Continue reading
      4. "Taylor (Joan E.) - Jesus and Brian: Exploring the Historical Jesus and His Times Via Monty Python's Life of Brian": Review KCL Conference videos
  3. Website105
    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. Completely re-engineer Authors processing to use IDs rather than Names:-
          1. Authors' pages to be identified by Author_nnnnn, where nnnnn is the (numeric) Author_ID.
          2. Directory-structure in thousands: Author_mm.
          3. Use Author_ID in all Tables.
          4. Need to document at the same time!
          5. Needed because of difficulties transferring special characters in file names.
        2. Enable "alternate names" for identically-named authors (to avoid middle-initial = X).
      • Backups
        1. Investigate Record-count discrepancies:-
          1. How do website files work as far as counts are concerned?
          2. Why aren't they recorded in Backup_History, nor the fact that the website was backed up?
          3. Different counts depending on whether new or old laptop is backed up. Investigate 63k discrepancy - lower on new laptop.
        2. 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.
      • Bridge
        1. Develop auto-reconciliation routines vs EBU results download
      • Documenter
        1. Investigate the error reports from the Documenter, especially unused variables & queries.
        2. 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. Read "PC Pro - Computing in the Real World".
      • Infrastructure
        1. iCloud for Windows: Re-install & solve 'The upload folder for iCloud Photos is missing' problem. Try on new 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: Sundry uncategorised. Refs failing. 30 items.
        4. Investigate Note_Links: Section references seem to be incorrect
        5. Printable Notes: fix the bug whereby the “private” flag is round the wrong way.
        6. 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. Determine why Recalculation & Changed Book/Papers produce unneeded regeneration.
        2. Full Website Regeneration is now taking 18.5 hours:-
          1. This is on my new laptop - it was taking 36 hours on my old laptop. Investigate why so, and improve performance!
          2. The end-to-end time on the new laptop is no better because the process pauses mid-way when the system goes to sleep overnight. I've set the power mode to 'Presentation', so we'll see if this fixes things.
          3. I got a copy error for private Note for Note 133. This contributed to extended run-times on the new laptop. Hopefully just a set-up problem.
      • 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 pages106 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 unprocessed107 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 Smart108. 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. 184 items. res://ieframe.dll/ in Returned_URL. 4 Items remaining.
        2. 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.
        3. 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.
        4. Reformat WebLinks_Tester_Brief: Allow more space for 'link returned', 'issue' and 'display text'
    2. Other Websites: Priority 1 Items By Category:-
  4. Music109
    1. Oboe:-
      1. Practice the oboe for two 30-minute sessions each and every day110 – focussing on the items below and …
      2. Occasionally combine into an hour-long session to build up stamina further.
      3. Work through, and perfect, scales & arpeggios111 for Grades I-VIII, 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)".
      4. 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".
      5. Occasionally review Grade VI pieces, in particular
        → "Boni (Giovanni) - Sonata in G" (Prelude, but also 2nd, 3rd & 4th movements for interest),
        → "Davies (John) & Harris (Paul) - 80 Graded Studies for Oboe: Book 2" (Blatt - Study No. 52),
        → "Morricone (Ennio) - Gabriel's Oboe (Piano Solo Or Oboe/Piano)"
        → "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)
      6. Prepare Grade VII pieces, in particular112
        → "Albinoni (Tomaso) - Concerto in D Minor Op. 9/2 for Oboe & Piano", 1st movement (but also 2nd & 3rd for interest)
        → "Bach (J.S.) - 105 Difficult Passages from the Works of J. S. Bach. For oboe", Items 49 & 70
        → "Cimarosa (Domenico) - Oboe Concerto in C minor", All, but particularly 1st & 4th movements
        → "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",
        → "Hinke (Gustav Adolf) - Elementary Method For Oboe", Items 14 & 18
        → "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'; also 'Answer the Question'),
        → "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; 2nd for interest).
      7. Prepare Grade VIII pieces, in particular113
        → "Bach (J.S.) - 105 Difficult Passages from the Works of J. S. Bach. For oboe", Items 62, 66 and 28
        → "Davies (John) & Harris (Paul) - 80 Graded Studies for Oboe: Book 2" (Harris - Study No. 74; Luft - Study No. 77)
        → "Miller (Vojislav) & Liebermann (Winfried), Eds. - Test Pieces for Orchestral Auditions (Orchester Probespiel) - Oboe" (try various),
        → "Mower (Mike) - The Good Tempered Oboe" (No. 44 - 'Dop Dop Doobah'),
        → "Saint-Saens (Camille) - Sonata Op.166 in D Major for Oboe & Piano" (2nd & 3rd Movements),
      8. Read and apply oboe practice techniques recommended by Martin Schuring.
      9. 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 material114.
      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. Bridge115
    1. Bridge "at the table" is on hold. Only play on-line if pressurised by partners.
    2. Bridge Admin: Committee and Website involvement for Mountnessing and Hutton.
    3. Re-read Hand-counting papers, focussing on
      → Papers in Counting the Hands116,
      → "Bourke (Tim) & Smith (Marc), Bird (David) - Countdown to Winning Bridge", and
      → "Lawrence (Mike) - How to read your opponents' cards: The bridge expert's way to locate missing high cards"
      → "Lawrence (Mike) - How to Play Card Combinations"
    4. Read "Klinger (Ron) - Five-card Majors".
    5. Read "Reading - Bridge - Magazines".
  6. Chess117
    1. Why Play Chess: Seriously consider the issues raised by "Ramon y Cajal (Santiago) - On Chess".
    2. Chess Study:-
      → "Hansen (Carsten) - The Full English Opening: Mastering the Fundamentals",
      → "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",
      → "Speelman (Jon), Tisdall (Jon) & Wade (Bob) - Batsford Chess Endings",
      → "van der Sterren (Paul) - FCO - Fundamental Chess Openings", and
      → "Willemze (Thomas) - The Chess Toolbox: Practical Techniques Everyone Should Know".
    3. Chess Training:-
      Chess.com (https://www.chess.com/) (game analysis & daily 10-minute game),
      → "Chess - Chess - YouTube Videos"
      → Complete review of 2018/19 season's games, and keep up to date with those of the current season.
    4. Chess Play: Participation118 if and when play resumes in Billericay Chess Club:-
      → Club Nights
      → NECL matches
      → Southend League matches
      → Consider on-line club play
  7. Consciousness119
    1. Aeon (https://aeon.co/): Read & annotate papers as they arise, especially ...
      → "Chittka (Lars) & Wilson (Catherine) - Bee-brained": Write-up
      → "Frankish (Keith) - The Consciousness Illusion": Write-up
      → "Pigliucci (Massimo) - Consciousness is real": Read & write-up
      → (see also) "Strawson (Galen) - The Consciousness Deniers": Read & write-up
    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. "Dennett (Daniel) - Illusionism as the Obvious Default Theory of Consciousness": Read.
    5. "Eliot (Lise) - What's Going On in There?: How the Brain And Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life": Read.
    6. "Kammerer (Francois) - The Hardest Aspect of the Illusion Problem - and How to Solve it": Read.
    7. "Papineau (David) - Introducing Consciousness": Re-read and write notes.
    8. "Tegmark (Max) - Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence": Write up Chapter 8: Consciousness
  8. Languages120
    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. Mathematics121
    1. Aeon (https://aeon.co/): Read papers as they arise.
    2. "Feynman (Richard), Leighton (Robert B.) & Sands (Matthew) - The Feynman Lectures on Physics - Vol I": Read.
    3. "Gowers (Timothy), Barrow-Green (June) & Leader (Imre), Eds. - The Princeton Companion to Mathematics": Browse.
    4. "Polya (George), Stewart (Ian) - How to Solve IT: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method": Read.
    5. 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".
    6. "Shapiro (Stewart) - Thinking about Mathematics - The Philosophy of Mathematics": Complete reading.
    7. "Smith (Martin) - Why Throwing 92 Heads in a Row Is Not Surprising": Analyze.
    8. "Tammet (Daniel) - Thinking in Numbers: How Maths Illuminates Our Lives": Read.
    9. "Wilmott (Paul) - Machine Learning: An Applied Mathematics Introduction": Read.
  10. HiQ122
    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’ve written a Blog Item on this saga, with some theoretical thoughts, which I hope to have published in due course.
Footnote 16:
  • If these link to the wrong version, ie. the current one, you’ll need to go the “previous versions” and select the correct one.
Footnote 20:
  • 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 21:
  • 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 22:
  • 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 25:
  • 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 56:
  • This paper covers the "loose and popular" sense of identity, amongst much else.
Footnote 71: Footnote 100:
  • Read the Appendices, and extract the Chapter Summaries as learning-points.
Footnote 104:
  • 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 106:
  • 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 107:
  • 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 108:
  • 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 110:
  • Well, maybe with the occasional holiday, and excluding days on which I have a lesson or the Enigma Ensemble (currently in hibernation).
Footnote 111:
  • 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 112:
  • I've yet to decide which to present for the Exam, so this long list will get whittled down in due course.
Footnote 113:
  • These are just the ones from the Trinity schedule that I happen to have. Some look rather fearsome.
  • The only one I've had assigned is the Second Movement of the Saint-Saens.
Footnote 114: Ie. The following:- Footnote 118:
  • This used to say "full participation", but I've let the team captain know that my focus is now on Bridge, and that - while I'm willing to "fill a board" - I don't want to take the place of anyone more enthusiastic.
  • In any case, there's now no over the board chess to be had.
Footnote 123:
  • Though I will probably book the time against my Thesis, as it involves what it is to be a person, transhumanism and the like.


