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Status Reports - Status: Summary (2017 - September)

Rationale for this Report


Projects in Progress
Planning and Actuals
Detailed Interim Activities

Plans for the Near Future20
  1. Personal Identity21
    1. Continue with my Thesis22; in particular fill out those sections that I can write something on without further research.
    2. Complete a full review and update of the Notes I’ve created on Personal Identity, focusing on those with least content.
    3. Revise the Note describing my Current Beliefs23 on the topic of Personal Identity.
    4. Chapter 224 (What Are We?). Focussing on:-
      1. Human Beings: "Johnston (Mark) - "Human Beings" Revisited: My Body is Not an Animal".
      2. Selves:-
        1. "Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit",
        2. "O'Hear (Anthony), Ed. - Mind, Self and Person".
    5. Chapter 625 (Animalism). Focussing on:-
      1. "Olson (Eric) - The Human Animal - Personal Identity Without Psychology", my core text,
      2. "Merricks (Trenton) - Objects and Persons",
      3. "Bailey (Andrew M.) - The Elimination Argument",
      4. "Olson (Eric) - On Parfit's View That We Are Not Human Beings",
      5. "Olson (Eric) - The Metaphysical Implications of Conjoined Twining",
      6. "Olson (Eric) - The Role of the Brainstem in Personal Identity",
      7. "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Persons, Animals, and Identity",
      8. "Snowdon (Paul) - Persons, Animals, Ourselves",
      9. Review the work of Elselijn Kingma.
    6. Chapter 726 (The Constitution View):-
      1. Start a serious review of "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View", my other core text.
      2. Read and review "Corcoran (Kevin) - Rethinking Human Nature: A Christian Materialist Alternative to the Soul".
      3. Write a Note on "Loose (Jonathan) - Constitution and the Falling Elevator".
    7. Chapter 1027 (Thought Experiments):-
      1. Investigate Transhumanism28.
      2. In particular,
        → Briefly review "O'Connell (Mark) - To be a Machine",
        → Read "Bostrom (Nick) - Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies",
        → Review "Rowson (Jonathan) - Deep Thinking?",
        → Detailed review of "Graziano (Michael) - Endless fun".
    8. Chapter 1129 (Resurrection):-
      1. Start a thorough review of "Martin (L. Michael) & Augustine (Keith) - The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death",
      2. Start a review of "Luper (Steven), Ed. - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death", especially
        → "Olson (Eric) - The Nature of People",
      3. Start a review of "Bradley (Ben), Feldman (Fred) & Johansson (Jens) - The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death", especially
        → "Zimmerman (Dean) - Personal Identity and the Survival of Death",
      4. Read and review "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Death and the Afterlife",
      5. "Corcoran (Kevin) - Dualism, Materialism and the Problem of Post Mortem Survival".
    9. As background tasks:-
      1. Convert old PDF-précis, Etc30. to Notes,
      2. Complete cataloguing the books downloaded from Springer,
      3. Continue with "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers",
      4. Complete "Erber (Joan T.) & Szuchman (Lenore T.) - Great Myths of Aging",
      5. Complete "Lebens (Samuel) & Goldschmidt (Tyron) - The Promise of a New Past", and send to Sophie
      6. Continue reading and reviewing papers issued by Aeon,
      7. Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR31.
  2. Philosophy of Religion32.
    1. Philosophy of Religion: Read "Antony (Louise M.) - Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life".
    2. Resurrection:
    3. Background:
      • Read appropriate items from Aeon.
      • Attend the OBT Conference at St. John’s on Jesus in the Old Testament.
  3. Web-tools33
  4. Consciousness35
    1. Re-read and write notes on "Papineau (David) - Introducing Consciousness",
    2. Re-read and review notes on "Crane (Tim) - Elements of Mind - An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind",
    3. Read appropriate papers from Aeon.
  5. Bridge36
    1. Keep in touch with the Bridge scene, if possible.
    2. Probably attend the ECBA Committee meeting on 1st November.
    3. Bridge Study37:-
  6. Chess38:
    1. Play the occasional training game against my Monte Carlo Mephisto.
    2. Get to grips with Chessmaster – Grandmaster Edition.
    3. Undertake a quick third run through of "Martin (Andrew) - The Basics of Winning Chess", and write brief notes.
    4. Complete a first run-through of "Aagaard (Jacob) - Basic Positional Ideas".
    5. Continue reading "Hearst (Eliot) & Knott (John) - Blindfold Chess: History, Psychology, Techniques, Champions, World Records and Important Games", and try to learn how to play blindfold39 chess.
    6. Start a serious study of "van der Sterren (Paul) - FCO - Fundamental Chess Openings".
    7. Read new copies of, and review old copies of, "Chess - Chess Magazine"; work through the “How Good Is Your Chess” articles.
  7. Languages40
    1. Italian: for trip to Otranto in May/June 2018.
      → "Wilkes (Angela) & Shackell (John) - Italian for Beginners",
      → "Freeth (Mariolina) & Checketts (Giuliana) - Contatti 1: A First Course in Italian",
      → "BBC - Italianissimo: Beginners Teacher's Edition", and
      → "Lonely Planet - Italian (Lonely Planet Fast Talk)".
    2. Thai:
      → "Lonely Planet - Lonely Planet Thai Phrasebook & Dictionary",
      → "Becker (Benjawan Poomsan) - Thai for Beginners", and
      → "thailanguagewiki - Thai Language Wiki".
  8. Music41
    1. Oboe:-
      1. Attend the 6 sessions of The Enigma Ensemble. Working towards …
      2. Concert at Abbeyfield retirement home (date to be arranged).
      3. Run through the Enigma Ensemble portfolio, practicing the active pieces.
      4. Practice the oboe for 30 minutes every day – focussing on the above and …
      5. Occasionally try longer sessions to build up stamina further.
      6. Work through, and perfect, Grades 1-6 of "Trinity Guildhall - Trinity Guildhall Scales & Arpeggios for Oboe (Grades 1–8)".
      7. Perfect all the 12 items in "Van Beringen (Robert) - Festive Baroque - Oboe Solo (with Piano Accompaniment; and CD)".
      8. Work through "Langey (Otto) - The Oboe: Practical Tutor for the Oboe and Cor Anglais".
      9. Read "Caplan (Stephen) - Oboe: The Breathing Book".
    2. Piano: Try to develop some competence as an aid to theory, so:-
      1. Complete working through "Rhodes (James) - How to Play the Piano", and
      2. 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
      2. Run through:-
        → "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 "ABRSM - Aural Training In Practice: Book 1 - Grades 1-3"
      2. Get a grip on the process of ear-training by reading:-
        → "Wikipedia - Absolute Pitch, Relatice Pitch & Ear Training" and
        → "Deutsch (Diana) - Absolute Pitch", and related material42.
  9. Mathematics43
    1. Read papers from Aeon as they arise.
    2. Take a look at "Brilliant - brilliant.org".
    3. Browse "Gowers (Timothy), Barrow-Green (June) & Leader (Imre), Eds. - The Princeton Companion to Mathematics",
    4. Study44 "Hamilton (Lawrence) - Modern Data Analysis: A First Course in Applied Statistics", and
    5. Complete reading "Shapiro (Stewart) - Thinking about Mathematics - The Philosophy of Mathematics".
  10. HiQ45
    1. ISPE



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:
  • The contents of this “no or little effort planned” sub-group changes from time to time.
Footnote 2:
  • As noted above, since the contents of the groups changes over time, this justification for their segregation isn’t entirely accurate.
Footnote 11:
  • Mind you, the mathematical bits didn’t function very well in my youth, so what hope is there now?
  • And, in any case, bridge can fulfil that function.
Footnote 17:
  • 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 18:
  • 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 20: 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.

Footnote 34: Maybe without the final project.

Footnote 37: There may not be time or enthusiasm for much of this!

Footnote 39:
  • This is supposed to improve your sighted play.
  • Additionally, it’ll make reading chess magazines easier as – presumably – you’d no longer need a board in order to play through the games.
Footnote 42: Ie. The following:- Footnote 44:
  • As noted above, a decent knowledge of statistics is essential to many of my projects, so I ought to get back into it. This is a gentle introduction.


Note last updated: 09/10/2017 23:25:26


Footnote 10: (Status: Mathematics (2017 - September))

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.

Project Status, end-September 2017
  • I didn’t plan to spend any time during the 2016/17 academic year, and in fact spent 4.5 hours as given below.
  • Several items were papers from Aeon.

