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Status Reports - Status: Summary (2018 - June)

Rationale for this Report


Projects in Progress
Planning and Actuals
Detailed Interim Activities

Plans for the Near Future24
  1. Thesis25
    1. Continue with my Thesis26; in particular fill out those sections that I can write something on without further research. Make progress on specific Chapters, using the materials below →
    2. Chapter 227 (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".
    3. Chapter 528 (Persistence and Time). Focussing on:-
      1. "Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: A Philosophical Enquiry",
      2. "Miller (Kristie) - Issues in Theoretical Diversity: Persistence, Composition, and Time",
      3. "Wiggins (David) - Continuants: Their Activity, Their Being, and Their Identity",
      4. Complete "Lebens (Samuel) & Goldschmidt (Tyron) - The Promise of a New Past", and send to Sophie Botros & Michael J. Alter,
      5. Complete running through relevant pages from Robert O. Doyle.
    4. Chapter 629 (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 "Hershenov (David) - Review of David DeGrazia’s Human Identity and Bioethics".
      10. Review the work of Elselijn Kingma.
    5. Chapter 730 (The Constitution View):-
      1. Start a serious review of "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View", my other core text.
      2. Write up reviews of papers in "Baker (Lynne Rudder), Etc. - E-Symposium on 'Persons & Bodies: A Constitution View'".
      3. Read and review "Corcoran (Kevin) - Rethinking Human Nature: A Christian Materialist Alternative to the Soul".
      4. Write a Note on "Loose (Jonathan) - Constitution and the Falling Elevator".
    6. Chapter 1031 (Thought Experiments):-
      1. Investigate Transhumanism32.
      2. In particular,
        1. Briefly review "O'Connell (Mark) - To be a Machine",
        2. Read "Bostrom (Nick) - Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies",
        3. Detailed review of "Graziano (Michael) - Endless fun",
        4. Complete "Midgley (Mary) - Biotechnology and Monstrosity: Why We Should Pay Attention to the 'Yuk Factor'",
        5. Complete review of "Shipley (G.J.) - Review of Andy Clark's 'Natural-Born Cyborgs'".
    7. Chapter 1133 (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", and
        → "Corcoran (Kevin) - Dualism, Materialism and the Problem of Post Mortem Survival".
      5. Write a file-note on "Barua (Ankur) - Revisiting the Rationality of Reincarnation-Talk".
    8. As background tasks:-
      1. Convert old PDF-précis, Etc34 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 reading:-
        → "Blackburn (Simon) - Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed"
        → "Harari (Yuval Noah) - Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow"
        → "Updike (John) - Self-Consciousness"
      5. Complete my Note on "Smith (Martin) - Why Throwing 92 Heads in a Row Is Not Surprising" and discuss with Pete & Mike.
      6. Continue reading and reviewing35 papers issued by Aeon,
      7. Attend Oliver Black’s Salon,
      8. Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR & Cambridge Core36.
  2. Religion37
    1. Philosophy of Religion:
      1. Continue reading "Antony (Louise M.) - Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life",
      2. Review "Oppy (Graham) - An Argument for Atheism From Naturalism".
      3. Continue reading the Blog "Ferguson (Matthew) - Κέλσος".
    2. Resurrection: Read "Knohl (Israel) - Messiahs and Resurrection in 'The Gabriel Revelation'" and associated papers.
    3. Background:
      1. Read appropriate items from Aeon38.
      2. Continue reviewing "Hart (David Bentley) - Everything you know about the Gospel of Paul is likely wrong" and parallels.
      3. Contiue reading "Finkelstein (Israel) & Silberman (Neil Asher) - The Bible Unearthed".
  3. Website39
    1. Own Website: Priority 1 Items By Category:-
      • Architecture
        1. Complete XRef-re-engineering project:-
          1. Ensure all links and link-pages use the new XRef table, and pension off the old tables.
          2. Check all link-types still work and fix any errors.
          3. Complete the auto-triggering of regeneration of “associated” link pages.
          4. Fix update bug in Convert_Webrefs.
          5. Fix Bug whereby PaperSummary pages seem to have “Works-” and “Books/Papers-” Citings that refer to the same link-pages.
        2. Review effectiveness of hyperlinking method in the light of PhD and Philosophy of Religion experience.
      • Authors
        1. Authors Narrative: enable footnotes.
      • Backups
        1. Review architecture to improve performance; Need to document first
      • Books/Papers
        1. Investigate whether multiple Subject/Topic/Subtopic usage leads anywhere (ie. are just the first (of 3) actually used). Fix anything amiss.
      • Documenter
        1. Create Functor using Form_Documentation_Links to automatically add control-links to documentation Notes.
        2. Provide Functional Documentation for Website Generator (using Notes)
      • Education
        1. Investigate Harvard CS50's Web Programming with Python and JavaScript (https://www.edx.org/course/cs50s-web-programming-with-python-and-javascript-0), and check it'll still to run in 2019
        2. Investigate Bootstrap.
        3. Plan what to do with "Sitepoint (Learnable) - Sitepoint Learnable Web Development Courses" and the eBooks in my possession.
        4. Read "PC Pro - Computing in the Real World".
        5. Read "Barnes (Russell), Ed. - Web Designer".
        6. Re-start "Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science" (consider accreditation).
        7. Understand Bitcoin & Blockchain better
      • Footnotes
        1. Enable the re-use of Footnotes in the same Note40. Currently, they appear twice.
      • Notes
        1. Add "Note Alternates" to Note pages.
        2. Allow the option to concatenate Notes in the Printed version (ie. linearly embed them essay-style), rather than treating the hyperlinks as footnotes – but still keep the hyperlink & cross-referencing in place.
          1. For use as "disclaimers" - eg. for "Plug Notes".
          2. For Thesis / essays: the difficulty here is the need for linking passages to make the text run smoothly.
        3. Create auto-regen of all Note Link (Note_nnn_Link) Pages
        4. Ensure FN referencing within Notes and referencing between Abstracts and Notes works for archived Notes.
        5. Investigate Note_Links: Section references seem to be incorrect
        6. Printable Notes: fix the bug whereby the “private” flag is round the wrong way.
        7. Suppress the publication of the Printable versions of Temp Notes
      • Photos
        1. Add photos of Tom - Create Timeline software
        2. Develop software & procedure to make adding more content to the photos pages easier to undertake.
      • Process
        1. Determine why Recalculation & Changed Book/Papers produce unneeded regeneration.
      • Spider
        1. Determine why copying of data back to the slave database takes so long - approx. 3.5 hours. May need to re-architect.
      • WebRefs
        1. Documentation & Bug-fixes: Phase 2
          1. Re-document the procedures in the light of recent changes.
          2. Resolve issues generated / revealed by the spider.
          3. Investigate - and fix where possible - broken links.
    2. Other Websites: Priority 1 Items By Category:-
      • Bridge
        1. Create "Small Sites" database for Alaric (if chased)
      • Enigma
        1. Termly updates to the Enigma Ensemble (http://www.enigmaensemble.co.uk/) Website.
      • Sophie
        1. Periodic updates to Sophie Botros: Live Site (http://www.sophiebotros.com/)
  4. Music41
    1. Oboe:-
      1. Practice the oboe for one or two 15-minute sessions each and every day – focussing on the items below and …
      2. Occasionally combine into one half-hour-long session to build up stamina further.
      3. Attend the four sessions of The Enigma Ensemble (two in July, two in September).
      4. Run through the Enigma Ensemble portfolio, practicing the active pieces.
      5. Work through, and perfect, scales & arpeggios for Grades I-VI, using
        → "Trinity Guildhall - Trinity Guildhall Scales & Arpeggios for Oboe (Grades 1–8)", and
        → "ABRSM - Scales and Arpeggios for Oboe, Grades 1-8 (ABRSM Scales & Arpeggios)".
      6. Catch up on Grade VI pieces, in particular Boni’s Sonata in G.
      7. Read and apply oboe practice techniques recommended by Martin Schuring.
      8. 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 study:-
      → "Taylor (Eric) - The AB Guide to Music Theory - Part 2",
      → "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 1": do the exercises
      → "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 2",
    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 "Deutsch (Diana) - Absolute Pitch", and related material42.
  5. Consciousness43
    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 Aeon44.
  6. Languages45
    1. Thai: Preparatory to Nat's emigration to Thailand. Materials from Categorised List, in particular:-
      → "Lonely Planet - Lonely Planet Thai Phrasebook & Dictionary",
      → "Becker (Benjawan Poomsan) - Thai for Beginners", and
      → "thailanguagewiki - Thai Language Wiki".
  7. Mathematics46
    1. Read papers from Aeon as they arise.
    2. Browse "Gowers (Timothy), Barrow-Green (June) & Leader (Imre), Eds. - The Princeton Companion to Mathematics",
    3. Complete reading "Shapiro (Stewart) - Thinking about Mathematics - The Philosophy of Mathematics".
  8. HiQ47
    1. ISPE
    2. Mensa
      • Nothing planned.
  9. Bridge48
    1. Meet up with the post-retirement Colin!
    2. Return to playing bridge once a week if encouraged to do so.
    3. Read "Reading - Bridge - Magazines".
    4. Play Estimation Whist or Black Maria with friends on holiday.
  10. Chess49
    1. Read new copies of, and review old copies of, "Chess - Chess Magazine"; work through the “How Good Is Your Chess” articles.