Note last updated: 04/04/2020 00:14:24


Footnote 2: (Status: Personal Identity (2020 - March))

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 January - March 2020
  1. I spent 214 hours in 20Q1 on this Project, or related work (454 hours YTD, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2019). That's 76% of the planned effort (79.9% YTD). Overall, 31.4% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 33.4% YTD) - as against 37.3% planned (37% YTD).
  2. A full list of items worked on in the quarter appears below. Previous reports have itemised where my focus has been, but I only intend to do this annually from now on. Enough to note that I spent rather too long catching up with Aeon.
  3. Progress between reports can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List. More detail follows:-
Thesis (Total Hours = 84.25)
  1. Thesis - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 82)
  2. Thesis - Discussions
  3. Thesis - Research Repositioning
Thesis Background (Total Hours = 60.5)
  1. Thesis Background - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 53.25)
  2. Thesis Background - Books Admin (Total Hours = 3.25)
  3. Thesis Background - Status (Total Hours = 4)
Thesis (Aeon) (Total Hours = 69.25)
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 7:
  • 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 became 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 8:
  • 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 10:
  • 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 12:
  • This is obviously far too long, and keeps getting items “carried forward” tacked on to it.
  • Maybe I’ll prune it next time.
Footnote 42:
  • This paper covers the "loose and popular" sense of identity, amongst much else.
Footnote 57: Footnote 86:
  • Read the Appendices, and extract the Chapter Summaries as learning-points.

Note last updated: 04/04/2020 00:14:24


Footnote 10: (Status: Languages (2020 - March))

The text of this report – apart from the automatically-generated statistics – hasn’t been changed since end September 2019 as this project is substantially 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. Also, a fellow mathematician in my year from King’s has developed the Unicode standards for Egyptian hieroglyphs, so I intend another foray in that direction.

Summary of Progress during January - March 2020
  1. I spent 9 hours in 20Q1 on this Project, or related work (14.25 hours YTD, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2019). That's 70.3% of the planned effort (55.2% YTD). Overall, 1.3% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 1% YTD) - as against 1.7% planned (1.7% YTD).
  2. YTD Activity2
    Languages (Total Hours = 14.25)
    1. Languages - Admin (Total Hour = 1)
    2. Languages - All (Total Hours = 2.75)
    3. Languages - Egyptian
    4. Languages - Greek (Classical)
    5. Languages - Italian
    6. Languages - Thai
  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.
  • If there are hours in the Plan, the Quarterly and YTD figures appear against that plan and are “as at” the end of the last Quarter.
  • The YTD Activity-list 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.
  • Items on this list are “as at” the date of production of the report – which may be at any time in a quarter, so totals don’t necessarily cross-cast against the QTD / YTD figures.