Mathematics (Total Hours = 4.5)
  1. Mathematics - Reading / Writing
  2. Mathematics - Admin
    • 3Q16 Status Reports (0.5 hours)

Plans for the 2017/18 Academic Year
Mathematical Resources




In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 2:
  • This has been a vain hope for some years now!
Footnote 3:
  • As noted above, a decent knowledge of statistics is essential to many of my projects, so I ought to get back into it. This is a gentle introduction.
Footnote 4:
  • 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: 09/10/2017 23:25:26


Footnote 12: (Status: Chess (2017 - September))

Rationale for this Project

  • I occasionally think of returning to chess after a very long lay-off. I’ve hardly played since I left school, where I showed some aptitude – especially in my first season when, in the 3rd year at Grammar school, I won the North Gloucestershire under-15s championship1, but things never really took off. For instance, I performed very badly in the West of England under-15s and only ever came runner-up in the North Gloucestershire under-18s. I played in the local adult league while at school and my grade meandered up to 158, if I remember correctly. While at school, I played on a low board for Gloucestershire seniors and captained the Gloucestershire juniors, though not from top board. I played in a number of congresses at school and immediately after university, with mixed results.
  • Anyway, I effectively gave the game up and switched to bridge at Cambridge, playing chess on only three occasions for the King’s2 team.
  • My trouble with chess was, I think, that I had a natural ability to calculate variations which stood me in good stead against players who knew next to no theory – but against stronger players I never got into positions where calculation did more than tell me I was losing. I only ever used to play matches, never practice games, and have never actually read a chess book beyond the first few pages.
  • So, I don't want a repetition of any of that. If I return to the game, I'd like to learn to play properly. The question is how? I have a collection of (mostly old) books, but I've never been a keen reader of chess books – I can't easily envisage what's going on without either a lot of effort or setting the position up on the board.
  • I suspected some chess software might be the best way forward – what I need is something that's fairly interactive and which will get me to learn both the principles of positional play and some opening theory, as well as play some practise games, in as painless a manner as possible. After advice from The London Chess Centre (follow Web Link (http://www.chess.co.uk/)), I purchased some software, as below. Unfortunately, the plan to make use of it hasn’t come to much.
  • A recent idea was to learn to play blindfold chess, and I started reading a book3, but that hasn’t come to much either.
  • The incentive to return to the game is that my brother-in-law runs a team in the Middlesex and London Leagues.
  • also, one of my bridge partners is also thinking of returning to Chess, having been of a similar standard to me, though having played more recently.
  • The chess scene in Billericay seems somewhat unexciting4.
  • See Web Link (http://www.essexchess.org.uk/) for the Essex Chess site.

Status as at End September 2017
  • I planned to spend 13 hours in the academic year 2016/17 and achieved 10.75 hours, leading to 83% of plan.

Chess (Total Hours = 10.75)
  1. Chess - Admin
    • 3Q16 Status Reports (1.75 hours)
    • Chess - Discussions with Chris (0.75 hours)
      → See "Admin - Chess - Admin"
  2. Chess - Play
    • Chess - Playing Zehra, Etc (1.5 hours)
  3. Chess - Reading / Writing
  4. Chess - Study

Plans for Near Future
Summary of Progress to Date
  1. Catalogued and categorised my Chess Book Collection.
  2. Started reading sundry of the above, and investigated various on-line material (Fritz, Rybka, Chess Mentor, etc) before contacting The London Chess Centre.
  3. Completed two runs through of "Martin (Andrew) - The Basics of Winning Chess".
  4. Installed "Aagaard (Jacob) - Basic Positional Ideas". Study commenced.
  5. Installed Chessmaster – Grandmaster Edition, but haven’t really got to grips with it yet.
  6. Subscribed to "Chess - Chess Magazine", and skimmed the March 2009 – September 2013 editions.
  7. Visited Billericay Chess Club on 6th April 2011 There was a club match, so I couldn’t play any of the better players, but played a rather sad young man who hadn’t make the cut. It was interesting to see how rusty I was, though I won all four games. I had a chat with one of the committee-members afterwards, and left my email address. I’ve not heard back, or been back. I don’t think I’ll pursue the club further, at least not in the near future.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:
  • And drew with the former British Champion – C.H. O’D Alexander (see Web Link (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conel_Hugh_O%27Donel_Alexander)) – in the 4-board simul at the prize-giving.
  • He sacrificed the exchange to force a draw. It seemed unnecessary – maybe he was trying to be encouraging, or simply wanted to go home!
  • The other “champions” lost.
Footnote 2:
  • On board 6 - averaging 50%.
  • We had a strong team – the second strongest in Cambridge – with a couple of overseas Grandmasters on the top two boards and the British under-21 Champion on board 3.
  • But this was a feeble team compared to Trinity, which had the then British Champion (Jonathan Mestel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Mestel)) allegedly on board 6.
Footnote 3: See "Hearst (Eliot) & Knott (John) - Blindfold Chess: History, Psychology, Techniques, Champions, World Records and Important Games".

Footnote 4:
  • The Billericay Club has an excellent website: see Web Link (http://www.billericaychessclub.org.uk/index.html).
  • They meet on Wednesdays at 19:30, now at Anisha Grange.
  • The website describes the club as “thriving” with about 14 members (though only 12 are listed) with teams in 3 divisions.
  • The club is not very strong, but one player is (as of October 2016) rated 175 – the other 11 being under 150, with 4 under 100.
  • At one time there was an IM (Richard Pert; main club Wood Green) rather loosely connected to the club by the look of things – but he’s no longer listed.
Footnote 6:
  • This is supposed to improve your sighted play.
  • Additionally, it’ll make reading chess magazines easier as – presumably – you’d no longer need a board in order to play through the games.

Note last updated: 09/10/2017 23:25:26


Footnote 13: (Status: HiQ (2017 - September))

Rationale for this Project

  1. I was very active in Mensa and ISPE in the years prior to taking up formal study of philosophy at Birkbeck in 2000. Thereafter I was too busy, and no longer felt the need to contribute, so I let my memberships lapse.
  2. When I retired from HSBC at the end of 2010, given that I was no longer involved in formal academic study, I re-joined both societies for a year to see how things were going, but then let my memberships lapse again. ISPE seemed no better than when I was involved last time. The Mensa SIGs seem active enough, but I didn’t have the time to contribute.
  3. I re-joined ISPE yet again for the calendar year 2017, to see what was going on.
  4. Society Details:-
    • For Mensa – see Web Link (http://www.mensa.org.uk/mensa/) – I joined, or re-joined, a bundle of societies, but did nothing.
    • For ISPE – see Web Link (http://www.thethousand.com/) – I did nothing other than pay my dues and exchange friendly emails with a couple of old contacts.
    • For a site1 giving details of the tests used for entry to ISPE and “higher” societies, see “uncommonly Difficult IQ Tests” (Web Link (http://tthqi.free.fr/Uncommonly%20Difficult%20IQ%20Tests.php)).
    • See Web Link (http://www.polymath-systems.com/intel/hiqsocs/hiqsocs1.html) for a site that gives the admission tests for the various societies (and refers to the defunct site above-mentioned).
  5. Between 1997 and 2001 I edited a newsletter (Commensal - Past Issues) in my capacity as secretary of the Philosophical Discussion Group of British Mensa.
  6. I also edited "ISPE, Todman (Theo) - Under the Sycamore Tree: Correspondence Folder for the UK Members and Associates of ISPE" for a year.
  7. My intention has been to participate in these societies just so far as doing so would support my other projects by way of stimulation and the opportunity for interaction. As such, most of the time recorded against this project could equally be recorded against others.

Status as at end-September 2017
  • I re-joined ISPE. All that ought to have been required was that I pay my dues, but because of a mix-up I was asked to sit the latest version of their test, which I did. I didn’t, however, hear back – though I was re-instated OK. I’ve recently chased them up for the results2.
  • I spent 5 hours in the 2016/17 academic year, which was 38% of plan.
  • At the end of July 2017, I received the last print-copy3 of "ISPE - Telicom" (it was a bumper “full year” issue for 2016) and have read some of it. I was put off by the article recording the allocation of the ISPE Whiting Memorial Award to two members of the society. As usual, the academic status of society members is grossly overblown, but the thing that really disturbed me was the project for which they received their award, which was to replace Minkowski Space-Time by adding a third “substratum” so we have Space-Time-Consciousness. This sounds as misguided as you can get, but I’ve not investigated it. Further, one of the recipients was alleged to have solved Fermat’s Last Theorem in 1965, but “remarkably” only several pages long, as against the 170 pages of Andrew Wiles’s proof. Despite the claim that “tens of professional mathematicians” have failed to refute it, it’s bound to unsound, or we’d have heard of it4.

HiQ (Total Hours = 5)
Plans for the 2017/18 Academic Year
  • I’m an ISPE member until end-2017, and only thereafter if I pay my dues. We’ll see.
  • To provide focus for higher-priority projects, I do not plan to spend any significant time on this project in the near future. I may do so on an ad hoc basis, and have therefore allocated 1 hour / week. If so, actions will feature on the Summary_Task_List.
  • However, I do not intend to produce any more editions of this report until this time next year.
  • Possible Background Activities:-
    1. ISPE
    2. Mensa
      • Nothing planned – see previous versions of this report for possibilities.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: The reference given in previous reports is defunct. I think this is the same basic site.

Footnote 2: My rationale being set out in an email:
  • “On the test itself – it’s similar to, though not the same as – the first one I took, and leaves me feeling similarly uncomfortable. Theory is massively underdetermined by data, so – in a sense – “it depends what you want”. It’d be possible – no doubt – to think more and more deeply and come up with more and more Byzantine reasons for excluding particular items. But how would I know this is what is wanted? It wasn’t until I got the same percentile on the (much more satisfying but now sadly compromised) Mega Test that I trusted the ISPE test at all (actually, I was surprised that I didn’t do better on the Mega Test, and an inquest revealed I’d made at least 3 howlers that more care would have avoided).”
Footnote 3:
  • Hereafter Telicom will be published on-line only, except for those willing to pay a premium membership fee.
Footnote 4:
  • A quick Google only reveals self-published material, eg: Web Link (http://www.erclosetphysics.com/2015/11/news-about-my1965-proof-of-fermats-last.html).