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:
  • 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?
Footnote 14:
  • Due to administrative confusion, I needlessly took their latest entrance test. After chasing them up I was told I “passed with flying colours”, but could get no more information.
Footnote 15:
  • Coxes Farm hails from the 16th century, or possibly earlier, and is very “wonky”, requiring continual maintenance.
  • In December 2017, a base to roof crack appeared in the render at the front.
  • Subsequent investigations revealed that the frame at the front – which had been added in the 17th century – has rotted away, so the front façade is held up by the brick infill and an impervious cement render, the cause of the rot.
  • I’m writing a Blog Item on this saga, with some theoretical thoughts, which I hope to have published in due course.
Footnote 19:
  • Last quarter – at 25 hours / week – it represented the amount of time that I’d need to spend if I were pursuing my research part-time at Birkbeck – which would be something like 5 hours / day, 5 days a week.
Footnote 20:
  • As my purchasing has now dropped to a relative trickle, I’ve extended the selection range to cover the last 6 months.
  • Some of these are random purchases from charity shops, or presents. Others are selectively purchased in support of my various projects.
  • Poverty and lack of space is severely curtailing my purchasing power.
Footnote 21:
  • Or at least those recently added to my database, in the case of electronic items that sometimes arrive too fast to be catalogued immediately.
Footnote 24:
  • In the light of the segregation of my projects into three tiers, items for tertiary projects are only to be addressed if everything of higher priority is in shape.
Footnote 35:
  • Try to keep up to date, but only read those that are strictly relevant – ignore the rest!
  • At present I have a relatively small reading-backlog, and a much larger reviewing-backlog.
  • Try to add a brief comment for each paper – maybe at the expense of reading the full text!
Footnote 40:
  • This occurs in these reports, but possibly elsewhere.
Footnote 42: Ie. The following:-

Note last updated: 07/07/2018 11:35:31


Footnote 2: (Status: Personal Identity (2018 - June))

Rationale for this Project

  • I am researching the subject of Personal Identity primarily because of its intrinsic interest and importance. It is really a sub-topic in my Philosophy of Religion project, with its penultimate chapter considering the metaphysical possibility of resurrection.
  • While I’m interested in the topic of my research in its own right, I think when I’ve sorted it out a bit, and have something to say, I’ll want to engage with other philosophers active in this field – and re-starting a PhD at Birkbeck or elsewhere might be the only effective way to do this.
  • While a PhD is not an end in itself, and certainly not the ultimate aim of my doing philosophy, it’s still true that a PhD would teach me research techniques, provide focus and direction, and furnish a professional qualification should I want to publish any results in this or any other area of philosophy.
  • The jumping-off point for my thesis is here, and a progress dashboard is here3. Maybe a better place to find my current views is here4.

Summary of Progress during April - June 2018
  1. I spent 265 hours in 2Q18 on this Project, or related work (903 hours YTD, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2017). That's 82% of the planned effort (96% YTD). Overall, 52% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 49% YTD) - as against 54% planned (46% YTD).
  2. My planned effort was 25 hours / week: approximately what I’d expect to put in to a part-time PhD. Unfortunately, unlike last quarter, I was nowhere near achieving it. However, most of the effort expended was on relevant items!
  3. The main focus of the quarter was that I continued updating my Notes on Personal Identity. As noted last time, I’ve decided to change my approach in the short term. Rather than spending ages researching the reading lists, I’ll just list those books / papers on the relevant topic that I’ve actually read, and supply brief text. As a second pass I’ll use what I’ve read to update that text.
  4. The detailed list below reflects the Notes updated together with associated papers where I could be bothered to record time against these separately.
  5. In addition:-
  6. Progress between reports can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List. More detail follows:-
Thesis (Total Hours = 229.75)
  1. Thesis - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 221.25)
  2. Thesis - Discussions (Total Hours = 0.75)
  3. Thesis - Research Repositioning

Thesis Background (Total Hours = 30.75)
  1. Thesis Background - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 17.25)
  2. Thesis Background - Books Admin (Total Hours = 6.75)
  3. Thesis Background - Status (Total Hours = 6.75)

Thesis (Aeon) (Total Hours = 4.5)

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 6:
  • Hopefully, I may complete, or get stuck, earlier.
  • By “current academic year”, I mean the period ending on my 65th birthday – ie. 13/11/2018.
  • Previously, I’ve remarked “This is not to slip!” Unfortunately, the distractions on the problems with Coxes Farm mean that it will.
  • On the plus side, I’m already much further advanced than would be expected of someone commencing a PhD.
  • On the minus side, I want to go into much greater depth, and have other projects on the go – most notably Music, Philosophy of Religion 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.
  • Unfortunately, this is likely to be more than gobbled up by payments on whatever loan I eventually manage to obtain for Coxes Farm.
Footnote 7:
  • 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 9:
  • This is still ludicrously inadequate for what I want to achieve, but is what would be expected of a part-time research student.
Footnote 11:
  • This is obviously far too long, and keeps getting items “carried forward” tacked on to it.
  • Maybe I’ll prune it next time.
Footnote 21:
  • Try to keep up to date, but only read those that are strictly relevant – ignore the rest!
  • At present I have a relatively small reading-backlog, and a much larger reviewing-backlog.
  • Try to add a brief comment for each paper – maybe at the expense of reading the full text!

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


Footnote 2.3: (Status: Thesis Dashboard (2018: July))

Below is a table1 showing the indicative progress on my Thesis, broken down by Chapter. More detail is given in footnotes. For a definition of the Tasks, follow this Link3.

ChapterTask 01Task 02Task 03Task 04Task 05Task 06Task 07Task 08Task 09Task 10Task 11Task 12
Chapter 01 (Introduction)CompleteCompleteCompleteCompleteStartedCompleteDrafted5  Complete6  
Chapter 02 (What are We?)CompleteStarted8Complete9CompleteStartedComplete10Drafted  Drafted  
Chapter 03 (What is a Person?)CompleteIteration_1Complete      Started  
Chapter 04 (Basic Metaphysical Issues)CompleteStarted13Complete      Drafted  
Chapter 05 (Persistence and Time)CompleteIteration_115Complete      Started  
Chapter 06 (Animalism and Arguments for It)CompleteStarted17Complete      Started  
Chapter 07 (The Constitution View and Arguments for It)CompleteCompleteComplete      Started  
Chapter 08 (Arguments against Animalism)CompleteCompleteComplete         
Chapter 09 (Arguments against the Constitution View)CompleteCompleteComplete         
Chapter 10 (Thought Experiments)CompleteComplete22Started23         
Chapter 11 (Resurrection)CompleteCompleteComplete      Started  
Chapter 12 (Conclusion)N/A26N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Footnote 3: The definitions of the 12 tasks are a follows:-
  1. Determine which Notes that I have written are relevant to this Chapter.
  2. Fill out any Note-place-holders with whatever's in my head!
  3. Use the reading lists associated with these Notes to establish a limited reading list for the Chapter.
  4. Review whatever I've written, in whatever format, on the items in the derived reading lists, and make necessary cosmetic changes in the process of evaluating the items.
  5. Segregate this reading list into:-
    • Higher versus lower priority,
    • Read versus unread,
    • Annotated (by hand) versus unannotated
    • Those with an Abstract or Note Write-up versus those without
  6. Cull items that are unlikely to be addressed in the next two years and list them as specifically excluded. I may pick up on these at a later stage of the project, but in the short term the culling process will be essential for making across-the-board progress.
  7. Determine why the residue are important and relevant - if they are - and briefly document the reasons.
  8. Migrate any Book or Paper Abstracts that I have written (as distinct from copied from elsewhere) to Write-Up Notes.
  9. If the Book or Paper is important enough, migrate any hand-written annotations to a Write-Up Note, and complete any important incomplete Write-Up Notes.
  10. Write and maintain a Chapter Summary, motivating and summarising the Chapter. Use this to ensure I don't get side-tracked.
  11. Incorporate the key points of Write-Up Notes into the Topic Notes.
  12. Incorporate the highest level thoughts from the Topic Notes into the Main Text of the Chapter.
Footnote 5: Needs reviewing as part of the "culling" process.

Footnote 6: This is just the aggregate of the Chapter Abstracts

Footnote 8: Beings and Souls are a bit skimpy.

Footnote 9:
  • This is the Chapter on which I was working when I started my PhD, and the papers are those I was assigned. They have extensive Write-ups and supervision notes.
  • However, I need to undertake a more thorough review of the literature.
Footnote 10: I probably need to be more rigorous in the culling of items on Selves and Souls.

Footnote 13: Relative Identity, Vague Identity, Indeterminate Identity, Contingent Identity, Occasional Identity and Substance are skeletal.

Footnote 15: Time, Persistence and Persistence Criteria are all rather skimpy.

Footnote 17: Thinking Animal Argument is skeletal and "Other Arguments For Animalism" requires a Note.

Footnote 22: Siliconisation is probably Unger's idea, but I seem to have lost the reference.

Footnote 23:
  • The reading-list for the theory of thought-experiments is OK, but not for the TEs themselves.
  • Many of the relevant papers will have been considered earlier in the Thesis, but they need to be reviewed here.
Footnote 26: This Chapter is non-standard.

Note last updated: 09/07/2018 00:34:34


Footnote 2.10: (Thesis - Current Stance)

The purpose of this Note is to provide a periodic refocusing of what my thoughts and beliefs about the topic of Personal Identity currently are. Previous versions can be found from the list below. This version has links to the various other Notes that expand further on the issues raised, and supply extensive reading lists. While very often these Notes are of the “promissory” variety, the links will remind me to improve them as needed.