Note last updated: 04/04/2020 00:14:24


Footnote 11: (Status: Mathematics (2020 - March))

The text of this report – apart from the automatically-generated statistics – hasn’t been changed since end September 2019 as this project is substantially 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 January - March 2020
  1. I spent 2 hours in 20Q1 on this Project, or related work (10.5 hours YTD, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2019). That's 15.6% of the planned effort (40.6% YTD). Overall, 0.3% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 0.8% YTD) - as against 1.7% planned (1.7% YTD).
  2. YTD Activity1
    Mathematics (Total Hours = 10.5)
    1. Mathematics - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 8.5)
    2. Mathematics - Admin (Total Hours = 1.5)
    3. Mathematics - Lectures
  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:
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.
  • If there are hours in the Plan, the Quarterly and YTD figures appear against that plan and are “as at” the end of the last Quarter.
  • The YTD Activity-list 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.
  • Items on this list are “as at” the date of production of the report – which may be at any time in a quarter, so totals don’t necessarily cross-cast against the QTD / YTD figures.
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: 04/04/2020 00:14:24


Footnote 19: (Status: Summary - Actual versus Plan (2020 - March))

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

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


Summary figures against the QTD (January - March 2020) Plan, and for the YTD (2019/20) 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
Bridge1424352430238413
Chess472731443
Consciousness12121717
HiQ12 2  2
Languages12121914
Mathematics12 21210
Music71213121490190
Religion12122921
Thesis2237313733214454
Website712151214100194
        
TOTALS591001001001006821360
        
Comparisons91 days183 days89% 87%7661556

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 (Previous Quarter & YTD)


Summary figures against the QTD (January - March 2020) Plan, and for the YTD (2019/20) 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
Bridge182379238413131109
Chess5210514432641
Consciousness13267175466
HiQ1326 228
Languages13269146954
Mathematics13262111540
Music911839019099104
Religion13269216780
Thesis2865752144547579
Website91183100194109106
       
TOTALS7661556682136089%87%

Notes
  • All figures above are rounded to the nearest unit.



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 HoursFull Year Actual + Planned HoursComparison (%ages)
Bridge91721117613649106
Chess245261569661
Consciousness12213524383
HiQ12213522854
Languages24326786785
Mathematics12213523770
Music7131291365373102
Religion12213524790
Thesis2241392861147102990
Website81513104391403103
        
TOTALS541001007022959277194


All figures above are rounded to the nearest unit.



Actual & Plan Summary (2007 - 2020)


Below is a table showing the split amongst my various projects of time expended or planned over a 13-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 (Actuals)2019/20 (Actual + Plan)Total%age
Bridge776632757796106293494138066287061382649890228.55
Chess 29161466114961159275965791.86
Consciousness 41763015219161442176433571.15
HiQ   1714811156428850.27
Languages23433123226895256429291246136714454.63
Mathematics232884551862841815372890.93
Music63132144618323716817927841237317705.68
Religion9119841284920330524811610860148354728209.05
Thesis60845334947718040273589656182811429211029858127.52
Website671981812043486514949471117664643430403634820.36
                
TOTALS186220422250271819282394254225072574267524202494277131176100

Note last updated: 04/04/2020 00:14:24


Footnote 24: (Status: Summary Task List (YTD: 19Q4 - 20Q1))