Note last updated: 09/10/2017 23:25:26


Footnote 16: (Status: Summary - Actual versus Plan (2017 - December))

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 (October - December 2017) Plan, and for the YTD (2017/18) 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
Bridge2424288
Chess12 2 22
Consciousness1212133
HiQ1212133
Languages1212144
Mathematics1212155
Music7131213126161
Religion36106105050
Thesis2241464146228228
Website1528272827132132
Total54100100100100496496
Comparisons66 days66 days99% 99%501501


All figures above are rounded to the nearest unit. The bottom row 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 (October - December 2017) Plan, and for the YTD (2017/18) 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
Bridge1919884445
Chess99221616
Consciousness99333535
HiQ99333535
Languages99444040
Mathematics99555454
Music656561619494
Religion28285050180181
Thesis204204228228112112
Website1391391321329595
Total50150049649699%99%


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)
Bridge244261049490
Chess12213524485
Consciousness12213524688
HiQ12213524688
Languages12213524689
Mathematics12213524892
Music713139036536099
Religion36639156178114
Thesis22414128311471168102
Website15282819378277299
Total5410010069428162803100


All figures above are rounded to the nearest unit.


Actual & Plan Summary (2007 - 2018)


Below is a table showing the split amongst my various projects of time expended or planned over a 11-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 (Actual + Plan)Total%age
Bridge776632757796106293494138066287094790330.06
Chess 291614661149611441930.73
Consciousness 41763015219161442463361.28
HiQ   17148111546930.35
Languages2343312322689525642929124613665.2
Mathematics23288455186284482661.01
Music63132144618323716817936010684.06
Religion9119841284920330524811610860178276910.53
Thesis6084533494771804027358965618281168665625.31
Website671981812043486514949471117664772564421.47
Total1862204222502718192823942542250725742675280326294100

Note last updated: 05/12/2017 00:50:24


Footnote 20: (Status: Personal Identity (2017 - September))

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 jumping-off point for my thesis is here, and a progress dashboard is here.
  • Maybe a better place to find my current views is here.

Summary of Progress during July - September 2017
  1. I spent 340 hours in 3Q17 on my Thesis or Thesis-related work (828 hours YTD, where for “YTD” – Year to Date – I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2016). That’s 185% of the planned effort (113% YTD). Overall, 48% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 31% YTD) – as against 26% planned (27% YTD).
  2. I’d slightly reduced my planned effort, but in fact doubled the time I’d spent on this project in the previous quarter. This was enabled because of the amount of time liberated as a result of my abandonment of Bridge. About time too, I might add. Maybe unfortunately, this free time and more besides was spent on the item below.
  3. As last quarter, a considerable amount of time was spent on papers issued under the aegis of Aeon, including sorting out the filing system and the summary Note. These are very interesting, and of wide scope. Not many of them are strictly germane to my research interests, but – as in the last two quarters – I continued to read – and where possible remark on – the one or two of interest that appear daily. I have found this very satisfying and it has raised a lot of issues across a broad range of topics, many relevant to my research.
  4. A lead from the above was the work of Elselijn Kingma on the metaphysics of pregnancy, and the possible implications for animalism.
  5. I completely re-wrote the Note describing my Current Beliefs on the topic of Personal Identity. I found this a very useful exercise, and it is also useful in determining which other Notes require urgent progression. I sent this to Pete for review, and have received some interesting feedback. Sophie Botros has agreed to review it as well, when I’ve licked it into shape.
  6. Sophie got me to update her website to announce her new book, published towards the end of September, "Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: A Philosophical Enquiry". She invited me to a Salon run by Oliver Black at his house in Spittalfields and at which she gave a talk on the topic. She gave me a copy of the book which is of some relevance to my research. I’ve been added to the list of regular invitees to the Salon.
  7. Somehow, I got to look into the controversy raised by "Smith (Quentin) - Marcus, Kripke, and the Origin of The New Theory of Reference", probably via "Holt (Jim) - Whose Idea Is It Anyway? A Philosophers' Feud", though how I came across this paper is forgotten. I did some digging into Ruth Barcan Marcus and got hold of all her papers as far as they are available on-line (mostly in JSTOR), as well as the papers related to the controversy. I’d like to review my write-up on "Kripke (Saul) - Naming and Necessity" and complete its conversion to Notes, as this is related to my research, but there’s no time at the moment.
  8. I completed reading "Kasparov (Garry), Greengard (Mig) - Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins", and a review – "Rowson (Jonathan) - Deep Thinking?", which I ought to re-read so that I can discuss it intelligently with Chris who alerted me to it.
  9. Came across "Lebens (Samuel) & Goldschmidt (Tyron) - The Promise of a New Past", and studied most of it. I’d like to discuss it with Sophie (and maybe with Michael J. Alter) once I’ve completed it.
  10. Read most of "Loose (Jonathan) - Constitution and the Falling Elevator", which relates a couple of my Thesis topics.
  11. I updated quite a number of my Notes. In particular, those on Time, Computers, Dualism and Fetuses and researched their reading-lists.
  12. Progress between reports can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List.
  13. More detail follows:-

Thesis (Total Hours = 171.5)
  1. Thesis - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 140.5)
  2. Thesis - Discussions (Total Hours = 3.25)
  3. Thesis - Lectures (Total Hours = 6)
  4. Thesis - Research Repositioning (Total Hours = 14.75)
  5. Thesis - Seminars (Attendance)
    • Sophie's Salon - Sophie's Talk + Discussion (2.5 hours)
  6. Thesis - Seminars (Reading)
    • Sophie's Salon - Journey + Planning (2.25 hours)
  7. Thesis - Seminars (Writing)
    • Sophie's Salon - Follow-up (2.25 hours)

Thesis Background (Total Hours = 168.25)
  1. Thesis Background - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 148)
  2. Thesis Background - Books Admin (Total Hours = 17.25)
  3. Thesis Background - Status


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 12:
  • Hopefully, I may complete, or get stuck, earlier.
  • By “12 months”, I mean the period ending on my 65th birthday – ie. 13/11/2018. This is not to slip!
  • 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 Bridge and my Web-tools project.
  • The reason for deferring to my 65th birthday is that this is when I get my State Pension. This may not be much, but it’ll make a significant contribution towards the fees and expenses, which I can’t currently afford.
Footnote 13:
  • 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 23:
  • Try to keep up to date, but only read those that are strictly relevant – park the rest!
  • At present I have a relatively small reading-backlog, and a much larger reviewing-backlog.
  • Try to add a brief comment for each paper – maybe at the expense of reading the full text!

Note last updated: 09/10/2017 23:25:26


Footnote 21: (Thesis - Outline)

The Thesis seems to fall naturally into three sections (other than the Introduction and Conclusion); namely, Chapters 2-5 (setting up the problem), chapters 6-9 (Olson and Baker’s views contrasted); and Chapters 10-11 (testing the preferred solution). Consequently, I anticipate my Thesis having the following chapters:-

  1. Chapter 01: Introduction
  2. Chapter 02: What are We?
  3. Chapter 03: What is a Person?
  4. Chapter 04: Basic Metaphysical Issues
  5. Chapter 05: Persistence and Time
  6. Chapter 06: Animalism and Arguments for It
  7. Chapter 07: The Constitution View and Arguments for It
  8. Chapter 08: Arguments against Animalism
  9. Chapter 09: Arguments against the Constitution View
  10. Chapter 10: Thought Experiments
  11. Chapter 11: Resurrection
  12. Chapter 12: Conclusion
I’ve started a Note listing “parked” future reading.

For convenience, brief abstracts (as currently intended) of the above chapters are given below. I have included hyperlinks in the above list to my initial thoughts on these topics (and to reading lists and plans for further research) by way of further clarification. I’ve also included links from the “Thought Experiment” abstract below, for the same reason. The reading lists are rather full, and I’ll need to whittle them down to those I actually intend to read (and, better, address).