  1. What are we? This is one of the most important questions we need to ask ourselves. Just what kind of things are we? The question is closely related to a similar one: just what sort of adventures can individuals such as ourselves survive? This second question sheds light on the first for if there are certain contingencies that we think we would – or would not – survive, when a typical member of that kind would not – or would – survive, then that kind may not represent what we really think we are. Of course, we might be wrong in our estimations, but at least this will raise the question.
  2. Why is this not a trivial question? If we look at a dog, say, and ask what it is, the answer to such a question is obvious – it’s a dog! It may be our pet – with a name – a particular individual, but when we ask what kind of thing it is, it’s a member of the species canis lupus. So, when we look at ourselves, the obvious answer is that we are human beings – specifically human animals, members of the species homo sapiens. That is the answer posited by the Animalists, amongst whose number – broadly speaking – I place myself, who accept the biological view of personal identity.
  3. If this is true, then our persistence conditions – the necessary and sufficient conditions for us to continue in existence – are the same as those of other animals – the great apes, say, under which category we fall, biologically speaking. Why is this not the end of the story? Well, this is because – despite being a species of great ape – human beings are special in that we have enhanced cognitive capacities. We are morally accountable. In sum, we are persons, and have a “first person perspective” (FPP) on the world – something most philosophers deny to other animals – and care about our futures and – wantons apart – agonise over our past mistakes. Lynne Rudder Baker claims this perspective makes an ontological difference, rather than being – as I think – a special property of human beings that may or may not be had in particular cases. Baker accuses the animalists of not taking persons seriously. I might just note that there’s a facile and confusing answer to what we are, that is “people”. You may have noticed that I used the technical term “persons” as the plural of “person”. Some philosophers annoyingly use the term “people”, but this confuses the issue. When we say there are ten people in the room, while it is clear in normal circumstances what we mean – dogs don’t count, for instance – but if there happened to be a Klingon and a visiting angel, would they count as people or not? They are – we may suppose – persons, but they are not human persons
  4. Since at least John Locke, this fact of our mental exceptionalism has tempted philosophers to say that it’s our psychological continuity that is more important for our identity-preservation than our physical continuity. This view still has its supporters – not only for those such as Dean Zimmerman and Richard Swinburne who believe in immaterial souls – but for the many who think that psychological continuity and connectedness is constitutive of the identity of persons. It is also implicit in the ideas of the Transhumanists who think that – come the Singularity – we might be capable of being uploaded to computers and thereby live almost forever.
  5. Before proceeding further we have to say something brief and sketchy about identity and persistence. “Identity” – in the sense of “numerical identity” – is a relation a thing holds to itself and to nothing else. A is identical to B if A and B are the very same thing. It is an equivalence relation, being transitive, reflexive and idempotent; and, many of the sticking points in the philosophy of personal identity arise from this fact.
    1. It has nothing to do with “identity” as a sociological concept such as national identity, sexual identity or identification with a particular group.
    2. Also, John may be said “not to be the same person” since he took heroin, but he is still John and still the same individual; it’s just that his personality has changed.
    3. It also has nothing to do with “narrative identity” which is the story we tell about ourselves in an attempt to make sense of our lives.
    4. Finally, it has nothing to do with “exact similarity”: my television may be “identical” to yours, but that doesn’t mean I can have yours if mine breaks. They are – or were, when manufactured – exactly similar, but are distinct.
  6. “Persisting” is what a thing does in continuing in existence. As we noted above, there are what are called “persistence conditions” – specific to a kind of thing – that set out what vicissitudes a thing can survive if it is to remain that very same thing. There are sometimes hard cases, and there can seem sometimes that there is an element of convention: is a particular club still the same clubs after it has lost all its original members, changed its name, and so on? But we can’t accept that our own existence is a matter of convention, though this could seem the case with the once-dominant psychological view of personal identity: just how much psychological connection could I lose with my former self – philosophers wondered – and still be me? However, things seem simpler and more objective for organisms, which persist despite exchanging material with the environment and changing many of their properties, provided they are caught up in a complex and hopefully long drawn-out event (or process) known as a “life”.
  7. In the above I have assumed at least three things.
    1. Firstly, that “things” – or at least some things – exist. There’s a philosophical position known as “Process Metaphysics” (or “Naturalised Metaphysics”) that gives the focus to process rather than ontology, particularly in the case of organisms. I’m not sure how fatal this is to my approach, since I admit that animals are individuated by their lives, which are processes.
    2. Secondly, that we exist. This would seem hardly worth mentioning, other than that certain philosophers – nihilists – have argued that we (whatever we are) or – for similar reasons – various common things like hands – don’t exist.
    3. Finally, I assume that things do indeed persist, at least some of the time.
    I can’t really address these foundational issues here, but will just say a few words on the second issue. There are a lot of interconnected issues to do with the philosophy of time and change, in particular the problem of temporary intrinsics. How can the leaf that was green yesterday be the same leaf if it is brown today? How can the old bald bloke I am today be the same individual as the hirsute teenager all those years ago?
    1. Some philosophers – the exdurantists – say that there’s no relation of identity across time, but merely a weaker counterpart relation analogous to that between an individual and its counterpart in another possible world.
    2. Others – in particular Derek Parfit – have said that even if there is identity across time, it’s not what matters.
    In what follows, I assume that we exist and that we continue to exist self-identically across time and that this identity relation is important. We could not carry on our lives without these assumptions even if – philosophically-speaking – they were false; but I think they are true: I don’t want to distinguish the “strict and philosophical” from the “loose and popular” senses of identity first raised by Joseph Butler. I also assume the standard logic of identity and reject all heretical accounts that are invented from time to time as radical solutions to the difficult questions of persistence. In particular, I reject the view – known as occasional identity that – while (say) I am not identical to my younger self – yet I was that person, just not any more.
  8. Now back to the main thread. Most Anglophone philosophers these days are physicalists (though maybe most non-philosophers are unreflective dualists). This gives physicalist philosophers a problem if they have hopes of post-mortem survival. If the human organism is totally destroyed – eg. by cremation, explosion, or eating of worms – just how does the very same individual get from this life to the next? Christian Materialists have had a go at thinking this through, and acknowledge the difficulties. Peter Van Inwagen attempted to show that it is at least logically possible by having God snatch away the dying body immediately pre-mortem, replacing it with a simulacrum. Dean Zimmerman – while himself a dualist – has suggested a “falling elevator” model to help out his materialist friends, whereby there is immanent causation (by some unknown natural or supernatural process) between the dying body and the resurrection one so that the dying individual escapes in the nick of time to the next world without loss of numerical identity. Others claim that God’s omnipotence is sufficient and is sovereign even over the laws of logic, so that problems raised by identity being an equivalence relation can be overcome by brute force. Maybe so, but without the constraints of logical possibility, we have no way of arguing the matter, so let’s not bother.
  9. However, most Christian materialists prefer an alternative. They recognise that getting from here to the next world with temporal or spatial gaps raises difficult questions as to whether the numerical identity of the individual is preserved but adopt an alternative solution – the Constitution View. On this thesis, the person is distinct from the human animal – “just as” the statue is distinct from its constituting marble – so that the very same person – tagged by the unique “first person perspective” noted above – can be constituted first by its earthly body, and subsequently by its heavenly one.
  10. Some Animalists have what they think of as a knock-down argument against the Constitution View. Eric Olson calls it the “Thinking Animal” argument. If the person and the animal are distinct things, albeit co-located, there are too many thinkers – because the animal can certainly think, as can the person, so we have two thinkers where we thought we had one – which is one problem; and there’s another – how do we know which we are, the person or the animal? I’m not impressed by this argument. There are several “multiple occupancy” conundrums that have been claimed at one time or another to deny the existence of things we are sure do exist. Dion and Theon, Tib and Tibbles, the “problem of the many” and so on. We just need to sort out our rules for counting. Also, the whole question of three- versus four-dimensionalism (4D) – whether a persisting thing is wholly present at a time – or whether only a temporal part is present, the thing as a whole being a “space-time worm” – bears on the question of counting. If different things can share stages – say the person and the human animal, or the statue and the clay – then we have to be careful how we count. In the case of a future fission – whereby two space-time worms share their past stages, but will ultimately diverge – we might not know how many to count at a time, but this will often not matter for practical purposes.
  11. I think the idea of a first-person perspective is important. It is this that provides the pull against animalism when linked to various thought experiments (TEs) that we’ll come on to presently. However, I still don’t like the Constitution View. My objection is that the FPP is a property of something else – like a smile – in this case of a human animal, though the smile might belong to a cat. You can’t take the very same smile from one cat and place on another (it would be at best an exactly similar smile) – let alone have a disembodied smile like that of the Cheshire Cat. Similarly, you can’t take the very same FPP from one body and plop it onto another. True, it might be a qualitatively exactly similar FPP, but not the same one. What’s to stop that FPP being plopped on several resurrection bodies? Which would be numerically identical to me, given that they can’t all be, in the absence of 4D?
  12. What are the temptations for not sticking with the animalist approach – which ought these days to be the default position in the absence of anything more compelling? As noted, the apparent lack of rational expectation of an afterlife is one incentive to look elsewhere, so “elsewhere” is a favourite for those who can’t bear the thought of their selves expiring with their bodies. We’ve noted the Christian dualists and materialists, but what about the Transhumanists? There’s the relatively metaphysically uninteresting case of cryoscopy followed by repair and resuscitation; there we have material continuity, and no possibility of reduplication, though some might claim there is too much outside interference for identity to be preserved. But, what about the “hope” of “you” being uploaded to a computer? There seems to be an idea about that “we” are really software (or data), when we are clearly material beings. If we are software, it is said, then we might “run” on different hardware. I have two issues with this, apart from the immense technical obstacles to be overcome both in “scanning” the “real you” and providing a computer of sufficient power to run your program and the virtual world for you to experience, Matrix-like.
    1. Firstly, what sort of thing is a program? It’s an interesting question whether a program has persistence conditions. Is Windows 10 the same program as Windows 0? Whatever the answer to this question is, a program would seem to be a kind of universal rather than a particular, and “we” are particulars.
    2. This leads to the second issue – a reduplication objection. Say we developed a sophisticated program that could run on an open-ended number of exactly similar robots. No two of these would be numerically identical to one another – they would be distinct, though exactly similar. So, were the program to be a simulation of your brain, it could run – presumably – on an open-ended number of computers – and these computers (or computer partitions) would not be identical to one another, so none of them could be you, as you could only be one of them, and there’s no principled way of saying which. The same objection prevents Star Trek-like teletransportation – were it possible – being identity-preserving. I might also add that no “program” is – in itself – conscious, though a machine that runs it might conceivably be. Mind you, there are arguments here as well – originated by John Searle – at least for digital computers.
    Incidentally, the transhumanists seem to imagine unending computer life as a secular heaven, but it could just as easily be a secular hell.
  13. So, I remain wedded to my view that we are human animals with the persistence conditions of such. “Person” is not a substance term, but an honorific that refers to some substance during some periods of its existence when it has the requisite mental and moral properties to qualify. “Person” is a Phase Sortal (like “teacher”) that – in the case of “person” – applies to most humans most of the time, but need not apply to all humans all the time. There are ethical consequences for this view, but they are not as dramatic as is sometimes urged. Non-persons don’t have moral responsibilities, as is already recognised for demented or infant humans, and all non-human animals. The obverse – that persons allegedly have no moral obligations towards non-persons – or that non-persons have no rights – is the sticking point, and ought to be reflected in a more humane treatment of all non-persons rather than that we might contemplate sending human non-persons as well as non-human non-persons to the slaughter-house.
  14. So, what are the problems for animalists? There are several. Some – like the so-called “corpse problem” (is my corpse me – only dead – if not, where does it come from? It doesn’t have the persistence conditions of an organism) are probably relatively easy to overcome. Recently, I’ve discovered that animalists – like (but for different reasons) those who think we are essentially persons – allegedly have a “fetus problem”. Animalists – saying that we are essentially animals – have (it seems) to say that we were once foetuses – which appears to be what our animal once was. But was this fetus once a proper part of its mother? There’s work currently going on to suggest that this is so – and if so, just when did the new human animal come into existence? However, I don’t think any of this seriously threatens animalism. Maybe animalists should have considered the problem more than they have, but animals do come into existence sometime – presumably by the time of birth at the latest – and that’s enough for an animalist.
  15. The real problems for animalism stem from the force of thought experiments such as the “brain transplant intuition”. An animalist seems forced to say that I would not “go with my brain” in the circumstance where my brain is transplanted into another body, when it seems to most people that I would. The alleged reason for this is that at least some animalists consider the brain to be “just another organ” that we might lose like we might lose a kidney, provided the animal is kept alive. Doubts about this have led some to think that we are not “really” whole human animals but proper parts thereof, maybe not brains as such, but brains and a few other bits. This does seem comical. Just how large am I – would I fit into a hat-box, as Olson asks?
  16. My view is as follows. I am currently (thankfully) a whole human animal. My wife worked in the NHS with amputees, and I think it is right to say that they also are whole human animals, though they lack parts that most of us have. No doubt they could lose more parts – and some diabetics sadly do. So, we might view a “brain in a vat” – one ready for transplant – as a “maximally mutilated” human animal. Maybe – in the case of a brain transplant – a prior animal has fissioned (divided into two) when the brain is extracted and we now have a case of the fusion of two animals (the brain from one fusing with the body of the other). It might be argued that our identity-logic isn’t quite up to deciding who is who in such circumstances, but the stakes seem high enough to demand an answer, for which read on.
  17. I doubt whether the transhumanist hopes of augmenting our physical or mental attributes by effectively converting us into cyborgs is much of a threat to animalism. We don’t worry about our spectacles or our mobiles phones making us any less mammalian. Closer integration with AI applications is only the next step for the extended mind.
  18. So, is there any purchase in thought experiments that putatively have my first person perspective persisting in cases where there is no identity preservation. Could it be the case that “it seems to me” that I have survived some vicissitude – a cerebrum transplant, say – but I am mistaken? Some philosophers argue that this happens every night – I go to sleep, and when I wake up I just assume that I am identical to the individual who got into bed, but how do I know? I might be intellectually convinced by third parties – those other than the sleeper and the waker – one way or another, but how would this affect how it seems to me? Take the teletranportation case. Because of the reduplication objection (unless we are 4-dimensionalists), we should say that numerical identity is not preserved. But – if the technology works, and I am the teletransportee – the individual (or 77 duplicates) would (all) wake up convinced they were me, yet they must be deceived. Thankfully, reduplication is not a problem for whole-brain transplants, but it is for idempotent half-brain transplants, though I think the identity problem there occurs during the fissioning process rather than when the half-brains are implanted.
  19. I continue to think that there is a distinction to be made between forward and backward psychological continuity, though I don’t see how third parties – or even first or second parties – could tell the difference. It makes all the difference to me if I go to sleep and someone else wakes up thinking they are me – as against the normal case where I go to sleep and I wake up. In the former case – for me – there’s just an endless nothingness, of which I know nothing, while in the latter case my experiential life carries on. However, backward psychological continuity – what it feels like looking back – is the same for a survivor and one who only thinks he’s survived.
  20. In the case of the split brain transplant, however, how is it all supposed to work, experientially? Neurosurgery is – even today – carried out on substantially conscious patients, as that way there’s a quick feedback loop to tell the surgeon whether he’s destroying any important areas of cognitive function. What would it be like to “fission”? Maybe I lack the imagination, but it seems to me that my First Person Perspective would go along with whatever was the dominant hemisphere, assuming this “seat of consciousness” is initially located in one hemisphere or the other. If it is not, then it would presumably be destroyed and two new ones would be created in this miracle operation. Either way, this would sit comfortably with the logic of identity which would not be violated, as at most one of the recipients would be me. I can imagine being ripped apart psychologically, but I can’t imagine going two ways.
  21. Of course, there are physical and metaphysical issues with the whole idea of brain transplants – the physical structure of the brain reflects “its” body, and mental faculties are not fully localised, so it’s not just the immensely complex task of “wiring up” the brain to its new body that presents a challenge. Half-brain transplants are even more problematical as in the TEs the brain stem is not split, but only the cerebra are supposed to be transplanted. It’s not clear to me whether there is pervasive confusion here and that these thought experiments are underspecified to the degree of incoherence. Some philosophers – eg. Kathleen Wilkes – think TEs are unhelpful in the philosophy of personal identity, and that our concepts are not up to being probed in this way. I’m not so sure – the TEs are about us, not our concepts.
  22. There is finally the question whether there is any such thing as “the Self”, which is what is supposed to have this FPP. Some contemporary philosophers argue that the Self is an illusion that the brain generates. Others – such as David Hume – have argued; and others – such as Galen Strawson – do argue that when they introspect they find no evidence of a persisting Self. I don’t know where they are coming from, as I can’t think of anything more certain. But a Buddhist-inspired “no-self” view makes the animalist’s task easier, if maybe less interesting.