This is a list of the tasks performed on my various projects since the beginning of the 2019-20 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. Bridge
  10. Chess
  11. Consciousness
  12. Languages
  13. Mathematics
  14. HiQ
Links to the latest time-analyses are given first.
  1. Click Here for Actual Detail Summary (2007 - 2020) by Sub-Project
  2. Click Here for (by Project)
    • Summary of Effort YTD & QTD
    • Time Analysis (YTD by Study-location)
  3. 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 - 2020)
Project 1: Thesis (Total Hours = 169.5)
  1. Thesis - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 163.75)
  2. Thesis - Discussions (Total Hour = 1)
  3. Thesis - Research Repositioning (Total Hours = 4.25)
  4. Thesis - Seminars (Reading)
  5. Thesis - Seminars (Writing)
Project 2: Thesis Background (Total Hours = 127.5)
  1. Thesis Background - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 112)
  2. Thesis Background - Books Admin (Total Hours = 7.75)
  3. Thesis Background - Status (Total Hours = 7.75)
Project 3: Thesis (Aeon) (Total Hours = 157) Project 4: Religion (Total Hours = 16) Project 5: Religion Background (Total Hours = 5)
  1. Religion Background - Admin (Total Hour = 1)
  2. Religion Background - Discussions (Total Hours = 4)
Project 6: Website (Total Hours = 170.75)
  1. Website - Bridge Development (Total Hours = 9.5)
    • Bridge - Website - Auto-reconciliation vs EBU (5 hours)
    • Bridge - Website - Development (0.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Website - Development - Fix 'Code Changes" reports (1.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Website - Development - Query from Tony Heyes re Bridgewebs leads scraping (1.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Website - Development - Synchronise Documentator with main website generator (0.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Website - Development - Update Documentation (1 hour)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Admin" (9.5 hours)
  2. Website - Bridge Maintenance
  3. Website - Development (Total Hours = 102.75)
    • Review Webalizer Methodology & Consolidate Stats (0.5 hours)
      → See "Software Development - Website - Development" (0.5 hours)
    • Todman (Theo) - Tottering Towers & Listing Buildings: Add / annotate photos of Coxes Farm to Timeline (0.25 hours)
      → See "Todman (Theo) - Tottering Towers & Listing Buildings" (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Backup - Copying errors (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Backup - Count discrepancies (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Chess Results & Games Pages - Create & Maintain (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Development - Remove ZoomSearch from Search Page and Code (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Add Aeon Abstract link to Aeon Webref items in Summary task List reports (1.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Add Audio Files to Notes (3.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Append long Comments to Abstract (3.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Author Citation list improvements (5.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Automate Aeon Page output (29.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Automate Aeon Page output - Documentation (3 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Compact / Repair re-open '2Gb' alleged problem - increase MaxLocksPerFile (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Correct Functor_16 to remove hyperlinks from Title (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Correct sequence of Aeon Webref items in Summary task List reports (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Create Functor to facilitate addition of Audio Files to Music Page (4.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Develop oboe-practice report (4.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Development Planning (1 hour)
    • Website - Generator - Fix bug in Plan versus Actual Effort Summary - Effort (Current Quarter & YTD) - YTD Actual % v Plan (1 hour)
    • Website - Generator - Fix Functors to enable previous quarter's Status Reports after Time period roll-over (5.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Fixes re Broken Links revealed by Spider (13.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Investigate & Fix WebRefs checker for Aeon, etc - 404 check not working (6.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Investigate anomalies in YTD Task List (Functor_01) in Quarterly Reports (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Investigate anomalies in YTD Task List (Functor_08) in Quarterly Reports (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Notes Concatenation (3.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Summary Task List items error (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs checker - Improve efficiency (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Homepage - Review & Re-balance (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Periodic Full Regeneration - Error copying Private Note (2.75 hours)
    • Website - Update 'Photos' Page to link to Coxes Farm Photo Pages (5.75 hours)
    • Website - ZoomSearch database refresh - Failed, so dismantle (0.25 hours)
    • Website - ZoomSearch database refresh - Improve processing (0.75 hours)
      → See "Software Development - Website - Development" (102 hours)
  4. Website - Education (Total Hours = 3.75)
  5. Website - Infrastructure (Total Hours = 15.75)
    • Chrome bookmark de-duplication (0.75 hours)
    • EE Broadband - Renew & Install new Router (0.25 hours)
    • FileZilla FTP Failing with 530 Critical Error (excessive connection rate) (1.5 hours)
    • iCloud for Windows Installation (0.75 hours)
    • Microsoft Windows 10 / MS Office - Kaspersky complaints (0.25 hours)
    • Microsoft Windows 10 / MS Office - Releases, Bugs & Periodic Re-boots (2 hours)
    • Old routers, etc, clear-out (0.75 hours)
    • PC Backups / OneDrive (2.25 hours)
    • Printer - New Drum & Toner (0.5 hours)
    • Printer - Re-order Toner & Drum (0.25 hours)
    • Re-installing PdfElement (0.25 hours)
    • Renew Kaspersky on own & Julie's laptops (0.25 hours)
    • Sky Q Order & Installation + new TV (4.25 hours)
      → See "Admin - Website - Admin & Maintenance" (14 hours)
    • XMas Newsletter - photos & formatting (1.75 hours)
      → See "Software Development - Website - Development" (1.75 hours)
  6. Website - Maintenance (Total Hours = 25.25)
    • 19Q3 Status Reports (3 hours)
    • 19Q4 Status Reports (1.5 hours)
    • Updated my Home page (1.25 hours)
    • Updated my 'Websites maintained' page (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Chess Results & Games Pages - Create & Maintain (2.5 hours)
      → See "Software Development - Website - Development" (8.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs - Manual / Automatic URL Checks & Fixes (3.75 hours)
    • Website - Maintain 'Websites supported' Page (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Periodic Full Regeneration (8.25 hours)
    • Website - Run Web Spider (2.75 hours)
    • Website - ZoomSearch database refresh (1.75 hours)
      → See "Admin - Website - Admin & Maintenance" (16.75 hours)
Project 7: Website Others (Total Hours = 23.5)
  1. Website Others - Enigma Ensemble
  2. Website Others - Hutton DBC Maintenance
  3. Website Others - Mountnessing DBC Maintenance (Total Hours = 18.25)
Project 8: Music (Total Hours = 190)
  1. Music - Administration (Total Hours = 19.25)
  2. Music - Aural (Total Hours = 1.75)
  3. Music - Oboe (Total Hours = 169)
Project 9: Bridge (Total Hours = 413.25)
  1. Bridge - Reading / Writing
  2. Bridge - Admin (Total Hours = 44.25)
    • 19Q3 Status Reports & personal Bridge webpage updares (6.75 hours)
    • 19Q4 Status Reports (1.5 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Admin" (8.25 hours)
    • "Admin - Mountnessing Bridge Kit - Admin & Maintenance" (5 hours)
    • Admin - Mountnessing Bridge Kit - Reading User Guide (0.75 hours)
    • Admin - Mountnessing DBC - Committee Discussions (3.75 hours)
    • Admin - Mountnessing DBC WhatsApp Group (2.25 hours)
    • Bridge - 20H1 planning (6.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Colin Benji - Convention Card Update (2 hours)
    • Bridge - Emails to David, Etc. (5.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Hutton AGM (0.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Linda - Rev-Benji, 5CM, SNT - Convention Card Update (1.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Strong Diamond - Convention Card Update (3.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Stuff for parties (0.5 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Admin" (26.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Systems Review (Linda - Rev-Benji, 5CM, SNT) (0.25 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Study" (0.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Travel & Travel planning (1.25 hours)
    • Discussions with Tony & Alaric (1.5 hours)
    • Emails to Richard re bridge in schools (1.25 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Admin" (4 hours)
  3. Bridge - Play (Total Hours = 204)
    • Bridge - Hutton (Colin Scott) (22.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Hutton (Linda Fleet) (15.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Mayflower (Colin Scott) (30.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Mayflower (David Tennet) (16.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Mayflower (Linda Fleet) (19.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Mountnessing (David Tennet) (66.25 hours)
    • Bridge - National Pairs Heat (David Tennet) (7 hours)
    • Bridge - NICKO R1 (David Tennet) (3.5 hours)
    • Bridge - NICKO R2 (David Tennet) (3.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Warboys A (David Tennet) (6.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Woodham Cornell Trophy (David Tennet) (6.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Woodham Ferrers Swiss Teams (David Tennet) (6 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Playing" (204 hours)
  4. Bridge - Study (Total Hours = 155)
Project 10: Chess (Total Hours = 43.25)
  1. Chess - Reading / Writing
  2. Chess - Admin (Total Hours = 21.75)
    • 19Q3 Status Reports (1.25 hours)
    • 19Q4 Status Reports (1 hour)
    • Billericay Chess Club: Communications, Admin, Grading, etc. (11.75 hours)
    • Billericay Chess Club: Travel to Matches (5.25 hours)
    • Chess - Discussions with Chris (2.5 hours)
      → See "Chess - Admin" (21.75 hours)
  3. Chess - Play (Total Hours = 12.75)
    • Chess - Billericay Chess Club - NECL Match (3.25 hours)
    • Chess - Billericay Chess Club - Southend League Match (9.5 hours)
      → See "Chess - Playing" (12.75 hours)
  4. Chess - Training (Total Hours = 7.5)
    • Chess - Chess Dot Com - 10-minute Games (0.5 hours)
    • Chess - Chess Dot Com - Review 10-minute Games (1 hour)
      → See "Chess - Chess dot Com" (1.5 hours)
    • Chess - Training - Review Club games (6 hours)
      → See "Chess - Training" (6 hours)
Project 11: Consciousness (Total Hours = 17.25) Project 12: Languages (Total Hours = 14.25)
  1. Languages - Admin (Total Hour = 1)
  2. Languages - All (Total Hours = 2.75)
  3. Languages - Egyptian
  4. Languages - Greek (Classical)
  5. Languages - Italian
  6. Languages - Thai
Project 13: Mathematics (Total Hours = 10.5)
  1. Mathematics - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 8.5)
  2. Mathematics - Admin (Total Hours = 1.5)
  3. Mathematics - Lectures
Project 14: HiQ (Total Hours = 2)

Note last updated: 04/04/2020 00:14:24


Footnote 27: (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: 01/04/2020 00:17:17


Footnote 28: (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: 04/04/2020 00:14:24


Footnote 30: (Olson)

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


Footnote 31: (Organisms)