Chapter abstracts
  1. Introduction: Something like this document, but in narrative form, maybe including a brief historical general survey of Personal Identity.
  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: Substances and sortals are central to the persistence of anything, and in particular to my claim that persons are phase sortals of human animals (the substances). 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 question of Natural Kinds arises in considering whether PERSON is a natural kind concept.
  5. Persistence and Time: A number of thought experiments that feature in the following chapter 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, such as:
    • Fission, fusion and replication in general
    • Commissurotomy
    • Multiple Personality Disorder
    • Brain-state Transfer
    • Brain Transplants
    • Teletransportation
    • Siliconisation
    • Etc?
  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 Christians and Muslims (unlike what seems to be the case with most swipes against religion). Maybe I should also cover reincarnation.
  12. Conclusion: Brief summary of the above;
    • 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: 05/04/2016 23:19:41


Footnote 22: (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. My intention is – this time at least – to start with a blank sheet rather than to revise the previous version1. In this way it will reflect my recent reading and concerns rather than ancient history. As a second pass I will add links to other Notes that elaborate further on particular issues. That way, it 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 I 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?
  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 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. It has nothing to do with “identity” as a sociological concept such as national identity, sexual identity or identification with a particular group. 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. 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. 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 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 known as a “life”.
  7. In the above I have assumed at least two things. Firstly, that we exist. It 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. Secondly, 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. 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? Some philosophers – the exdurantists, unless I am mistaken – say that there’s no relation of identity across time, but merely a weaker counterpart relation. 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 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 solutions – 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 it will 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 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. 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. This leads to 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 form of 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 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 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 that I am currently (thankfully) a whole human animal. My wife works in the NHS with amputees, and they are also 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.
  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 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 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 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, 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 life easier, if maybe less interesting.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:
  • Found from the list below.
  • Note that this paper is not intended as a status report.
  • This version has links to the various other Notes that expand on these issues further, and supply extensive reading lists.

Note last updated: 02/12/2017 05:22:34


Footnote 23: (Thesis - Chapter 02 (What are We?))

Abstract

  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.



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.



Chapter Introduction
  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. Olson4 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.



Main Text
  1. To be supplied.



Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed5
  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. Selves32
  8. Souls34
  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



Links to Notes
  1. For an out-of-date skeleton giving a fuller reading list, follow this link.
  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.



Final Remarks
  1. This is work in progress.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 4: In "Olson (Eric) - What are We?"

Footnote 5:
  • 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 12: The excerpt from Brandom raises some questions about the community we call “we”.

Footnote 15: Baker often expresses indebtedness to Roderick Chisholm, who is reviewed on that account.

Footnote 17: An annoying book, but one I ought to study.

Footnote 21: The book. From my perspective, probably the most important source for this Chapter.

Footnote 22: See also the Chapters on Brains and Souls in the subsequent reading-lists.

Footnote 26: Useful historical background, maybe!

Footnote 28: Lockwood might deny that this is his view, but he seems committed to it, as far as I can see.

Footnote 29: This maybe ought to be categorised as an “anti-soul” view.

Footnote 30: Some of the papers by Puccetti will be reconsidered in (or maybe reserved for – a couple already have been) Chapter 10.

Footnote 32:
  • This list is rather long, and contains many whole books. I may have to cull several of these further down the line.
  • However, the Self is important, as it’s the root of Baker’s FPP, and the motivator for all psychological theories of PI, so understanding just what it is supposed to be is central to my concerns.
Footnote 33: Alexander thinks that we are Selves, and that Selves are tropes – abstract particulars – which by my lights is about as far from the truth as you can get, so I need to consider his arguments carefully.

Footnote 34:
  • The comment about the prolixity of the reading list applies even more to Souls than Selves, without the positive connection my primary thesis.
  • However, if we were to be souls, this would solve the resurrection problem; so I need to thoroughly understand the reasons why we might be – but most likely are not – souls.
Footnote 35: This looks interesting, but is somewhat off-topic for a priority reading-list.

Footnote 36: This is rather elementary, and ought to have been reviewed in Chapter 01.

Note last updated: 05/04/2016 23:19:41


Footnote 24: (Thesis - Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It))

Abstract

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



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



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



Main Text
  1. To be supplied.



Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed5
  1. In this Chapter I will consider the following papers or book chapters (together with some others referenced by these). There are doubtless many more that are relevant and which will be addressed in the course of the thesis, but these are probably sufficient to get us going.
  2. As this is a “core” chapter, the coverage of the literature will be very complete, if not exhaustive, when it comes to Animalism itself.
  3. For background topics, it will be more selective6. Hence, I have divided the reading list into two.
  4. I’ve not been overly careful to segregate the reading-list of this Chapter from that of Chapter 8. I will address the segregation in due course. There will, in any case, be some overlap.
  5. Core Topics
  6. Background Material
  7. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
  8. The motivation for these works is as follows:-
    • To be supplied.



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



Links to Notes
  1. Animalism,
  2. Animalists,
  3. Bodies,
  4. Olson,
  5. Animals,
  6. Organisms,
  7. Life,
  8. Thinking Animal Argument,
  9. Other Arguments for Animalism18,
  10. Others to be supplied?



Final Remarks
  1. This is work in progress.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 5:
  • 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 6:
  • There are a few papers listed on the cognitive capacities of animals.
  • I got bored with listing these, so the sample may not be representative.
  • These are, in any case, probably more relevant to Chapter 9 – as an antidote to Baker’s attempted ontological separation of human persons from human animals – so I will move them there – and expand the list if necessary – in due course.
Footnote 8: A knowledge of genetics is important in arguments about the comings into being and identities of animals.

Footnote 9: What is this important book doing here?

Footnote 18: This needs a Note!

Note last updated: 05/04/2016 23:19:41


Footnote 25: (Thesis - Chapter 07 (The Constitution View and Arguments for It))

Abstract

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



Research Methodology
  • 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.



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



Main Text
  1. To be supplied.



Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed4
  1. In this Chapter I will consider the following papers or book chapters (together with some others referenced by these). There are doubtless many more that are relevant and which will be addressed in the course of the thesis, but these are probably sufficient to get us going.
  2. I’ve not been overly careful to segregate the reading-list of this Chapter from that of Chapter 9. I will address the segregation in due course. There will, in any case, be some overlap.
  3. Baker
  4. Constitution
  5. Mereology6
  6. Co-Location7
  7. First-Person Perspectives
  8. Constitution View
  9. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
  10. The motivation for these works is as follows:-
    • To be supplied.



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



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



Final Remarks
  1. This is work in progress.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 4:
  • 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 6: While Baker’s understanding of constitution is distinct from a mereological one, it is necessary to understand mereology.

Footnote 7: I’m not sure whether this section belongs here, but it must go somewhere!

Footnote 8: This may properly belong to one of the Chapters on Animalism.

Footnote 9: This Chapter has rather more to do with distributive ethics than personal identity or the FPP.

Note last updated: 05/04/2016 23:19:41


Footnote 26: (Thesis - Chapter 10 (Thought Experiments))

Abstract

  • Any account of personal identity needs to give an account of what is going on in the various thought experiments that have been 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, including the following:-
    1. Fission
    2. Fusion
    3. Replication
    4. Commissurotomy1
    5. Multiple Personality Disorder2
    6. Brain-state Transfer
    7. Brain Transplants3
    8. Teletransportation
    9. Siliconisation
    10. Transhumanism



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.



Chapter Introduction
  1. To be supplied.



Main Text
  1. To be supplied.



Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed6
  1. In this Chapter I will consider the following papers or book chapters (together with some others referenced by these). There are doubtless many more that are relevant and which will be addressed in the course of the thesis, but these are probably sufficient to get us going.
  2. I have segregated the papers by sub-topic, but some would fit into more than one category.
  3. Theory
  4. Brain State Transfers7
  5. Brain Transplants
  6. Commissurotomy
  7. Fission
  8. Fusion
  9. Multiple Personality Disorder
  10. Replication
  11. Siliconisation8
  12. Teletransportation
  13. Transhumanism10
  14. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
  15. The motivation for these works is as follows:-
    • To be supplied.



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



Links to Notes
  1. Propriety of Thought Experiments
  2. Principal Examples:-
    • Fission
    • Fusion
    • Replication
    • Commissurotomy
    • Multiple Personality Disorder
    • Brain-state Transfers
    • Brain Transplants
    • Teletransportation
    • Siliconisation
    • Transhumanism.



Final Remarks
  1. This is work in progress.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: This is more an experiment than a thought-experiment, as commissurotomies are actual.

Footnote 2:
  • Again, this is – allegedly – an existent pathology rather than a TE.
  • Moreover, it might be better situated in Chapter 9 (Click here for Note) as a critique of the idea of an individuating FPP.
Footnote 3: We need to distinguish Whole-Brain Transplants (WBTs) from single or double Cerebrum transplants, and these from brain-tissue transplants, which shade off into Brain State Transfers.

Footnote 6:
  • 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 7:
  • There must be many more papers than the classic one by Williams (and commentaries thereon) – I just haven’t got them correctly categorised.
  • Under this head should be included references to “Brain Zaps” and the like.
Footnote 8: Footnote 9:
  • Tye seems to be discussing brain-partition, with silicon transceivers. But he uses Unger’s term “zippering”.
  • He is indebted to Arnold Zuboff, who may be worth following up.
Footnote 10: Footnote 11: I’ve read this book, but it’s insufficiently philosophical for its arguments – such as they are – to be worth considering as a priority.

Footnote 12: Cover in the next Chapter.

Note last updated: 05/04/2016 23:19:41


Footnote 27: (Transhumanism)

Plug Note1






In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:
  • A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
  • I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
  • As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
  • The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.

Note last updated: 02/07/2017 10:36:29


Footnote 28: (Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection))

Abstract

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



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



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



Main Text
  1. To be supplied.



Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed4
  1. In this Chapter I will consider the following papers or book chapters (together with some others referenced by these). There are doubtless many more that are relevant and which will be addressed in the course of the thesis, but these are probably sufficient to get us going.
  2. I have divided those on the core topic of resurrection into those that are from a religio-philosophical perspective, rather than pure philosophy. In general, those written by professional philosophers are in the latter section, even if addressed to a religious audience.
  3. As the topic of death in itself – and the ethical consequences of death without post-mortem survival - are important issues, I have reading lists for these as well.
  4. Finally, in order to diagnose death, we need to know what life is! I’ve not really investigated a reading-list for this.
  5. Life:
  6. Death:
  7. Death and Ethics6:
  8. Resurrection - Purely Philosophical:
  9. Resurrection - Religio-Philosophical:
  10. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
  11. The motivation for these works is as follows:-
    • Gasser is the most important work I need to address.
    • Wright’s big book (hopefully) supplies all there is from the Christian side – even though the focus is on a specific – and theologically and metaphysically special – resurrection.
    • Bynum and Gillman provide background information from the Christian and Jewish perspectives, respectively.
    • Badham is a rather elementary Christian discussion, and may be rejected.
    • Corcoran is an important survey, already included in the reading for a couple of other Chapters.
    • Edwards, Flew and Penelhum are useful surveys of older material, which is useful just to read for the appropriate background. There is some considerable overlap in the selections.
    • I suppose I need to discuss death itself, hence Kagan, McMahan, Regan & Wyatt – though skipping the ethical bits.
    • Perrett and Tippler may be a little off-centre, and I may reject them on closer inspection.
    • The other individual papers – especially those by van Inwagen and Shoemaker – are probably important, but justification is to be supplied.
  12. Books / Papers Rejected: There are a number of works that I have in my possession that I considered investigating, but in the end decided not to. They are listed here, with reasons for rejection. Of course, there are very many others less tempting that appear in the topical reading lists but are not specifically mentioned here.
    • To be supplied.



The Cut
  1. There had already been a lot of cutting in the various selections of the original reading list – the reading lists attached to the Notes run on and on – and these items just represent the works in my possession (though I have sought out all that I’ve heard of that look relevant).
  2. However, the items in the lists following were given some attention, and have been culled – at least temporarily – from the lists above, where they originally appeared. I’ve not always given a reason as I’ve not studied them sufficiently closely. But, you have to draw a line somewhere.
  3. I’m well aware that the cut has not been sufficiently rigorous9. Further items beyond the items below are likely to be culled when I come to process them.
    • To be supplied …



Links to Notes
  • A lot of my notes seem to mention resurrection and the Notes fall into at least two categories10:-
    1. Thesis:-
      1. Resurrection,
      2. Life,
      3. Death,
      4. Corpses,
      5. Immortality,
      6. Reincarnation,
      7. NDEs,
      8. Makropulos Case,
      9. Life after Death.
    2. Philosophy of religion:-
      1. Resurrection,
      2. Resurrection (Metaphysics),
      3. 1 Corinthians 15,
      4. Heythrop.



Final Remarks
  1. This is work in progress.





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 4:
  • 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 6:
  1. The topic of “Death and Ethics” is already a bit tangential to my thesis, but there’s a set of questions – of which two are the most important, namely:-
    • Why is death bad (for the deceased)?, and
    • Can the dead be harmed (assuming they no longer exist)?
    – in which I have an interest, and on which I wonder whether my views on Personal Identity have anything to say.
  2. Therefore, I park here a bunch of papers on these topics (more on the second than the first) that may or may not get “processed”:-
Footnote 7:
  • Unlikely to have anything to do with resurrection, but I want an excuse for reading the book!
  • Maybe belongs to Chapter 8.
Footnote 8: Hardly philosophy, but important to have read!

Footnote 9: Especially as the list is currently empty!

Footnote 10: Write-up notes are accessible via the papers or books they are write-ups of.

Note last updated: 05/04/2016 23:19:41


Footnote 29: (Theo Todman's BA Papers)

Here are my BA writings. Currently these are mostly .pdf files only. I have started to convert them to my Notes format1 and (maybe) intend to update them in the light of greater understanding (if any). However, this is not a priority task. There are four groupings, the fourth of which links to another page on my site2:-

Final Year Essays Earlier Essays Book AnalysesPaper Analyses

Here are some final-year BA papers ...

1.This is my BA Dissertation on the topic of Poverty of Stimulus arguments for the Innateness of Grammar. I enjoyed this investigation, and intend to use the kind of abductive arguments on which it is based as a model for my PhD thesis.Poverty of Stimulus
2.This is the first of three essays on Greek Philosophy. Despite my arguing that Greek Philosophy shouldn't be included in the BA, or at least not so early in the course, or not without a lot of motivation, this turned out to be my best paper. This essay is on the topic of fatalism. The Sea Battle
3.The second essay on Greek Philosophy asks whether the Third Man Argument refutes Plato's Theory of Forms. I have to admit that, but for the course, I wouldn't have looked into this subject, and those reading the essay should have a bottle of paracetamol to hand.The Third Man
4.The third essay on Greek Philosophy, asking whether Democritus was a sceptic. I have to ask who cares, but I did enjoy researching and writing the essay. Democritus a Sceptic?
5.This is the first of three essays on Modern Philosophy, and is an attempt to make the most of Locke's psychological view of personal identity. Locke on Personal Identity
6.A second essay on Modern Philosophy. It looks into Hume's Correspondence Theory between our 'ideas' (concepts) and 'impressions' (sense perception). Correspondence Theory
7.A third essay on Modern Philosophy, looking at two of Descartes's arguments that mind and body are distinct substances. Real Distinction
8.This is the first of three essays on Ethics. Caveat lector! I never got the hang of ethics. This essay discusses Mackie's Error Theory. Error Theory
9.This second ethical essay discusses whether moral relativism is absurd. Relativism Absurd?
10.This final ethical essay addresses utilitarianism. Can Mill successfully explain why it is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied?Higher Pleasures

Here are some earlier BA essays

They are of varying quality, but useful for me to have on-line ...

1.This is a rather feable and incomplete effort addressing Jackson's Knowledge Argument against physicalism in the philosophy of mind. The topic is sufficiently important to make the essay worth completing someday ...Knowledge Argument
2.This is an essay in the philosophy of psychology asking whether "The mind is in effect a Swiss-Army knife, full of specialised modules designed for special purposes."Mind Modular?
3.Another essay in the philosophy of psychology, asking whether the concept of innateness is incoherent or unnecessary. Innateness Incoherent?
4.An essay on the topic of free will. If it is said that I did something freely, is it implied that I could have done something different?Free Will
5.An essay on the border between modern philosophy and methodology, examining Hume's argument that we have no reason to expect the future to resemble the past.Future & Past
6.Another essay on the problem of induction, investigating Hempel's paradox of the ravens.Induction
7.An essay on the philosophy of language, looking at the different uses of definite descriptions.Definite Descriptions
8.First of three essays on bodily sensations in the philosophy of mind, asking whether pains are mental objects. Rather slavishly adherent to Tim Crane's ideas (garbled, no doubt).Pains as Mental Objects
9.Essay asking whether bodily sensations are perceptions of one's body.Sensations as Perceptions
10.Final essay on this topic, asking whether I could feel a sensation to be located in someone else's body.Extraneous Bodily Sensations

Finally, here are some notes taken during the BA course

For a while, I pursued the eccentric line of trying to precis whole books, as a way of attempting to take the subject seriously. This proved to be somewhat time-consuming, so I stopped early in the third year. However, having made the effort, here are the results...
1."Dancy (Jonathan) - An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology". This is rather a full set. At 110 pages it's not much shorter than the book. Dancy – Epistemology
2."Crane (Tim) - Elements of Mind - An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind". A bit briefer this time at a mere 71 pages. It is graced by 153 footnotes showing where I disagreed with the esteemed author (or where I was confused, most likely). Crane – Elements of Mind
3."Fodor (Jerry) - The Modularity of Mind: An Essay on Faculty Psychology". Much shorter - only 23 pages; but then, it's only a little book. Fodor - Modularity of Mind
4."Kripke (Saul) - Naming and Necessity". Back to form. 73 pages and 156 footnotes. At least I have the justification that this is one of the "must read" philosophy books. Kripke - Naming & Necessity





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: As an interim step, I now have “stub” Notes for them all, but these mostly still link to the pdfs.

Footnote 2:
  • This page seems to include almost everything I’ve written, categorised by sub-topic.
  • Many of these writings are still only in pdf form and require conversion to Notes.

Note last updated: 01/08/2017 00:11:31


Footnote 30: (Thesis - Later Reading)

Introduction

  1. The reading-list for my Thesis is already too long to manage, and – I have no doubt – new material will always be coming up that I ought to be aware of.
  2. I ought also to keep up to date with what’s going on in other areas of Analytic Philosophy.
  3. As a Cambridge Alumnus, I have access to JSTOR (Web Link (http://www.jstor.org/)) and thereby to some of the philosophical journals. The access to the text is not up-to-date, but I ought to inculcate a discipline to:-
    • Check the TOCs of the most recent issues, and mark them for future interrogation, and
    • Check the most recent issues with content, and briefly review what’s there, downloading where it looks useful.
  4. occasionally, I’ll come across a paper sufficiently important to include amongst the primary reading, but in general these items will be queued for later.