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


Footnote 10: (Status: Mathematics (2018 - June))

The text of this report – apart from some statistics – hasn’t been changed since end September 2017 as this project is in abeyance. This report is generated automatically.


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

Summary of Progress during 17Q4 - 18Q3
  1. I have spent 13 hours YTD on this Project, or related work, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2017). That's 100% of the planned effort. Overall, 1% of my Project effort YTD has been directed towards this project.
  2. YTD Activity1
    Mathematics (Total Hours = 12.5)
    1. Mathematics - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 10.5)
    2. Mathematics - Admin (Total Hours = 2)

  3. Progress (if any) in the last quarter can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List2.

Plans for the Near Future:
  1. Read papers from Aeon as they arise.
  2. Browse "Gowers (Timothy), Barrow-Green (June) & Leader (Imre), Eds. - The Princeton Companion to Mathematics",
  3. Complete reading "Shapiro (Stewart) - Thinking about Mathematics - The Philosophy of Mathematics".

Mathematical Resources




In-Page Footnotes

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

Note last updated: 09/07/2018 00:34:34


Footnote 10.1: (Status: Summary Task List (2018: July))

This is a list of the tasks performed on my various projects since my last status report. It is automatically generated from my time-recording system, so is fairly crude. See also the YTD Report. The main purpose (for me) is to provide readily-available hyperlinks to what I've just written. Projects are in priority sequence, broken down by sub-project where appropriate. If the project name has a superscript, clicking on the name will take you to the last published report for this project. To jump to the Project task-lists, click on the links in the list below:-

  1. Thesis (For the latest Status Dashboard, Click Here)
  2. Thesis Background
  3. Thesis (Aeon)
  4. Religion
  5. Religion Background
  6. Website
  7. Website Others
  8. Music
  9. Consciousness
  10. Languages
  11. Mathematics
  12. HiQ
  13. Bridge
  14. Chess
Links to the latest time-analyses are given first.
  1. Total Time outstanding this period = 476 hours
  2. Click Here for Actual Detail Summary (2007 - 2019) by Sub-Project
  3. Click Here for (by Project)
    • Summary of Effort YTD & QTD
    • Time Analysis (YTD by Study-location)
  4. Click Here for (by Project)
    • Plan versus Actual Effort Summary - Split (Previous Quarter & YTD)
    • Plan versus Actual Effort Summary - Actual (Previous Quarter & YTD)
    • Plan Summary (Next Quarter & Full Year)
    • Actual & Plan Summary (2007 - 2019)
Project 1: Thesis (Total Hours = 10)
  1. Thesis - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 8.5)
  2. Thesis - Research Repositioning

Project 2: Thesis Background (Total Hours = 7.5)
  1. Thesis Background - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 2.5)
  2. Thesis Background - Status

Project 3: Thesis (Aeon)
  • No activity this period

Project 4: Religion
Project 5: Religion Background
Project 6: Website (Total Hours = 6.75)
  1. Website - Bridge Development
  2. Website - Education
  3. Website - Maintenance

Project 7: Website Others (Total Hours = 0.5)
  1. Website Others - Bernie's Website Development
  2. Website Others - Enigma Ensemble
    • Enigma Ensemble Website - Creation, Admin & Maintenance (0.25 hours)

Project 8: Music (Total Hours = 4.5)
  1. Music - Administration (Total Hours = 1.25)
    • 18Q2 Status Reports (0.25 hours)
    • Emails to Michael re schedule, etc. (0.5 hours)
    • Re-filing Enigma Ensemble music (0.5 hours)
      → See "Admin - Music - Administration"
  2. Music - Oboe (Total Hours = 3.25)

Project 9: Consciousness
Project 10: Languages
Project 11: Mathematics
Project 12: HiQ
Project 13: Bridge
Project 14: Chess (Total Hours = 0.5)
  1. Chess - Reading / Writing
  2. Chess - Admin
    • 18Q2 Status Reports (0.25 hours)

Note last updated: 09/07/2018 00:34:34


Footnote 12: (Status: HiQ (2018 - June))

The text of this report – apart from some statistics – hasn’t been changed since end September 2017 as this project is in abeyance. This report is generated automatically.