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  • Organisms feature highly in animalist discussions of personal identity, in that according to animalism, human persons are (numerically identical to) human animals, which are organisms.
  • According to some philosophers – for instance Peter Van Inwagensorites arguments yield that the only things that exist are simples and organisms.
  • Organisms are to be distinguished from their bodies, which have different persistence conditions, for example post-mortem as corpses.
  • An organism seeks to maintain itself against its environment, and exchanges matter with it. An organism possesses none of its matter essentially, and may indeed replace all its matter many times during its life.
  • When organisms ultimately fail in the above endeavour, they die. Prior to this, they are alive; organisms are the only things that may properly be said to be alive – life is a biological process. Other things may exist, and come to an end, but they do not literally live or die.
  • Normally, a proper part of an organism is not an organism10. In particular, a brain is not an organism, but an organ. We are organisms, not organs, whatever psychological TEs might imply, so we are not our brains.
  • See "Wilson (Jack) - Biological Individuality - The identity and Persistence of Living Entities" for a full discussion.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 10:
  • Presumably organelles – such as mitochondria – are (parasitic) organisms living within, and an essential part of, other organisms.

Note last updated: 04/04/2020 06:00:00


Footnote 32: (Perdurantism)

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In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 16:
  • I’ve ignored those items where I have noted in my write-ups that perdurantism would solve some reduplication problem.

Note last updated: 18/03/2020 21:20:10


Footnote 33: (Person)

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  • I must first consider whether the debate on personal identity has been hijacked by a term (whose meaning has changed over time) that can now be dispensed with. Wiggins claims that the Greeks had no term for “person” (I need to re-read the paper by "Trendelenberg (Adolf) - A Contribution to the History of the Word Person" to double-check this). Have we always secretly been talking about human animal identity (probably referring to human beings rather than human animals) when we thought we were talking about something separate, namely persons?
  • I need to start with some conceptual analysis, though this may lead to somewhat arbitrary (ie. merely semantic or culture-relative) conclusions if PERSON isn’t a natural kind concept.
  • I accept Locke’s conceptual distinction between Human Beings (“Men”), Persons and Substances. I accept Locke’s assertion that the rational parrot would be a person, but not a man – the latter essentially involving particular physical characteristics, the former specific mental characteristics.
  • Can any purely mentalistic definition of the concept PERSON, such as Locke’s definition of a person as
      a thinking intelligent being, that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself, the same thinking thing, in different times and places” ("Locke (John) - Of Identity and Diversity" - Essay II.27.2)
    be correct? I suspect not, because of the corporeal aspects we take as being essential to our self-image.
  • But, when we think of ourselves in this corporeal way, is this qua ANIMAL or qua PERSON. But then, this “qua-ing” can lead to relative identity, and shows how difficult it is for me, at least, to maintain the strict logic of identity in these discussions.
  • Some further, fairly random, thoughts:-
    • We must not ignore potential differences between the Person, the Self and the Individual.
    • I doubt the truth of the contention that one’s Self is the sum of one’s projects, one’s individual “identity”.
    • We must also note the potential for degrees of personhood.
    • Are persons essentially sentient? Or rational? And is rationality, like the mental generally, overstated by philosophers whose favourite habitat it is?
    • What about temporal gaps in sentience & rationality in the life of an individual – does the person pop in and out of existence?
    • What about legal persons: not companies, but the comatose, who still have estates (but then so do the deceased)?
    • How important is “person”, as against “sentient being” in my research concerns? The Cartesians denied sentience to animals and until recently there has been a down-playing of the capacities of animals, particularly their emotional capacities. Consequently, the persistence criteria for sentient non-humans may not have been given the focus they ought. I suspect that many of the thought experiments work just as well if we drop some of the more onerous requirements of personhood in such contexts. Some of the thought experiments play on the thought of “being tortured tomorrow”. While animals may not have the concept TOMORROW, I presume the higher animals have some capacity for anticipating future ills about to befall them. I wonder whether my research concerns should be about all beings that care about the future, whether or not they have a clear concept of it as their future.
  • I will probably start with Dennett’s six criteria of personhood (see "Dennett (Daniel) - Conditions of Personhood") …
    1. rationality,
    2. intentionality – “predicated of”
    3. intentionality – “adopted towards”
    4. reciprocation of the personal stance,
    5. verbal communication and
    6. consciousness
    … in investigating what persons are. See the following essay on "Dennett (Daniel) - Conditions of Personhood"
  • Recently, it has come to my attention that a related term of art – PERSONITE – has been coined to refer to a temporal part of a person. See the Note for discussion.
  • For a page of Links24 to this Note, Click here. This list is vastly too long for an updating run, so I will simply use it to cherry-pick items of relevance. Unfortunately, this means that very many items are irrelevant.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read25, include26 the following:-
    1. "Cottingham (John) - Why we are not 'persons'", Cottingham
    2. "Nanay (Bence) - Catching Desires", Nanay
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. "Noller (Jorg) - A Transformative Account of Personal Identity", Noller
    2. "Noller (Jorg) - Person", Noller
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list, which is enormously bloated and needs considerable pruning.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 24:
  • 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 25:
  • 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 26:
  • 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: 30/11/2019 22:58:05


Footnote 34: (Personality)

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  • “She’s not the same person”, means she’s undergone a change of personality.
  • What are personalities? Are personalities a loose collection of properties? Do personalities have persistence conditions?
  • No. Consider an analogy with colour. The question is better phrased as does x have the same personality / colour at t1 as at t2.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.

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


Footnote 35: (Physical Continuity)

Plug Note

  • In addition to considering just what contiguity and causal conditions a physical object needs to satisfy in order to persist, I need to consider a couple of related issues:
    1. Intermittent Objects: can things go in and out of existence? Does the disassembled bicycle still exist in a dispersed state?
    2. Mereology: is the content of any region of spacetime – whether spatially or temporally contiguous or disconnected – or a thing?
  • What do decisions here have to say about the possibility of resurrection or reincarnation? Is a physicalist able, even in principle, to allow the possibility of disembodied survival, resurrection or reincarnation, given the need for a continuing physical substance to which the individual is identical? Some Christians are physicalists, and Peter Van Inwagen has (as a wild speculation - see "Van Inwagen (Peter) - The Possibility of Resurrection") God miraculously swapping out and preserving our corpses so he can resurrect the same individuals in due course.
  • I need to consider (but expect to reject) such suggestions.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.