Journals1
  1. American Philosophical Quarterly (1964-2010)
  2. Analysis (1933-2008; 2009-2013)
  3. Behavior and Philosophy (1990-2010)
  4. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1950-2006; 2007-2013)
  5. Canadian Journal of Philosophy (1971-2008)
  6. Erkenntnis (1975-2010; 2011-2013)
  7. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (1998-2010; 2011-2013)
  8. Human Studies (1978-2010; 2011-2013)
  9. Hypathia (1986-2008; 2009-2012)
  10. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion (1970-2010; 2011-2012)
  11. The Journal of Ethics (1997-2010; 2011-2013)
  12. Journal of Philosophical Logic 91972-2010; 2011-2013)
  13. The Journal of Philosophy (1921-2008)
  14. Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes (1939-2010)
  15. Mind (1876-2006; 2007-2012)
  16. The Monist (1890-2008; 2009-2014)
  17. Noûs (1967-2003; 2004-2012)
  18. Philosophical Issues (1991-1998)
  19. Philosophical Perspectives (1987-1995)
  20. The Philosophical Quarterly (1950-2008; 2009-2012)
  21. The Philosophical Review (1892-2008; 2009-2011)
  22. Philosophical Studies (1950-2010; 2011-2013)
  23. Philosophy (1931-2008; 2009-2012)
  24. Philosophy and Phenomenal Research (1940-2008; 2009-2013)
  25. Philosophy & Public Affairs (1971-2008; 2009-2013)
  26. Phronesis (1955-2008; 2009-2013)
  27. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association (1927-2010)
  28. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (1887-2008; 2009-2013)
  29. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society: Supplementary Volumes (1918-2008; 2009-2013)
  30. Religious Studies (1965-2008; 2009-2013)
  31. The Review of Metaphysics (1947-2010)
  32. Synthese (1936-2010; 2011-2013)

Items Extracted2 or Noted




In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: The dates for which I have access to free Text appear in brackets, with a second date-range where appropriate, for papers that can be purchased (or borrowed in hard-copy).

Footnote 2:
  • These have been downloaded.
  • Some Extracted (and maybe “Noted”, which have not been downloaded) papers relate to topics in which I have an interest outside the domain of my Thesis.

Note last updated: 13/01/2015 19:07:41


Footnote 31: (Status: Philosophy of Religion (2017 - September))

Rationale for this Project

  • See my Christian page and onward links from there for an explanation of how I got in to and out of evangelical Christianity. This is still a live issue for me, and the reason I originally undertook formal philosophical training.
  • The connection to my current philosophical researches arises from the standard religious hope that resurrection – or some other form of post-mortem survival – is possible. This is a cornerstone of religious claims and expectations, at least in the Abrahamic religions, from those of suicide bombers to those of more pacific persons. I wish to go back to the considerations that originally motivated Locke and research the metaphysical possibility of resurrection for beings such as us. My current opinion is that resurrection for human beings is metaphysically impossible2, given that substance dualism is false.
  • In late September 2010 I took the Philosophy of Religion Module of a 2-year part time MA in Philosophy and Religion at Heythrop College (Web Link (http://www.heythrop.ac.uk/)), University of London. Follow the links for my Personal Statement, Interview Write-up, and Course Outline. I decided not to proceed with the MA but do intend to follow up on the many issues raised.
  • During 2016 I assisted with the Appendices of my friend’s PhD Thesis on the Narrative Structure of the Acts of the Apostles, building a website. See "Mansell (Peter) - Bottom Up Reading of Acts".

Summary of Progress during July – September 2017
  1. As previously reported, I’d decided to down-prioritise my planned activities on this project for the time being, despite its intrinsic importance. There’s just no time for it if I want to make progress on my Thesis, Website and Bridge. However, now Bridge has been shelved, there’s a bit more time available.
  2. I planned only 1 hour / week for this quarter, but achieved more than double that.
  3. Consequently, I spent 30 hours on this project in 3Q17 (60 hours YTD, where by “YTD” – Year to Date – I mean the academic year commenced in October 2016). That’s 232% of the diminutive planned effort (92% YTD). Overall, 4% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 2% YTD) – as against 2% planned (2% YTD).
  4. The highlight of the quarter was an unexpected email from Michael J. Alter. He’d picked up a stray comment I’d made on his "Alter (Michael J.) - The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry". After some discussion on this topic, he asked me to comment on his forthcoming "Alter (Michael J.) - The Resurrection & Christian Apologetics: A Critical Inquiry Volume 2". I have until the end of November, so it is virtually impossible to do it justice on the “budget” I’ve allowed myself – even though I have increased it to 3 hours / week.
  5. I also read various papers associated with Aeon.
  6. Further details of activity in the last quarter are given below:-

Religion (Total Hours = 26.5)
  1. Religion - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 26)
  2. Religion - General Research

Religion Background (Total Hours = 4)
  1. Religion Background - Admin
  2. Religion Background - Discussions (Total Hours = 3.5)

Plans for the Near Future
  1. Philosophy of Religion: Read "Antony (Louise M.) - Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life".
  2. Resurrection:
  3. Background:
    • Read appropriate items from Aeon.
    • Attend the OBT Conference at St. John’s on Jesus in the Old Testament.

Summary of Progress to Date

I’ve hived off the history to a separate document, which still requires a major update.




In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 2:

Note last updated: 09/10/2017 23:25:26


Footnote 32: (Status: Web-Tools (2017 - September))

Rationale for this Project

  • This Project was alluded to briefly in a footnote on research methodology in my original Research Proposal under the head Research - Internet Technology. When last at Birkbeck, I wrote a more extensive paper defending the Project and describing its rationale. Now that my PhD is in suspense, I have decided to take this Project further. There’s a lot to do: still quite a few items on the “wish list”. It is fairly critical as an enabler for my research, so I need to get a move on as I want it all out of the way before I re-start4 formal research.
  • For documentation on my website (currently password protected) follow the links below:-
    1. Functional5 Documentation.
    2. Technical7 Documentation.
  • Other Websites
    1. I established the Hutton Bridge Club Website (Web Link (http://www.bridgewebs.com/hutton.html)) in 4Q11 using the standard Bridgewebs service, but with a couple of competitions using my own routines. I’ve retained supporting these despite handing the Website on.
    2. I took over the support and development of the Essex Contract Bridge Association (ECBA) website (Web Link (http://www.bridgewebs.com/essex/)), which also uses Bridgewebs, but is very much larger, in 1Q15. I have written a lot of code to make this job less tedious.
    3. Over the last few years, I’ve been collecting data on bridge activity in the area (needed for a project to set up a new consolidated club) – by “scraping” data off web pages, consolidating it into a database and modelling it in various ways – and have booked this time to this project as it enhances (or at least maintains) my IT skills in this area. I’m now using this data to generate websites for small clubs (Web Link (http://www.essexbridgeresults.org.uk/)).
    4. In 3Q16 I revived the archive website for Mountnessing Bridge Club (Web Link (http://mountnessing.theotodman.com/index.shtml)).
    5. I’ve created and maintain a new website for the First Class Bridge Academy (Web Link (http://www.bridgewebs.com/firstclassbridge/)).
    6. About 10 years ago, I created a website for Dr. Sophie Botros (Web Link (http://www.sophiebotros.com/)), one of my supervisors at Birkbeck. I’ve now taken it back on and spruced it up a bit, though it requires more work.
    7. I’ve created and maintain a small website for a music group Julie and I attend – the Enigma Ensemble (Web Link (http://www.enigmaensemble.co.uk/)).
    8. Most recently, I’ve created a website for displaying the textual and grammatical analyses and appendices of Pete’s PhD on the Acts of the Apostles. It exists in two versions: Live (Web Link (http://www.acts-research.website/)) and Test (Web Link (http://www.theotodman.com/Petes_PhD/index.htm)).
  • I did consider returning to work part-time as an MS Access/Excel developer, with a spin-off into website generation, but have done nothing about it so far.