Rationale for this Project
  1. I was very active in Mensa and ISPE in the years prior to taking up formal study of philosophy at Birkbeck in 2000. Thereafter I was too busy, and no longer felt the need to contribute, so I let my memberships lapse.
  2. When I retired from HSBC at the end of 2010, 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 ISPE1 yet again for the calendar year 2017, to see what was going on, and have renewed for 2018.
  4. Society Details:-
    • For Mensa – see Link (http://www.mensa.org.uk/) – I joined, or re-joined, a bundle of societies, but did nothing.
    • For ISPE – see Link (https://www.thethousand.com/) – I did nothing other than pay my dues and exchange friendly emails with a couple of old contacts.
    • For a site2 giving details of the tests used for entry to ISPE and “higher” societies, see “uncommonly Difficult IQ Tests” (Link (http://tthqi.free.fr/Uncommonly%20Difficult%20IQ%20Tests.php)).
    • See 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.

Summary of Progress during 17Q4 - 18Q3
  1. I have spent 6 hours YTD on this Project, or related work, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2017). That's 46% of the planned effort. Overall, 0% of my Project effort YTD has been directed towards this project.
  2. YTD Activity3
    HiQ (Total Hours = 5.5)
    • 17Q3 Status Reports (1.75 hours)
    • 18Q2 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
    • Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE - Contact Details (0.25 hours)
    • Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE - Recent Emails (0.25 hours)
    • Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE - Re-joining (0.25 hours)
    • Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE - Test Queries (0.25 hours)
    • Discussion with Lise Lynge (1.25 hours)
    • Ning (1 hour)
      → See "Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE"

  3. Progress (if any) in the last quarter can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List.

Plans for the Near Future:
  1. ISPE
  2. Mensa
    • Nothing planned.





In-Page Footnotes

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

Footnote 3:
  • As this project is substantially inactive, I don’t update the text between quarters other than at the end of the academic year.
  • Hence, the YTD Activity is to make this task easier, and to give a clearer idea of what – if anything – has been going on in the interim.

Note last updated: 09/07/2018 11:55:41


Footnote 13: (Status: Chess (2018 - June))

The text of this report – apart from some statistics – hasn’t been changed since end September 2017 as this project is in abeyance. This report is generated automatically.


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 Link (http://shop.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 Link (http://www.essexchess.org.uk/) for the Essex Chess site.

Summary of Progress during 17Q4 - 18Q3
  1. I have spent 6 hours YTD on this Project, or related work, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2017). That's 46% of the planned effort. Overall, 0% of my Project effort YTD has been directed towards this project.
  2. YTD Activity5
    Chess (Total Hours = 6.25)
    1. Chess - Reading / Writing
    2. Chess - Admin (Total Hours = 2.75)
      • 17Q3 Status Reports (0.75 hours)
      • 18Q2 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
      • Chess - Discussions with Chris (1.5 hours)
  3. Progress (if any) in the last quarter can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List.

Plans for the Near Future:
  1. Read new copies of, and review old copies of, "Chess - Chess Magazine"; work through the “How Good Is Your Chess” articles.

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 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 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 5:
  • As this project is substantially inactive, I don’t update the text between quarters other than at the end of the academic year.
  • Hence, the YTD Activity is to make this task easier, and to give a clearer idea of what – if anything – has been going on in the interim.

Note last updated: 09/07/2018 00:34:34


Footnote 18: (Status: Summary - Actual versus Plan (2018 - July))

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

  1. Plan versus Actual Effort Summary - Split (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 (July - September 2018) 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
Bridge38112 39
Chess  21  6
Consciousness  111 17
HiQ  11  6
Languages  111 19
Mathematics  111 12
Music381415124223
Religion136862110
Thesis205153464918921
Website12312226277509
Total39100100100100331863
Comparisons7 days280 days100% 89%332089


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 (July - September 2018) 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
Bridge329 3910135
Chess 13 6 48
Consciousness 26 17 66
HiQ 13 6 42
Languages 26 19 74
Mathematics 13 13 96
Music3314422317771
Religion0.8157211023670
Thesis179531892110397
Website1054375097194
Total332087331863100%89%


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 HoursComparison (%ages)
Bridge35539156100
Chess      
Consciousness1221352100
HiQ      
Languages1221352100
Mathematics      
Music7121292365100
Religion7121292365100
Thesis2543433291304100
Website142424184730100
Total581001007623024100


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
Bridge776632757796106293494138066287063787330.57
Chess 29161466114961161550.6
Consciousness 41763015219161442173071.19
HiQ   1714811156530.21
Languages2343312322689525642929121913395.2
Mathematics23288455186284132310.9
Music6313214461832371681792479553.71
Religion9119841284920330524811610860110270010.48
Thesis6084533494771804027358965618281139662825.74
Website671981812043486514949471117664643551421.41
Total1862204222502718192823942542250725742675226325754100

Note last updated: 09/07/2018 00:34:34


Footnote 23: (Status: Summary Task List (YTD: 17Q4 - 18Q3))

This is a list of the tasks performed on my various projects since the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year. It is automatically generated from my time-recording system, so is fairly crude. See also the Quarterly Report. This Annual Report is mostly for use for the "inactive" projects for which commented Quarterly Status reports are not produced. Projects are in priority sequence, broken down by sub-project where appropriate. If the project name has a superscript, clicking on the name will take you to the last published report for this project. To jump to the Project task-lists, click on the links in the list below:-

  1. Thesis (For the latest Status Dashboard, Click Here)
  2. Thesis Background
  3. Thesis (Aeon)
  4. Religion
  5. Religion Background
  6. Website
  7. Website Others
  8. Music
  9. Consciousness
  10. Languages
  11. Mathematics
  12. HiQ
  13. Bridge
  14. Chess
Links to the latest time-analyses are given first.
  1. Total Time outstanding this period = 476 hours
  2. Click Here3 for Actual Detail Summary (2007 - 2018) by Sub-Project
  3. Click Here4 for (by Project)
    • Summary of Effort YTD & QTD
    • Time Analysis (YTD by Study-location)
  4. Click Here for (by Project)
    • Plan versus Actual Effort Summary - Split (Previous Quarter & YTD)
    • Plan versus Actual Effort Summary - Actual (Previous Quarter & YTD)
    • Plan Summary (Next Quarter & Full Year)
    • Actual & Plan Summary (2007 - 2018)
Project 1: Thesis (Total Hours = 671.75)
  1. Thesis - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 632.75)
  2. Thesis - Discussions (Total Hours = 5)
  3. Thesis - Research Repositioning (Total Hours = 27.25)
  4. Thesis - Seminars (Attendance) (Total Hours = 4.25)
    • Oliver's Salon - Abortive Trip (1.25 hours)
    • Sophie's Book Launch - Discussion (3 hours)
  5. Thesis - Seminars (Reading)
    • Sophie's Book Launch - Journey + Planning (2.25 hours)
  6. Thesis - Seminars (Writing)

Project 2: Thesis Background (Total Hours = 169)
  1. Thesis Background - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 107.75)
  2. Thesis Background - Books Admin (Total Hours = 38)
    • Admin - Catalogue Papers and Books - Investigate Cambridge Core (0.5 hours)
    • "Admin - Catalogue Papers and Books (including Abstract improvements)" (6.25 hours)
    • Admin - Catalogue Papers and Books (including Abstract improvements) - John Earman (1.5 hours)
    • Admin - Catalogue Papers and Books (including Abstract improvements) - Springer Downloads (14.75 hours)
    • Admin - Filing Papers and Books (0.25 hours)
    • Admin - Sort out - New Chest of Drawers & Filing Cabinet (7.5 hours)
    • Correcting discrepancies between Books and Papers (6.5 hours)
    • "Various - Papers Yet To Be Logged" (0.75 hours)
  3. Thesis Background - Status (Total Hours = 23.25)

Project 3: Thesis (Aeon) (Total Hours = 79.5)
Project 4: Religion (Total Hours = 66.25)
  1. Religion - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 57.75)
  2. Religion - General Research (Total Hours = 0.5)
  3. Religion - Lectures
    • OBT Conference - "Jesus in the Old Testament" (4 hours)
  4. Religion - Seminars