Note last updated: 30/11/2019 22:58:05


Footnote 36: (Physicalism)

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  • Basically, I reject any form of mind-body dualism or immaterialist monism. There are no souls, if a soul is an immaterial substance separable from a body.
  • But, I need to investigate Dean Zimmerman’s recent “emergent dualism” (see "Zimmerman (Dean) - Reply to Baker's 'Christians Should Reject Mind-Body Dualism'"), despite the fact that his main motivation is a desire to conform to a traditionalist reading of Christian doctrine.
  • Given my focus on physicalism, I will need to give some attention to the identity and persistence criteria of material objects as such.
  • There are too many versions of physicalism for its endorsement to deliver much without clarification, so I will need to pursue the matter in some detail.
  • For the moment, I simply wish to note (or claim) that:
    1. “The physical” encompasses both body and brain (ie. the physical criterion of personal identity would be satisfied if continuity of brain were essential for the persistence of the person).
    2. The brain is more important than other physical organs for the persistence of the human being or the human person.
  • Consequently, I think it worthwhile to conduct a detailed investigation into the functional roles of the various parts of the brain, CNS (Central Nervous System) and PNS (peripheral ...) and how these and the residue of the body are coupled together. Such matters may be relevant to the realism of the various thought experiments about brain transplants, cerebrum transplants and such-like.
  • It is, however, debatable how important these details are. For example, debates seem to continue about the possible identity of pain and C-fibre-firing, when it’s now acknowledged by all the participants in such debates that the physical realisation of pain-states in mammals requires a lot more than C-fibres. The assumption seems to be that the details don’t matter and that similar arguments could be constructed whatever the physical realisation of mental states might be.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.

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


Footnote 37: (Probability)

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  • This note isn’t designed to cover the mathematical theory of probability, but (eventually) to address the question of just what it is that makes the conclusion of a non-deductive argument more or less probable.
  • Just what does probable mean in this context, given that this “probability” cannot be quantified – ie. given a number in the range [0,1]? I made a stab at this question in my youth, prior to philosophical training. The results (such as they are) are here.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.

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


Footnote 38: (Psychological Continuity - Forward)

Plug Note

  • I think there’s a conceptual difference between:-
    1. Forward psychological continuity, and
    2. Backward psychological continuity.
  • Imagine the case where (on an endurantist account of persistence), I’m put into a duplicating machine, but something goes wrong and my body is destroyed by the duplication process, though my duplicate wakes up perfectly happily. Then, it seems to me, I would never wake up, and would have no experience beyond entry to the duplicating machine. I have no forward psychological continuity. But my duplicate does have backward psychological continuity.
  • Any duplicate of me, looking backward, would consider himself to be “me”, having my memories, abilities, plans and so forth, and a body looking just like mine. But, would I ever wake up as the duplicate? My intuition on the endurantist account, as I have said, is that I would not, though I suspect that on the perdurantist account, this might be seen as a case of fission in which I might wake up twice, provided we consider that the right sort of causality is in place.
  • But, what gives forward continuity of consciousness in the normal case of sleep and temporary unconsciousness? I cannot know “from the inside” that when I awake I’m the same human being as went to sleep in my bed. The reason I believe this is for external reasons: duplication is not physically possible (or at least practical), and in any case I have no reason to believe it happened to me last night.
  • This seems a very important issue to me, and I need to make more of it. For example, in teletransportation thought experiment, it seems to me that a new person wakes up, but I don’t, nor do I experience anything, though the new person claims to be me. Incidentally, it’s not just a new person, but a new human being.
  • This is the sort of question that the Logical Positivists would denounce as meaningless, as no empirical evidence can decide it.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.

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


Footnote 39: (Psychological View)

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  • This is the view, originating with Locke, that the matter of primary importance in matters of personal identity is the psychological continuity (or maybe of psychological connectedness).
  • No-one denies that our psychology is important to us, but making it constitutive of our identity has led to much confusion and paradox.
  • In particular it encourages the idea that the same human being may not be the same person throughout its life, or that the same person may “hop” from one human being to another.
  • I wish to deny both these possibilities.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.

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


Footnote 40: (Psychology)

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  • If we adopt the Psychological View of Personal Identity – which I don’t – then it is psychological factors that are important in determining our persistence criteria.
  • We must consider not just memory but other psychological capacities, including character.
  • However, while these factors do matter to the survivor, they don’t matter in the binary sense of “have I survived or not”.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.

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


Footnote 41: (Reductionism)

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In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 8:

Note last updated: 30/11/2019 22:58:05


Footnote 42: (Religion)

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  • This Note doesn’t directly relate to my studies in the Philosophy of Religion, which has its own set of pages on my website, and quarterly Status Report.
  • Rather this Note has to do with the – historical and contemporary – ways in which religious questions and commitments have influenced philosophers in their discussions of personal identity.
  • I disagree fundamentally with philosophers such as Alvin Plantinga that belief in God is “epistemologically basic”, but claim that philosophy asks questions that are prior to any others, except metaphilosophical questions3.
  • Locke’s thoughts on personal identity were initially motivated by worries about the metaphysics of Resurrection, theodicy and other forensic concerns.
  • I’ve noted elsewhere contemporary Christian Materialist Philosophers8 and their thoughts on the topic of personal identity.
  • I’ve not yet made much of a study of Jewish views where these diverge from Christian views.
  • No doubt Muslim philosophers have similar concerns and motivations, but I have not investigated them (yet).
  • I have, however, had a brief look at Hindu and Buddhist thought on the topic of Reincarnation and Karma.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 3:
  • Which are also philosophical, so part of philosophy itself.
Footnote 8:
  • The Note on Christian Materialism also references other contemporary philosophers with Christian affiliation, and their thoughts on personal identity.

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


Footnote 43: (Semantics)

Plug Note

  • I need to separate those issues in the topic of personal identity that turn on matters of fact, and those that just depend on the meaning of our words.
  • Sometimes, it is not clear which of these options is the case.
  • For instance, David Wiggins’s view (shared with many others) that we should use the term PERSON of individuals that belong to a kind whose typical members have certain capacities will allow us to use the term of individuals who don’t presently possess these capacities. Then, if we accord certain rights to PERSONs in this sense, we may act differently to those who only confer the title PERSON to those with present capacities.
  • So, there is a practical difference. But is this generated only by confusion over words? If that is what we mean by PERSON, then should we not then say that not all PERSONs have the same rights, and introduce a new term “PERSON-Plus” all of whose exemplars do deserve the rights?
  • This will depend on whether PERSON is a natural kind concept, and whether this kind strictly relates to PERSON or PERSON-Plus.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.