Summary of Progress during July - September 2017
  1. This project retained some of its prominence as in recent quarters.
  2. Unfortunately, I made no progress at all on the course put out by Harvard - "Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science". I will have to focus on this in 4Q17 if I am to complete it by the end of the year.
  3. However, I did manage to spend almost 60 hours on my own site. This work included:-
    • Quite a lot of work on WebRefs in an attempt to sort out the broken links. This requires a fair bit more work, in documentation, development and data correction.
    • Upgraded Julie’s PC to Windows 10.
    • Enabled Julie’s new Samsung Galaxy J5 phone.
    • Investigated Optimizr reports and reduced the size of sundry pages by splitting them into linked sequences.
    • Added the colour-coded Note-quality to jump tables, etc.
    • Significant update to Sophie’s website.
    • Further details appear below.
  4. During 3Q17 I expended 159 hours on this project (664 hours YTD, where for “YTD” – Year to Date – I mean the academic year that commenced in October 2016). That’s 81% of planned effort, 88% YTD. Overall, 22% of my project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this Project (making 25% YTD) – as against 28% planned (28% YTD).
  5. Full details for 3Q17 are given below:-

Website (Total Hours = 88.25)
  1. Website - Bridge Development (Total Hours = 6.25)
  2. Website - Development (Total Hours = 57.5)
    • Website - Generator - Bug - Authors' names corrupted (1.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Bug in "Time by Location" query (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Changed Paper + Book Abstracts Review (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Create display-names for Authors in Notes, Etc (1.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Documentation (4.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Fix bug - Webrefs Looping (2.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Fix printable versions of "private" notes - should also be private (1.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Improve header for Authors Page (2 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Investigate Optimizr output (1.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Not all cited Papers are appearing in the Reading List for a Note (2 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Page Size Reduction: Notes_List_Control (2 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Page Size Reduction: Various Papers Lists (2 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Page Size Reduction: Weblinks_Tester (1 hour)
    • Website - Generator - Page Size Reduction: Weblinks_Tester_Brief (2.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Show Notes Group Narrative in Jump Tables & Concatenated Lists (4.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Show Notes Quality in Jump Tables & Concatenated Lists (13.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs - Correction of errored URLs (8.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs - Documentation & Bug-fixes (3.5 hours)
    • Website - Update "Christian" Page (1.25 hours)
    • Website - Update Home Page (1.75 hours)
      → See "Software Development - Website - Development"
  3. Website - Education (Total Hours = 2.5)
  4. Website - Infrastructure (Total Hours = 16.5)
    • Email Signature (0.25 hours)
    • iPhone to PC photos transfer (3.5 hours)
    • Julie's new SmartPhone (Galaxy J5) (1.5 hours)
    • Microsoft Windows 10 / MS Office - Releases & Bugs (1.5 hours)
    • PC Backups / OneDrive (1 hour)
    • PC Supplies (Laser Printer Drum + InkJet Toner) (0.75 hours)
    • PC Supplies (Toner + Laser Paper) (2.25 hours)
    • Renew Phone & Broadband (Outbuildings) with BT (0.25 hours)
    • Windows 10 for Julie's PC (2.5 hours)
    • Windows 10 for Julie's PC - Email Contacts (3 hours)
      → See "Software Development - Website - Development"
  5. Website - Maintenance (Total Hours = 5.5)

Website Others (Total Hours = 71)
  1. Website Others - Bernie's Website Development
  2. Website Others - ECBA Maintenance (Total Hours = 30)
  3. Website Others - ECBA Membership - Development (Total Hours = 2)
  4. Website Others - ECBA Tournaments - Maintenance
  5. Website Others - Enigma Ensemble
  6. Website Others - Joint Project Data Analysis (Total Hours = 2.5)
    • Bridge - Joint Project - Add date pop-up in results matrices (1 hour)
    • Bridge - Joint Project - Data Modelling - input #Hands in Butler Pairs %ages (1.5 hours)
  7. Website Others - Joint Project Data Collection
  8. Website Others - Sophie Botros
  9. Website Others - Tim's Football Club

Plans for the Near Future

I’ve maintained the planned weekly effort on this project at 15 hours. My intention over the next 12 months9 is to reduce the amount of effort expended on other sites and focus on sorting out my own, together with updating my technical competence. Because I may change the technology of my site, I will treat it as substantially “on hold” until I’ve re-educated myself.

Summary of Progress to Date

This is hived off to various separate documents, which need harmonising and / or consolidating:-
  1. Summary of Progress to Date: Requires significant updating as it hasn’t been touched since December 2010.
  2. Outstanding Developments,
  3. Functional Documentation,
  4. A summary of time expended across the years developing my website16 is at "Software Development - Website - Development".





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 4:
  • Well, I’ve missed the boat, so will need to continue with both projects in parallel.
  • This was always likely to be necessary, as new features will always arise in use. It’s a prototype methodology, after all.
Footnote 5: This is very tedious to produce and consequently is both incomplete and out of date.

Footnote 7:
  • This is much more fun, as it’s a purely technical task.
  • I’ve written a vastly-improved general-purpose technical documenter for MS Access.
Footnote 9: Ie. Until my 65th birthday, when I’m “supposed” to seriously re-start my PhD.

Footnote 12: Maybe without the final project.

Footnote 16: As distinct from developing other peoples’ websites – time which is also recorded against this project, but not against this task.

Note last updated: 09/10/2017 23:25:26


Footnote 34: (Status: Consciousness Studies (2017 - September))

Rationale for this Project

  • This is a philosophical topic that has interested me for many years. It would have been my primary area of research, had it not been so difficult and so heavily populated with philosophers.
  • It can be considered as a supporting project for two of my other projects.
    1. Personal Identity (because of consciousness of self) and
    2. Philosophy of Religion (as phenomenal consciousness gives prima facie difficulties for materialism).
  • This project remains in mothballs, except insofar as topics are required explicitly to support my other projects.

Summary of Progress During July - September 2017
  1. In all, I spent 13 hours in 3Q17 on this project (42 hours YTD, where by “YTD” – Year to Date – I mean the (academic) year commenced in October 2016). That’s 99% of the planned effort (80% YTD). Overall, 2% of my Project effort was directed towards this project (2% YTD) – as against 2% planned (2% YTD).
  2. Not much progress to be expected, and not much achieved. Basically, just items from Aeon as and when they turned up, and spent a few hours reviewing Crane’s chapter on consciousness.
  3. Otherwise, I converted a few old Philosophy of Mind essays from pdfs to Notes.
  4. Further details follow:-

Consciousness (Total Hours = 13)
Plans for the Near Future
  1. This project is a central part of the background to my Thesis, in elaborating what matters in the first-person perspective, but I can only plan to spend 1 hour a week in the coming year.
  2. So,
    → Re-read and write notes on "Papineau (David) - Introducing Consciousness",
    → Re-read and review notes on "Crane (Tim) - Elements of Mind - An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind",
    → Read appropriate papers from Aeon.
  3. I don’t intend to write another of these reports until this time next year, unless my priorities change radically.

Priority Reading Material

The priority books are given below.
  1. "Baars (Bernard), Banks (William) & Newman (James) - Essential Sources in the Scientific Study of Consciousness"
  2. "Block (Ned), Flanagan (Owen) & Guzeldere (Guven) - The Nature of Consciousness"
  3. "Carruthers (Peter) - Phenomenal Consciousness"
  4. "Chalmers (David) - The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory"
  5. "Churchland (Paul) - The Engine of Reason, the Seat of the Soul: Philosophical Journey into the Brain"
  6. "Crick (Francis) - The Astonishing Hypothesis - The Scientific Search for the Soul"
  7. "Dennett (Daniel) - Consciousness Explained"
  8. "Gray (Jeffrey) - Consciousness: Creeping up on the Hard Problem"
  9. "Hodgson (David) - The Mind Matters - Consciousness and Choice in a Quantum World"
  10. "Levine (Joseph) - Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness"
  11. "Marcel (Anthony J.) & Bisiach (Edoardo) - Consciousness in Contemporary Science"
  12. "McGinn (Colin) - The Problem of Consciousness: Essays Towards a Resolution"
  13. "Noe (Alva) - Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness"
  14. "Papineau (David) - Introducing Consciousness"
  15. "Papineau (David) - Thinking About Consciousness"
  16. "Penrose (Roger) - The Emperor's New Mind"
  17. "Penrose (Roger) - Shadows of the Mind"
  18. "Searle (John) - The Rediscovery of the Mind"
  19. "Smith (Quentin) & Jokic (Aleksandar) - Consciousness: New Philosophical Essays"

Additionally, I’ve started to catalogue my back-issues of Journal of Consciousness Studies, for which the link below is the jumping-off point:-

→ "JCS - Journal of Consciousness Studies (Consolidated List)"


Other Material

Note last updated: 09/10/2017 23:25:26


Footnote 35: (Status: Bridge (2017 - September))

Rationale for this Project

  • I showed some natural talent for bridge in my youth, and wanted to see how far I could get with a bit of application (but – given the breadth my other interests – without fanaticism).
  • However, this project has always needed to be kept rigorously in hand, something that has rarely been the case since I returned to the game. Basically, Bridge is fun – and I do reasonably well, but not well enough.
  • I withdrew from the game2 for most of 2015, but returned in the final quarter. This absence allowed me to get things in perspective for a while - playing twice or three times a week, with the occasional tournament.
  • However, as from July 2017 I have now retired from the game again, though I still keep in touch with what’s going on via my bridge website activities.