Project 5: Religion Background (Total Hours = 44)
  1. Religion Background - Admin (Total Hours = 4.25)
    • 17Q3 Status Reports (0.75 hours)
    • 17Q4 Status Reports (1.25 hours)
    • 18Q1 Status Reports (1 hour)
    • 18Q2 Status Reports (1 hour)
    • Barnabas Fund - Religious Tolerance (0.25 hours)
      → See "Admin - Religion - Admin"
  2. Religion Background - Books Admin
  3. Religion Background - Discussions (Total Hours = 38.25)
    • Interaction - Discussion with Naomi (0.25 hours)
      → See "Interaction - Religion - Discussions"
    • Interaction - Discussions with Mike & Sylvia (9.25 hours)
    • "Interaction - Discussions with Pete" (4.25 hours)
    • Interaction - Discussions with Pete & Caro (1 hour)
    • Interaction - Discussions with Pete & Caro; Julie (1 hour)
    • Interaction - Discussions with Pete & Caro; Mike & Sylvia; Julie (11.75 hours)
    • Interaction - Marek Olsansky re Carthusians (0.25 hours)
    • Interaction - Pete's 6 Articles on Acts - Reviews (6.75 hours)
    • Pete's Paper on 1 Cor 15:4 "according to the Scriptures" (3.75 hours)

Project 6: Website (Total Hours = 430.5)
  1. Website - Bridge Development (Total Hours = 4.75)
    • Bridge - Website Update (2.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Website Update - Expiry of Link - Defunct domain name (2.25 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Admin"
  2. Website - Development (Total Hours = 320.75)
    • Create password-protected area to hold pdfs, and links thereto (2 hours)
    • WebRefs - Create Functor to add stats to "Website Generator Documentation - Web Links" page (2.25 hours)
    • Website - Bridge Page - Update & Correct Link formats (2.75 hours)
    • Website - Correction of narratives on Note time-recording pseudo-papers (2.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Add %age complete to Notes Reading Lists (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Add extra items to Functors to facilitate Quarterly Reporting (21 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Architecture - Adjust MS Access Control Page (3.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Author's page narrative (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Automate links between Quarterly reports (3.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Automated format-change of old Notes tables (2.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Automated format-change of old tables in Archived Notes (2.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Bug in Note FNs - fixed links to Code (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Code Archive / Recent changes (7.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Create automatic key-word referencing to Notes (29 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Decode documentation links in Archived Note FNs (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Delete Old Code & Re-document (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Document / Fix "Referencing" functions (1.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Documentation Filing Database (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Documenter - Review errors / warnings & tidy up (5.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Documenter Bug-fixes: Objects in Comments, MsgBoxs & Debugs (2.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Enhancements & Residual problems with Automatic Note Referencing (13 hours)
    • Website - Generator - 'Fix' auto-referenced Note - add Note IDs (6.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Fix bug in and add highlighting to Notes_List_Control page (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Fix bug in Author's page where author count is inconsistent (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Fix for double-quotes in Book / Paper / Note Titles (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - General: Set up FTP drive as Z: (3 hours)
    • Website - Generator - General: Tidy up Site - delete un-updated pages (especially old Printed Notes) (13.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Improve Documenter jump table (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Improve efficiency of daily changes regeneration (3.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Investigate Backup Run-time (4.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Investigate Spider Run-time (8.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Maintain consolidated Development Log (2.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - New "Recent Acquisitions" Book List (1.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Notes Functor Processing (3.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Output all Abstracts with Embedded Notes (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Problems with Regen_Note_Links(_Archived) (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Produce consolidated Development Log (27.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Re-engineer Website Maintenance Dashboard (extra topical links) (1.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Remove "Printable Notes" links from Archived Notes (2.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Separate Time Recording for Aeon (1.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Show Notes Quality in Jump Tables & Concatenated Lists (0.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Simplify Note XRef procedure (deduce link) (7.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Simplify Note XRef procedure (deduce link) - fix Bug when embedded in Paper (4.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - Tweaks to Thesis Dashboard (0.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs - Add "full" referenced pages (2 hours)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs - Correction of errored URLs (11.25 hours)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs - Documentation & Bug-fixes (91 hours)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs - Investigate Empty Error report (1.75 hours)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs - Map Usage (10.5 hours)
    • Website - Generator - WebRefs - Spurious entries generated by Spider (3 hours)
    • Website - Updated "Websites-maintained" page (1.25 hours)
      → See "Software Development - Website - Development"
  3. Website - Education (Total Hours = 32.25)
    • "Barnes (Russell), Ed. - Web Designer" (2 hours)
    • Discussions with Nat on Blockchain (0.5 hours)
    • Discussions with Nat on IT Development (3.5 hours)
      → See "Software Development - Website - Development"
    • Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science - Admin + Set-Up (1.25 hours)
    • Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science - Lectures: Week 1 (Review) (3.25 hours)
    • Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science - Lectures: Week 2 (Review) (3 hours)
    • Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science - Lectures: Week 3 (Review) (2.5 hours)
    • Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science - Problem Set 1: C (Review) (1.5 hours)
    • Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science - Problem Set 2: Crypto + Crack (Review) (1.75 hours)
    • Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science - Problem Set 3: Find (7.75 hours)
    • Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science - Problem Set 3: Game of Fifteen (0.75 hours)
      → See "Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science"
    • "PC Pro - Computing in the Real World" (4.25 hours)
    • "Wikipedia - HTTPS" (0.25 hours)
  4. Website - Infrastructure (Total Hours = 45)
    • Commission new power-supply (0.25 hours)
    • Domain move - ZoomSearch failure (2.25 hours)
    • Increase iCloud Storage (0.25 hours)
    • Internet Connection via iPhone (0.5 hours)
    • iPhone Apps (BBC iPlayer, OS Maps) (0.5 hours)
    • iPhone iOS upgrades (0.25 hours)
    • Julie's Laptop - Plan + Commisssioning (1.25 hours)
    • Julie's Laptop Support - Including Windows 10 Bugs & Upgrades (0.5 hours)
    • Julie's Laptop Support - Including Windows 7 Bugs & Upgrades (2.5 hours)
    • Julie's New Laptop - Plan + Commisssioning (2.75 hours)
    • Julie's PC - Decommission (0.75 hours)
    • Mediaplayer 10 Installation (0.25 hours)
    • Microsoft Windows 10 / MS Office - Lexmark Driver Problems (0.5 hours)
    • Microsoft Windows 10 / MS Office - Releases & Bugs (9.75 hours)
    • Microsoft Windows 10 / MS Office - Set up Outlook (0.5 hours)
    • Microsoft Windows 10 / MS Office - Wondershare PDF Element Registration issues - fixed (0.25 hours)
    • Mouse - Fix USB Driver failure (failed!) (2.5 hours)
    • Mouse - Replace with Bluetooth version (0.5 hours)
    • Move Windows Live Mail Files (0.25 hours)
    • Naomi's new laptop (0.75 hours)
    • PC Backups / OneDrive (5 hours)
    • Printer Toner + Paper (0.5 hours)
    • Re-jig start-up pages in Chrome (0.25 hours)
    • Scanner - connectivity problems (0.5 hours)
    • theotodman.com domain name renewed until Feb 2023 (0.25 hours)
    • Toshiba Docking Station Investigations (0.25 hours)
    • Website - Transfer from UKServers to Namesco (10 hours)
    • Website - Transfer from UKServers to Namesco - ZoomSearch problems (1 hour)
    • WhatsApp - Joining + Familiarisation (0.25 hours)
      → See "Software Development - Website - Development"
  5. Website - Maintenance (Total Hours = 27.75)

Project 7: Website Others (Total Hours = 78.75)
  1. Website Others - Bernie's Website Development (Total Hours = 9.25)
    • Bernie's Website - Expiry of Link - Defunct domain name (0.25 hours)
    • Software Development - Bernie's Website - Development & Support (7.5 hours)
    • Software Development - Bernie's Website - Development & Support - Handover (1.5 hours)
      → See "Software Development - Bernie's Website - Development"
  2. Website Others - ECBA Maintenance (Total Hours = 27.25)
    • Admin - ECBA Website - Eve Goblets (0.5 hours)
    • Admin - ECBA Website - Eve Goblets - Handover (1 hour)
    • Bridge - ECBA Website - Paul re ECBA Logo (0.5 hours)
    • Bridge - ECBA Website - Routine Maintenance (12.75 hours)
    • Bridge - ECBA Website - Webmaster Handover & Support (0.5 hours)
    • Bridge - ECBA Website - Webmaster Resignation & Handover (10.5 hours)
    • ECBA Website - OneDrive - Tournament Entry Spreadsheet - New Sheet for 2018/9 - Discussions (1.5 hours)
      → See "Admin - ECBA Website - Admin & Maintenance"
  3. Website Others - ECBA Membership - Development
  4. Website Others - Enigma Ensemble
  5. Website Others - Joint Project Data Analysis (Total Hours = 2.25)
    • Bridge - Joint Project - Data archive to Alaric? (0.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Joint Project - New format for Monday Club (1 hour)
    • Bridge - Joint Project - Website shut-downs (0.75 hours)
  6. Website Others - Joint Project Data Collection (Total Hours = 26.75)
    • Bridge - Joint Project - Data Collection & "Mini Website" - Wind-down (5 hours)
    • Bridge - Joint Project - Data Collection & "Mini Website" output (21.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Joint Project - Data Collection & "Mini Website" output - Apple 2018 (0.5 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Joint Project"
  7. Website Others - Sophie Botros