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


Footnote 44: (Siliconisation)

Plug Note

  • “Siliconisation” is a name – there may be others – for thought experiments such as, Unger’s “zippering”, the gradual replacement of neural tissue by silicon.
  • This is a subtle argument. We don’t – of course – know whether this TE is metaphysically possible. We don’t know whether silicon can sustain consciousness, though functionalists assume that it can. Gradually, it is said, we no longer have a human animal, but one that will – behaviourally at least – will be indistinguishable from one.
  • I think the situation is best viewed as an increasingly mutilated human animal with an ever-growing prosthesis. I doubt that the silicon would maintain phenomenal consciousness, but just be a “zombie” simulacrum.
  • Any replacement that would maintain phenomenal consciousness would be indistinguishable from natural part-replacement. But I think this is a contingent, empirical matter, a long way off from an answer.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.

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


Footnote 45: (Similarity)

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  • The logic of similarity, like the logic of identity, is a prerequisite for understanding continuity and change.
  • It is important to distinguish identity from exact similarity, as in the case of "identical" twins" which are not identical in the strict logical sense.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.

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


Footnote 46: (Soul Criterion)

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In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 6: This is becoming a shelf-load, so “require” is rather strong!

Footnote 7:
  • In general, if a book is noted, its Chapters are not.
Footnote 8:

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


Footnote 47: (Souls)

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In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 6:
  • This is becoming a shelf-load, so “require” is rather strong!
Footnote 7:
  • In general, if a book is noted, its Chapters are not.
Footnote 8: Footnote 9: Footnote 10:
  • Also, Kagan’s follow-on lectures on the existence and immortality of the soul.

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


Footnote 48: (Statue and the Clay)

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


Footnote 49: (Substance)

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In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 9:

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


Footnote 50: (Survival)

Plug Note

  • I need to distinguish two interpretations of Parfit according to whether survival and identity are or are not equated.
  • Also, by “survival” does Parfit mean the same as other philosophers mean by “persistence”?
  • A standard Parfitian claim is that “what matters in survival is not identity”. Parfit is right that the issue isn’t necessarily “am I (A) identical to B or C”, but “will I have what matters in survival if B, or C, or both survive”, and that the reason the two questions are elided is that they don’t usually come apart.
  • However, there’s incoherence in an expression such as “will I survive as B”, if I’m not supposed identical to B, since survival and this use of the personal pronoun seem to imply identity.
  • Also in an expression such as “will I have what matters”, to what does the “I” refer if I’m assumed not to persist? To my present self only? I might now see that I might be happy that a certain future state of affairs, not involving me, appertains, but I would then not have what matters, nor indeed have anything at all.
  • So, I think we do need to distinguish, with Parfit, identity from what matters in survival. His idea seems to be that we can have what matters in survival without surviving.
  • Parfit’s concerns are fundamentally ethical, with Buddhist tendencies. He’s trying to remove self from ethics and persuade us that we don’t need self, and therefore don’t need self-identity.
  • Parfit’s claim, which I believe to be false, is that we don’t really care about our persistence as such, but about the survival of our projects, which can as well or better be prosecuted by others. But we are more selfish than that, and in many circumstances justifiably so.
  • For a page of Links to this Note, Click here. There were far too many links to perform an updating run, so I’ve just eyeballed the results and selected a few titles.
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • This is mostly a place-holder. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.

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


Footnote 51: (Taking Persons Seriously)

Plug Note

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


Footnote 52: (Unity of the Person)

Plug Note

  • I’m not quite clear on the purpose of this Note. It has – at the time of writing – a couple of links to it – from Fission and from Cartesian Ego. However, …
  • There’s a presumption in the philosophy of personal identity that the person is a single well-defined thing. This is probably a hang-over from the days of Cartesian Dualism or when it was assumed that each of us had an indivisible Soul. And this, depending on what the referent of person is supposed to be, can seem (and maybe is) quite sensible.
  • However this unity has been disputed – for instance in the different interpretations of PMD:-
    1. Supporters of the PV argue that cases of PMD show that there can be multiple persons sharing the same body. This assumes that a person is some sort of well-integrated personality, no part of which is shut off from the rest (as is allegedly – though doubtfully – the case in MPD). So – on this view – each of the multiple personalities is deemed to be a separate person, and so (it is said) the person cannot be identical to the human being that houses it. Of course, any idea of integration ought to have gone out when Freud came in.
    2. However, animalists (and others) would argue that this is all a mis-description, and that all we have a fragmented self (as is implied – maybe – in the current terminology – Dissociative Identity Disorder), or some other cognitive disorder within a single human animal (to which the title “person” is properly addressed, they say, though only in the sense of a phase sortal).
  • Lynne Rudder Baker – a proponent of the CV - claims (fairly plausibly) that each of us is individuated by a FPP. In the case of fission, she thinks (implausibly) that there would be a fact of the matter (somehow), as to which of the two fission products received your FPP. You would just know. Well, you wouldn’t, unless there was continuity of consciousness.
  • This intuition is referred to as the Unity Reaction in "Blackburn (Simon) - Has Kant Refuted Parfit?".
  • Works on this topic that I’ve actually read, include the following:-
    1. TBA.
  • A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
    1. TBA.
  • There is no categorised reading list for this Note. I will need to rely on material covered under the head of related Notes.
  • This is mostly a place-holder.

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


Footnote 53: (Thesis - Chapter 01 (Introduction))

Abstract

  • This Chapter 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.



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.
  • The methodology for this Chapter differs somewhat from most other Chapters in that there is little real work, other than background reading and checking that the Thesis as a whole hangs together.
  • However, I do need to record while reading the general surveys anything that needs to go into the Historical Survey.
  • Another couple of “clearing up” tasks3 specific to this Chapter are:-
    1. To ensure that all the Papers on Identity that I have actually read are referenced somewhere4 in this Thesis.
    2. To ensure that all the Notes on Identity that I have actually produced are referenced somewhere5 in this Thesis.



Links to Notes
  1. General Surveys,
  2. Locke,
  3. My Current Stance
  4. Maybe others9 (to be supplied).