Summary of Progress during July - September 2017
  1. Overview:
    • I had a very busy first 20 days of July, since when I’ve not played.
    • Results in general were rather depressing, and my rating dropped further from a K to a Q, when I called it a day.
    • The real crisis point was superficially a success, in the London Swiss Teams (see below). The problem was with the X-IMPS, which were flat for Albert and me, when we thought we’d had a good day. It was substantially down to one board where we correctly stopped in 5 of a major knowing there was an AK out against us in a side suit. Unfortunately, lots of pairs had been in small or even grand slams, sometimes doubled, and always making. So, we got a terrible X-IMPs score, while our partners got a good score for only letting through the small slam. This was in a field with a lot of international players. I decided the game was too silly to continue with, given the time it takes from other projects.
    • I spent only 41% of planned effort on this project; details below. This was due to my retirement mid-July.
  2. The Highlights of the quarter were:-
    • London Swiss Teams (YCBC, Sunday 16th July, with Albert; Peter & Pat as team-mates): 6th out of 27 in a very strong field. 1 GP gained
    • Essex “C” vs Cambs & Hunts (Sunday 2nd July): With David. Pretty abject. The team lost 0-20, and David and I were -32 Butler-IMPs, for no good reason.
  3. I’ve continued supporting the ECBA website (Web Link (http://www.bridgewebs.com/essex/)) and Bernie’s Website (Web Link (http://www.bridgewebs.com/firstclassbridge/)) as well as various sites for small clubs (Web Link (http://www.essexbridgeresults.org.uk/)).
  4. I spent a lot of time %age-wise on system and session reviews which, as always, needs to be kept in check. I was trying to determine what was going wrong, other than random fluctuations.
  5. Effort Expenditure: During 3Q17 I expended 87 hours on this project (870 hours YTD, where for “YTD” – Year to Date – I mean the (academic) year commencing in October 2016). That’s 41% of the planned effort, 101% YTD. Overall, 12% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 33% YTD) – as against 30% planned (32% YTD).
  6. Statistics: by partner and club-category can be obtained by following these links – for the last quarter and to date.
  7. Recent Results: Follow this link. Further information can be found from my Bridge Page.
  8. Local Points:
    • 33,768, bagged to date, including 1,175 Blue Points, 98.56 Green Points and 0.22 Gold Points4.
    • That makes me a National Master. My next aim – if I play again – will be to achieve Premier National Master status (40,000 LPs, including 100 GPs) – so just there as far as GPs are concerned5, but still a long way to go for local points.
    • I think I had about 5,000 LPs from my student days, but never registered any, more’s the pity.
  9. EBU Grading:
    • My rating continued to decline in 3Q17, and was down to a mid Q by the time I stopped playing.
    • See Web Link (https://www.ebu.co.uk/ngs/) for full details of the scheme, and the summary and previous reports for my detailed meanderings over time.
  10. Summary of Progress to Date: I’ve hived off the history to a separate document.
  11. Further Details: of time expenditure against task are given below, extracted from the relevant version of my Summary Task List (which is regularly updated between Quarterly Status Reports).

Bridge (Total Hours = 87.25)
  1. Bridge - Reading / Writing
  2. Bridge - Admin (Total Hours = 11.75)
  3. Bridge - Play (Total Hours = 43.75)
    • Bridge - Bernie's (Albert) (3 hours)
    • Bridge - Bernie's (Colin) (3.5 hours)
    • Bridge - ECL vs Cambs & Hunts "C" (David Tennet) (4 hours)
    • Bridge - Hutton (David Tennet) (3.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Hutton / St Edith's (Colin) (3.25 hours)
    • Bridge - London Swiss Teams (Albert) (7.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Mayflower (David Tennet) (6.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Mountnessing (David Tennet) (9.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Woodham (Albert) (3 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Playing"
  4. Bridge - Study (Total Hours = 28.75)
    • Bridge - Question from Dennis (0.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Session Reviews (Albert) (4.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Session Reviews (Colin) (2.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Session Reviews (David Tennet) (9.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Systems Review (Albert) (3.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Systems Review (Colin) (1 hour)
    • Bridge - Systems Review (Strong Diamond) (6 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Study"
    • "Chawner (Marc) - Your Lead Partner" (0.5 hours)

Plans for the Near Future:
  1. I don’t intend to play in the coming academic year, so I’ve drastically reduced the schedule to a mere 2 hours a week throughout the coming quarter. I’m not sure whether I’ll produce another of these reports until this time next year – it’ll depend whether there’s anything interesting to report.
  2. Keep in touch with the Bridge scene, if possible.
  3. Probably attend the ECBA Committee meeting on 1st November.
  4. Bridge Study9:-





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 2:
  • When not playing, I didn’t miss the game at all, but maybe this was mainly because acting as the Essex County Bridge Association (ECBA) Webmaster performed as a psychological substitute.
Footnote 4: These have been amortised over the years.

Footnote 5: Taking into account the BPs, which are converted at the rate 300 BPs = 1 GP.

Footnote 9:
  • There may not be time or enthusiasm for much of this!
  • However, it is essential if I want to improve.

Note last updated: 09/10/2017 23:25:26


Footnote 39: (Status: Languages (2017 - September))

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.
  • However, 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 as native speakers.
  • This project has varied in priority over recent years, but is now almost completely 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.

Status as at end-September 2017
  1. I planned to spend very little time on this project in the last academic year. In all, I spent 12.5 hours on this project in the academic year ending September 2017. That’s 96% of the planned effort. This effort was expended on:-
    1. Languages - Admin (Total Hours = 2.75)
      • 3Q16 Status Reports (0.75 hours)
      • Updating "Languages - Materials for Use" web-page (2 hours)
        → See "Admin - Languages - Admin"
    2. Languages - Spanish
    3. Languages - Thai (Total Hours = 7.25)
    4. Languages - Turkish
  2. The Spanish was for a trip to Mallorca, and the Thai for Nat’s Thai girlfriend, should she obtain a visa to come to this country.
  3. Additionally, I spent some 37.5 hours in the early months of the academic year immersed in NT Greek, completing Pete’s PhD Appendices website – see "Mansell (Peter) - Bottom Up Reading of Acts" and Web Link (http://www.acts-research.website/). The time for this was booked to my Web-Tools Project.

Plans for the 2017/18 Academic Year
Materials for Use

These can be followed up here.

Note last updated: 09/10/2017 23:25:26


Footnote 40: (Status: Music (2017 - September))

Rationale for this Project

  • Music is one of the few interests Julie and I have in common – so is worth cultivating on that account.
  • I don’t consider myself to have any particular musical talent, but enjoy listening to music; and communal playing, provided it is with at least minimal competence, is pleasurable enough.
  • I played the oboe for a couple of years at school, starting age 14, and while I got to Grade 5 within a year, I soon lost interest. I also scraped an ‘O’ Level in music.
  • I started learning the piano in mid-2008, and until September 2010 I had a periodic combined oboe + piano lesson lasting an hour with my oboe-teacher in Westcliffe on Sea. Since then, this aspect of the project has been in abeyance.
  • Since moving to Billericay over 25 years ago, we occasionally played in a scratch quartet with a couple of friends (piano and recorder) with me on the oboe and Julie on the violin. These friends moved to Shropshire in February 2011, so this occasional pleasure has come to an end with the exception of the occasional visit.
  • However, Julie and I have, since March 2015, been members of a group calling itself The Enigma Ensemble. It is rather chatty and of a poor standard, but enjoyable enough and keeps me practising. I have set up its website: Web Link (http://www.enigmaensemble.co.uk/).

Summary of Progress During July - September 2017
  1. I spent 79 hours in 3Q17 on this project (179 hours YTD, where by “YTD” – Year to Date – I mean the (academic) year commenced in October 2016). That’s 151% of the planned effort (114% YTD). Overall, 11% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 7% YTD) – as against 7% planned (6% YTD).
  2. As can be seen, I took this project even more seriously this quarter than last quarter. I’m continuing to improve my stamina as an oboist. A couple of the more musical ensemble members claimed my oboe was out of tune, so I purchased a tuner. I’d thought the oboe was in tune by definition, but it seems the pitch changes as it warms up. Due to various illnesses, our ensemble has been reduced to strings (two violins, cello and double-base) one or two flutes and the oboe. Because the oboes is rather “bright” it tends to dominate in such a small group, so I’ve been asked to move back amongst the bass instruments!
  3. I also commenced fairly limited studies of piano, theory and aural.
  4. Two significant events:-
    1. As originally reported in my March 2017 report, what turned out to be a Howarth S10 was donated to St. John’s by a chap who was never seen again. It was in a plastic bag and was held together with elastic bands. It had no case, but was accompanied by a beginner’s book. I assume the owner had come by it in a charity shop, had had a go and given up. I checked with Howarths, but they hadn’t had it reported stolen. It didn’t work well, so I didn’t do anything with it for 6 months. But last quarter I bought a case for £20 on Amazon and had the oboe serviced for another £20 (the elastic bands had done it a mischief). Since then I’ve been using it exclusively with some success. My old “open hole” Louis LM5 also had a £20 service (it had got bunged up, so the octave keys didn’t work properly). Howarth didn’t think it’d be easy to sell, so I’ve kept it as a reserve.
    2. In order to be able to practice the piano without annoying people or embarrassment I purchased the excellent Yamaha P-45 Electric Piano which is installed in my library and can be played in silence with the aid of some deluxe earphones.
  5. Further details follow:-

Music (Total Hours = 79.25)
  1. Music - Administration (Total Hours = 17.75)
  2. Music - Aural
  3. Music - Oboe (Total Hours = 57.5)
  4. Music - Piano
  5. Music - Theory (Total Hours = 1.25)

Plans for the Near Future
Progress to Date

The lists of items performed is cumulative, so I’ve hived off the history to a separate document.




In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Ie. The following:-

Note last updated: 09/10/2017 23:25:26



Text Colour Conventions

  1. Black: Printable Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2017
  2. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2017


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Timestamp: 06/12/2017 00:08:53. Comments to theo@theotodman.com.