Project 8: Music (Total Hours = 223)
  1. Music - Administration (Total Hours = 19.5)
    • 17Q3 Status Reports (1.75 hours)
    • 17Q4 Status Reports (1.5 hours)
    • 18Q1 Status Reports (0.75 hours)
    • 18Q2 Status Reports (0.25 hours)
    • Emails to Michael re schedule, etc. (0.5 hours)
    • Enigma Ensemble - Abbeyfield Concert cancellation (0.25 hours)
    • Enigma Ensemble Admin (1 hour)
    • Julie's Singing Group - Christmas Meal discussions (3 hours)
    • Julie's Singing Group Concert (1 hour)
    • Music Copying / Filing (7.5 hours)
    • Music Lights (0.25 hours)
      → See "Admin - Music - Administration"
    • Oboe - Enigma Ensemble - Set up for Practice for Ann / Julie (0.25 hours)
      → See "Practice - Oboe - Enigma Ensemble - Playing & Practice"
    • Oboe Reeds (0.25 hours)
    • Oboe Reeds + Case (0.25 hours)
    • Re-filing Enigma Ensemble music (0.5 hours)
    • Wikipedia re Bach Toccata & Fugue in d minor (0.5 hours)
  2. Music - Aural (Total Hours = 8.25)
  3. Music - Oboe (Total Hours = 168)
  4. Music - Piano (Total Hours = 15.25)
  5. Music - Theory (Total Hours = 12)

Project 9: Consciousness (Total Hours = 17)
Project 10: Languages (Total Hours = 19.25)
  1. Languages - Admin (Total Hours = 3)
  2. Languages - Italian (Total Hours = 13.5)
  3. Languages - Thai
  4. Languages - Turkish (Total Hour = 1)

Project 11: Mathematics (Total Hours = 12.5)
  1. Mathematics - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 10.5)
  2. Mathematics - Admin (Total Hours = 2)

Project 12: HiQ (Total Hours = 5.5)
  • 17Q3 Status Reports (1.75 hours)
  • 18Q2 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
  • Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE - Contact Details (0.25 hours)
  • Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE - Recent Emails (0.25 hours)
  • Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE - Re-joining (0.25 hours)
  • Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE - Test Queries (0.25 hours)
  • Discussion with Lise Lynge (1.25 hours)
  • Ning (1 hour)
    → See "Admin - HiQ Societies - ISPE"

Project 13: Bridge (Total Hours = 39)
  1. Bridge - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 14.5)
  2. Bridge - Admin (Total Hours = 18.25)
    • 17Q3 Status Reports (2 hours)
    • 18Q2 Status Reports (0.75 hours)
    • Bridge - Alaric re League Div 1 (0.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Convention Cards for Trish / Albert (0.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Discussion with Jon & Coral (0.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Discussions with Albert (0.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Discussions with Tony (Emails, etc) (2.5 hours)
    • Bridge - Discussions with Tony (Emails, Pub, etc) (9.75 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Admin"
    • Bridge - ECBA Website - Committee Involvement (0.25 hours)
      → See "Admin - ECBA Website - Admin & Maintenance"
    • Bridge - Email to Colin (0.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Email to David (1.25 hours)
    • Bridge - Margaret re Jurek (0.25 hours)
      → See "Admin - Bridge - Admin"
  3. Bridge - Play

Project 14: Chess (Total Hours = 6.25)
  1. Chess - Reading / Writing
  2. Chess - Admin (Total Hours = 2.75)
    • 17Q3 Status Reports (0.75 hours)
    • 18Q2 Status Reports (0.5 hours)
    • Chess - Discussions with Chris (1.5 hours)

Note last updated: 09/07/2018 00:34:34


Footnote 23.3: (Status: Actual Detail Summary (2007 - 2018))

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

  1. Time expended on my various projects over a 11-year period
  2. Time expended on my various projects and the major sub-projects thereof over a 11-year period
  3. Time expended on my various projects and the sub-projects thereof over a 11-year period

Projects

Below is a table showing the split of time (in hours) expended between my various projects over a 11-year period:-

Subject GroupTotal This YearPercentage This YearTotalPercentage2007/082008/092009/102010/112011/122012/132013/142014/152015/162016/172017-102017-112017-122018-012018-022018-032018-042018-052018-062018-072018-082018-09Subject Group
Bridge392.09784830.9677663275779610629349413806628703426252950  Bridge
Chess60.341550.61 2916146611496111000001 10  Chess
Consciousness170.913071.21 4176301521916144212103 0  10  Consciousness
HiQ60.3530.21   1714811152101  0 00  HiQ
Languages191.0313395.282343312322689525642929121 41 55200  Languages
Mathematics120.672310.912328845518628432200   50  Mathematics
Music22311.979303.67631321446183237168179292634342630198134  Music
Religion1105.92270010.659119841284920330524811610860262491026121442  Religion
Thesis92149.43640925.2860845334947718040273589656182810911089110116104108877018  Thesis
Website50927.34538021.226719818120434865149494711176645861775252606230507  Website
Total186310025354100186220422250271819282394254225072574267523423022621819821221015115033  Total

Projects & Major Sub-Projects

Below is a table showing the split of time expended (in hours) between my various projects and the major sub-projects thereof over a 11-year period:-

Subject SubgroupTotal This YearPercentage This YearTotalPercentage2007/082008/092009/102010/112011/122012/132013/142014/152015/162016/172017-102017-112017-122018-012018-022018-032018-042018-052018-062018-072018-082018-09Subject Subgroup
Bridge392.09784830.9677663275779610629349413806628703426252950  Bridge
Chess60.341550.61 2916146611496111000001 10  Chess
Consciousness170.913071.21 4176301521916144212103 0  10  Consciousness
HiQ60.3530.21   1714811152101  0 00  HiQ
Languages191.0313395.282343312322689525642929121 41 55200  Languages
Mathematics120.672310.912328845518628432200   50  Mathematics
Music22311.979303.67631321446183237168179292634342630198134  Music
Religion663.5618887.4591198298614123165176457834179882181021  Religion
Religion Background442.368123.2  1152348014072713126101503 54421  Religion Background
Thesis67236.06423016.693891942272779818459672741245456596067989396815310  Thesis
Thesis (Aeon)804.273271.29         2484016862304    Thesis (Aeon)
Thesis Background1709.118527.32182591222008221813916914912613342238169112188  Thesis Background
Website43023.11278710.99671981811241104944342342432723528624950606030507  Website
Website Others794.23259410.23   802381576071387439223331422 3000  Website Others
Total186310025354100186220422250271819282394254225072574267523423022621819821221015115033  Total

Projects & Sub-Projects

Below is a table showing the split of time expended (in hours) between my various projects and the sub-projects thereof over a 11-year period:-