Chapter Introduction
  1. Why should we care about the topic of Personal Identity? The question hardly needs answering, as it’s just about the most important question to be posed by a reflective (if selfish) person. Historically, answers to this question have provided – or so Locke hoped – grounds for the possibility of life after death. Yet, the question is difficult, and has had many attempted solutions offered – and while some philosophers think there is no problem left to solve, there is no consensus as to the answer.
  2. My favourite paradigm – in the sense of the one I think most likely to be correct, rather than necessary the one I’d like to be correct – is Animalism. This is the claim that we are human animals and that consequently death is the end of us. This sensible view is only supported by around 17% of philosophers, according to a 2009 poll10 with about twice as many supporting some form of psychological view.
  3. In one sense it is just obvious that we are – in some sense of that weasel word “are” – human animals. But then the problem cases kick in – whether actual real-life cases or thought experiments that may never be real-life possibilities.
  4. About 36% of the respondents in the aforementioned survey though we could survive teletransportation – though 31% thought that the result would be death.
  5. Transhumanists think we can be uploaded to computers, which makes no sense if we are animals.
  6. So, as noted, there’s no consensus.
  7. Further detail to be supplied.



Main Text: Brief historical survey of the topic of Personal Identity
  1. As already noted, there are many fine introductory books on this topic, and I don’t intend to compete with them here. What I want to do is situate what I want to say in its historical context. I don’t intend to supply this section with a detailed scholarly apparatus.
  2. it was Locke who first –or at least most famously – made the distinction between the PERSON and the MAN.
  3. The Person is individuated by a locus of consciousness and extends as far at that consciousness extends. No doubt for most of the time since Locke, this locus of consciousness was thought of as an immaterial Soul, which makes the thought experiments – from Locke’s Prince and Cobbler onwards – easier to credit, though for some time this has been no longer an option for most philosophers.
  4. The Man is variously cashed out as the Human Being or Human Animal, though for much of the time since Locke the division has been between the Mind (thought of as what the person really is) and the Body.
  5. It is occasionally claimed that philosophers prefer the mind to the body, and are naturally inclined to take the “mental” side in these debates. While that may be true, the consciousness envisaged is not that of philosophical contemplation, but the everyday sort enjoyed by cobblers and the rest of us. It includes appreciation of all things bodily, and is the ground of everything that matters to us.
  6. In the ensuing arguments between those supporting psychological continuity and connectedness, and those preferring bodily continuity, the question what we are seemed to have been forgotten. Maybe it had been assumed that Person was a substance-concept?
  7. This is still assumed by those who think that Persons – whether as souls or reified First-Person Perspectives – are separable from the infrastructure that – in normal circumstances – “grounds” them.
  8. But, for most people these days it is – or ought to be – obvious that the default position is that “we” are human animals, and that the consequences that stem from this have to be lived with.
  9. But it is difficult not to be – and maybe correct to be –dissatisfied with this. We may end up in what has been called a “disjunctivist” account: we are animals, but even so, we “go where our psychology goes”. In particular, the brain transplant intuition is difficult to escape from.
  10. If this is so, the answers to our questions will rest on just where our “psychology” does – or can (in the widest sense) “go”.
  11. As already noted, Transhumanists imagine all sorts of scenarios whereby “we” are uploaded to a computer. Even were this practical – we will discuss it in the next chapter – it assumes that “we” are our mental contents rather than the things that enjoy these contents. This strikes me as continuing a mistaken route in the history of philosophy taken by supporters of the psychological view, and continued by Parfit and his supporters.
  12. Further text to be supplied in due course.



Concluding Remarks
  1. To make any progress on this topic, we need to come to a conclusion as to what sort of thing we are. We discuss this in the next Chapter.
  2. Further details to be supplied.



Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed32
  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. The purpose of this Chapter is to introduce and motivate the Thesis. As such, I need to situate it in the history of the topic. This is done in a number of introductory books, General Surveys, or collections of Papers that are standard fodder in courses on Personal Identity.
  3. Consequently, I will review the various Surveys of Personal Identity that feature in the standard reading lists, both to demonstrate that I’ve read them, and to ensure I’ve missed nothing major.
  4. If a Paper in a Collection or Chapter in an Introduction is specific to a later Chapter in this Thesis, its consideration may be reserved until a later Chapter, even if the Book itself is not. These will be noted in due course.
  5. As the topic of Personal Identity stems primarily from Locke’s account, I need a brief statement of what this is. Most of the relevant material will appear in due course in the anthologies, but I few items not anthologised are listed below.
  6. Other works were considered and either cut or reserved for later, as indicated below. The easiest way to see all the works considered is via the reading list at the end of this Note.
  7. Introductory or General Books
  8. Standard Collections
  9. Locke



The Cut
  1. Various works were considered for this Chapter, but were either reserved for consideration in other Chapters, or were rejected, at least for the time being.
  2. Priority Works to be read later for other Chapters:-
  3. Secondary Works to be “parked” for the time being:





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 3:
  • These will be left until all Chapters have completed Task 7.
Footnote 4:
  • This may either be “as utilised” or “as ignored”.
  • Follow this link for those Papers I’ve read.
  • As of mid-Oct 2014, this task is now complete!
Footnote 5:
  • This may either be “as utilised” or “as ignored”.
  • Follow this link for the Jump-Table of all my Notes related to Personal Identity.
Footnote 9:
  • A large number of Notes are referenced in the text of this Chapter, but only those whose primary reference is not to other Chapters should feature in this list.
Footnote 10: Footnote 32:
  • 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 33: As this is a PhD Thesis in my general subject-area, I ought at least to have read it!

Footnote 34: Somewhat elementary, but worth (re-)reading quickly

Footnote 35:
  • This is a course of lectures on Metaphysics, at the advanced undergraduate / beginning graduate level.
  • All the issues raised – in the discussion of standard papers – many of them covered elsewhere in my Thesis – are useful background.
Footnote 36: This is a set of papers for discussion in a research seminar. Most are probably covered elsewhere, but in case not …

Footnote 37: For a review, see "Lerner (Berel Dov) - Review of 'Personal Identity and Ethics: A Brief Introduction' by David Shoemaker".

Footnote 38: Decide where to park the various Chapters of this book after reading the précis.

Footnote 39:
  • Harris is an interesting case, in that it includes three important papers and three that are off-topic, but important in illustrating the divergent usages of the term “identity”.
Footnote 40: This is more recent than the others.

Footnote 45: But note that Baker’s account of constitution differs from the mereological account assumed in Rea’s anthology.

Footnote 46: The works by Reuscher and Trupp are too eccentric to be given any priority.

Footnote 47: The works by Slors may be worth reading as a fairly contemporary defence of the psychological view; just not yet.

Footnote 48: The work by Vesey is too out of date for a priority item.

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


Footnote 54: (Locke)

Plug Note

Note last updated: 14/11/2019 19:43:41


Footnote 55: (Logic of Identity)

Plug Note






In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 3:
  • See Section 5.8 (Stage View), paragraphs 6 & 8.

Note last updated: 30/11/2019 22:58:05


Footnote 57: (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 Meth