SubjectTotal This YearPercentage This YearTotal to DatePercentage to Date2007/082008/092009/102010/112011/122012/132013/142014/152015/162016/172017-102017-112017-122018-012018-022018-032018-042018-052018-062018-072018-082018-09Subject
Bridge - Admin180.9812494.931351391158415212610818784993213 30420  Bridge - Admin
Bridge - On-line  60.024 2                   Bridge - On-line
Bridge - Play60.34359914.1927227032241853043844192322488       42   Bridge - Play
Bridge - Reading140.783961.56 476647465544292422021322211   Bridge - Reading
Bridge - Study  256210.136415024724433331134772232260            Bridge - Study
Bridge - Training  370.14 2653 3                Bridge - Training
Chess - Admin30.15320.12 12241005121   0 1 00  Chess - Admin
Chess - On-line                          Chess - On-line
Chess - Play  40.01   2     2            Chess - Play
Chess - Reading40.19830.33 712864231560000 00 10  Chess - Reading
Chess - Study  340.13 92  1812 1            Chess - Study
Chess - Training  40.01 1 1  01              Chess - Training
Consciousness - Read80.43980.39 31411 29143214 062        Consciousness - Read
Consciousness - Write90.482080.82 38611912251312281142 0  10  Consciousness - Write
HiQ - ISPE60.3200.08   71000052101  0 00  HiQ - ISPE
HiQ - Mensa  330.13   10138010             HiQ - Mensa
Languages - Admin30.1690.03      20031 1     00  Languages - Admin
Languages - All  540.21012169151 0              Languages - All
Languages - Amharic (Ethiopic)  70.03  7                   Languages - Amharic (Ethiopic)
Languages - Arabic  740.29401561030                Languages - Arabic
Languages - Aramaic  30.01  12                  Languages - Aramaic
Languages - Armenian  100.04   8  2               Languages - Armenian
Languages - Chinese  1690.675678851  2              Languages - Chinese
Languages - Coptic  80.03 413                  Languages - Coptic
Languages - Dutch  30.01 21                   Languages - Dutch
Languages - Egyptian  80.03 431                  Languages - Egyptian
Languages - French  110.04 44   4               Languages - French
Languages - German  480.1920162 4 5               Languages - German
Languages - Greek (Classical)  140.06 36 2 2               Languages - Greek (Classical)
Languages - Greek (Modern)  1050.423752 223                Languages - Greek (Modern)
Languages - Hebrew (Classical)  450.18 2733 12               Languages - Hebrew (Classical)
Languages - Hebrew (Modern)  180.0725191                 Languages - Hebrew (Modern)
Languages - Hindi  430.17131571 6                Languages - Hindi
Languages - Italian140.721240.49143250 1 15     10 552    Languages - Italian
Languages - Japanese  640.25252784                  Languages - Japanese
Languages - Latin  140.06 4182                 Languages - Latin
Languages - Persian  80.03 422                  Languages - Persian
Languages - Portuguese  2991.186146153411222               Languages - Portuguese
Languages - Russian  100.04 92                   Languages - Russian
Languages - Spanish  1200.47449516  102592            Languages - Spanish
Languages - Syriac  40.01 220                  Languages - Syriac
Languages - Thai20.09300.12       1207  2         Languages - Thai
Languages - Turkish10.05360.1471635110  0  00        Languages - Turkish
Mathematics100.562050.81128845518616422200   4   Mathematics
Mathematics - Admin20.1140.02      00102       00  Mathematics - Admin
Mathematics - Lectures  220.0922                     Mathematics - Lectures
Music - Administration201.051200.47 19212400118344054222 01  Music - Administration
Music - Aural80.44110.04  2 0    0203  2  1   Music - Aural
Music - Oboe1689.025802.29424853212215456141212624231720158113  Music - Oboe
Music - Piano150.821630.6420635920 1  21  462210   Music - Piano
Music - Theory120.64560.22129 1 206311 22241 0   Music - Theory
Religion - General Research00.03150.06  3     101        0   Religion - General Research
Religion - Lectures40.21530.211613812      4           Religion - Lectures
Religion - MA - PR - BR  450.18   45                  Religion - MA - PR - BR
Religion - MA - PR - E1  1530.6   153                  Religion - MA - PR - E1
Religion - MA - Read  160.06   16                  Religion - MA - Read
Religion - MA - Write  1690.67   169                  Religion - MA - Write
Religion - Read261.388223.24481341327992142992034173714202620  Religion - Read
Religion - Seminars40.21260.1  016   41       4     Religion - Seminars
Religion - Write321.725902.332751154124322477213316102740025 0  Religion - Write
Religion Background - Admin40.231840.72  90578864421  1  10 1  Religion Background - Admin
Religion Background - Books Admin20.083441.36  187956108354432     2      Religion Background - Books Admin
Religion Background - Discussions382.052851.13  79916243222242291502 3342   Religion Background - Discussions
Thesis - Discussions50.27550.22   5425142820 0 1 00   Thesis - Discussions
Thesis - Lectures  980.3943     030186            Thesis - Lectures
Thesis - Read1437.688653.41504828613940136138571241420111517181719102  Thesis - Read
Thesis - Research Repositioning271.461810.7144426401132414222524222242  Thesis - Research Repositioning
Thesis - Seminars (Attendance)40.23590.2322 155 11   2 4          Thesis - Seminars (Attendance)
Thesis - Seminars (Reading)20.12380.1515    19   2 2          Thesis - Seminars (Reading)
Thesis - Seminars (Writing)00.01460.186 2  35   20           Thesis - Seminars (Writing)
Thesis - Supervisions (Event)  150.0614  0                  Thesis - Supervisions (Event)
Thesis - Supervisions (Writing)  470.1946 0                   Thesis - Supervisions (Writing)
Thesis - Write49026.29282711.1518810215620254524455303202873727464779727660386  Thesis - Write
Thesis (Aeon) - Read432.291970.78         154239242 02    Thesis (Aeon) - Read
Thesis (Aeon) - Write371.971300.51         931775103 3    Thesis (Aeon) - Write
Thesis Background - Admin  2270.9651271546162              Thesis Background - Admin
Thesis Background - Aristotelian (Reading)  60.025      1              Thesis Background - Aristotelian (Reading)
Thesis Background - BBk PhilSoc  20.012                     Thesis Background - BBk PhilSoc
Thesis Background - Books Admin382.046602.658 351092916552101452716412 8412   Thesis Background - Books Admin
Thesis Background - Politics  190.07145                    Thesis Background - Politics
Thesis Background - Read713.83551.4335152622285218384861061614101122  Thesis Background - Read
Thesis Background - Status241.263361.33719246161614132014126 06  6 05  Thesis Background - Status
Thesis Background - Write3722460.97 01145101015265140017123100 30  Thesis Background - Write
Website - Bridge Development50.251550.61   110139411840  2      2  Website - Bridge Development
Website - Development32117.2218637.3538176149836240128313913378111954354153392345   Website - Development
Website - Education321.732721.07   1529443113169219612110010  Website - Education
Website - Infrastructure452.422761.09   61328682851381236661443   Website - Infrastructure
Website - Justification  120.0512                     Website - Justification
Website - Maintenance281.492080.8217223210520131326234125206204  Website - Maintenance
Website Others - Bernie's Website Development90.51240.49       1168354310     0  Website Others - Bernie's Website Development
Website Others - ECBA Development  3461.36       336101            Website Others - ECBA Development
Website Others - ECBA Maintenance271.465542.19       1762121381112200 2 0   Website Others - ECBA Maintenance
Website Others - ECBA Membership - Development10.04690.27       14252000         Website Others - ECBA Membership - Development
Website Others - ECBA Tournaments - Development  300.12       30              Website Others - ECBA Tournaments - Development
Website Others - ECBA Tournaments - Maintenance  620.25       302210            Website Others - ECBA Tournaments - Maintenance
Website Others - Enigma Ensemble20.13180.07       112200 1  10 0  Website Others - Enigma Ensemble
Website Others - Hutton DBC Development  830.33    3932552             Website Others - Hutton DBC Development
Website Others - Hutton DBC Maintenance  1140.45    26302236              Website Others - Hutton DBC Maintenance
Website Others - Joint Project Data Analysis20.121360.53     36986120 101        Website Others - Joint Project Data Analysis
Website Others - Joint Project Data Collection271.442721.07     162439838561010   0     Website Others - Joint Project Data Collection
Website Others - OBT  2981.17   80174440               Website Others - OBT
Website Others - Pete's PhD  4491.77        41336            Website Others - Pete's PhD
Website Others - Sophie Botros100.54380.15       16 12161 2       Website Others - Sophie Botros
Total186310025354100186220422250271819282394254225072574267523423022621819821221015115033  Total
SubjectTotal This YearPercentage This YearTotal to DatePercentage to Date2007/082008/092009/102010/112011/122012/132013/142014/152015/162016/172017-102017-112017-122018-012018-022018-032018-042018-052018-062018-072018-082018-09Subject

Note last updated: 09/07/2018 00:34:34


Footnote 23.4: (Status: Summary - Time Analysis (2018 - July))

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

  1. Summary of Effort YTD & QTD
  2. Time Analysis (YTD by Study-location)

Summary of Effort YTD & QTD

YTD Figures cover the 2017/18 Academic Year. QTD Figures cover July - September 2018

Subject GroupYTDQTD2017-102017-112017-122018-012018-022018-032018-042018-052018-062018-072018-082018-09
Bridge390342625295000
Chess60100000101000
Consciousness1701210300001000
HiQ60210100000000
Languages190104105520000
Mathematics130322000005000
Music223429263434263019813400
Religion110226249102612144200
Thesis921181091108911011610410887701800
Website5097586177525260623050700
Total1863332342302262181982122101511503300

Time Analysis (YTD by Study-location1)

Hours spent YTD by location and subject were:-

Subject GroupTotalCarClubCollegeGymHomeTrainWalk
Bridge39 9  30  
Chess6    6  
Consciousness17    17  
HiQ6    5  
Languages19    18 1
Mathematics13    12  
Music223163  159  
Religion11024  96 9
Thesis9212 3 90475
Website509  2 503 4
Total1863576501750719
Percentage10004009401





In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Locations are "bundled":-
  • "Train" includes "plane" and other forms of public transport.
  • "Club" includes other public places, such as "church" or "hospital", ...

Note last updated: 09/07/2018 00:34:34


Footnote 26: (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: 24/04/2018 00:12:58


Footnote 27: (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. Olson7 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 Addressed9
  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. Selves36
  8. Souls38
  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 7: In "Olson (Eric) - What are We?"

Footnote 9:
  • See the section on Research Methodology for what is to be done with these.
  • The author’s surname is repeated in the text to make it easier for me to see what’s going on in the encoded text I work on.
Footnote 16: The excerpt from Brandom raises some questions about the community we call “we”.

Footnote 19: Baker often expresses indebtedness to Roderick Chisholm, who is reviewed on that account.

Footnote 21: An annoying book, but one I ought to study.

Footnote 25: The book. From my perspective, probably the most important source for this Chapter.

Footnote 26: See also the Chapters on Brains and Souls in the subsequent reading-lists.

Footnote 30: Useful historical background, maybe!

Footnote 32: Lockwood might deny that this is his view, but he seems committed to it, as far as I can see.

Footnote 33: This maybe ought to be categorised as an “anti-soul” view.

Footnote 34: Some of the papers by Puccetti will be reconsidered in (or maybe reserved for – a couple already have been) Chapter 10.

Footnote 36:
  • 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 37: 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 38:
  • 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 39: This looks interesting, but is somewhat off-topic for a priority reading-list.

Footnote 40: This is rather elementary, and ought to have been reviewed in Chapter 01.

Note last updated: 24/04/2018 00:12:58


Footnote 28: (Thesis - Chapter 04 (Basic Metaphysical Issues))

Abstract

  • I need to discuss the logic of identity, survival and persistence, and even whether identity matters in survival.
  • 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).
  • The question of Natural Kinds arises in considering whether PERSON is a natural kind concept.
  • Certain four-dimensional approaches to persistence do away with the substance concept, but I discuss this issue in the next Chapter.



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



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. Basic Metaphysics7
  3. Logic of Identity (General)
  4. Relative Identity
  5. Vague Identity
  6. Indeterminate Identity
  7. Contingent Identity
  8. Occasional Identity
  9. Criteria of Identity
  10. Substances
  11. Sortals & Phase Sortals
  12. Kinds and Natural Kinds
  13. Metamorphosis
  14. Does Identity Matter?
  15. Many aspects of these papers will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.
  16. The motivation for these works is as follows:-
    • To be supplied.



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



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



Final Remarks
  1. This is work in progress.





In-Page Footnotes

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’s an endless amount of stuff in this area, so I’ve (for now) chosen a couple of contrasting approaches.

Footnote 8: Footnote 9:
  • Modality is important in my thesis, because modal questions come into persistence criteria.
  • That said, the last two essays in the book – by Hossack and Olson – are the most important, though of these two only that by Hossack really belongs to this Chapter.
Footnote 10: I’m not sure where this book should be parked, and not all of it is relevant.

Footnote 11: I doubt this paper is really about Relative Identity, but more about Brain Transplants).

Footnote 12: Read the Synopsis below first.

Note last updated: 24/04/2018 00:12:58


Footnote 29: (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 30: (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 31: (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