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Status Reports - Status: Personal Identity (2018 - December)

Rationale for this Project


Summary of Progress during October - December 2018
  1. I spent 277.25 hours in 4Q18 on this Project, or related work (277.25 hours YTD, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2018). That's 106.6% of the planned effort (106.6% YTD). Overall, 46.5% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 46.5% YTD) - as against 37% planned (36.9% YTD).
  2. My planned effort was 20 hours / week5. This quarter – after a late surge – I more than achieved this. Moreover, most of the effort expended was on relevant items!
  3. My main focus this time round was on "Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: A Philosophical Enquiry": firstly, to complete reading the book, then to complete going through the bibliography and adding text within my database for all the entries I think are relevant, acquiring those items I didn’t have.
  4. I also watched and transcribed the associated video "Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History - A Philosophical Inquiry with Dr Sophie Botros", and have spent time adding footnotes.
  5. In connection with the above, where O’Brien’s views on the unreality of the past receive support, I purchased and started reading "Orwell (George), Davison (Peter), Taylor (D.J.), Ed. - Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Annotated Edition".
  6. Updated a number of my Notes, though with less zeal than last quarter.
  7. Made another attempt to read and understand "Lebens (Samuel) & Goldschmidt (Tyron) - The Promise of a New Past". On-going!
  8. In addition, completed reading
    → "Heyes (Cecilia M.) - Cognitive Gadgets: The Cultural Evolution of Thinking"
    → "Rosling (Hans) - Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think"
    → "Rovelli (Carlo) - The Order of Time"
    → "Hale (Sheila) - The Man Who Lost His Language"
  9. Progress between reports can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List. More detail follows:-
Thesis (Total Hours = 250.5)
  1. Thesis - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 235.75)
  2. Thesis - Discussions (Total Hours = 1.25)
  3. Thesis - Lectures
  4. Thesis - Research Repositioning
  5. Thesis - Seminars (Total Hours = 4.75)
  6. Thesis - Seminars (Writing)
Thesis Background (Total Hours = 25.75)
  1. Thesis Background - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 19.25)
  2. Thesis Background - Status (Total Hours = 6.5)
Thesis (Aeon)
Plans for the Near Future – Top Priority Tasks
Summary of Progress to Date

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


In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 5:
  • 25 hours / week is approximately what I’d expect to put in to a part-time PhD. I intend to attempt this in the coming quarter.
Footnote 7:
  • Hopefully, I may complete, or get stuck, earlier.
  • I had hoped to complete this phase of my research by my 65th birthday – ie. by 13/11/2018. Previously, I’ve remarked “This is not to slip!” Unfortunately, the distraction of the problems with Coxes Farm – as well as a general lack of focus – have meant that it has!
  • On the plus side, I’m already much further advanced than would be expected of someone commencing a PhD.
  • On the minus side, I want to go into much greater depth, and have other projects on the go – most notably Music, Philosophy of Religion, Chess and – particularly – my Web-tools project.
  • The original reason for deferring to my 65th birthday was that this is when I am eligible for my State Pension. This may not be much to live on – but it is a quite generous supplement which would make a significant contribution towards the fees and expenses, which prior thereto I couldn’t afford.
  • Unfortunately, my state pension (and Julie’s, for that matter) has been more than gobbled up by payments on the mortgage I’ve managed to obtain for Coxes Farm. We’ll be repaying that until 2031, by which time I’ll be 77. Maybe litigation against a negligent surveyor will liberate some cash.
Footnote 8:
  • This used to say “complete a thesis …”, which is obviously impossible, given that my idea of a thesis is way in excess of what is required.
Footnote 10:
  • This is still ludicrously inadequate for what I want to achieve, but is what would be expected of a part-time research student.
Footnote 12:
  • This is obviously far too long, and keeps getting items “carried forward” tacked on to it.
  • Maybe I’ll prune it next time.
Footnote 24:
  • Read the Appendices, and extract the Chapter Summaries as learning-points.
Footnote 25:
  • 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 26:

Note last updated: 06/01/2019 23:36:58



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Timestamp: 03/02/2019 21:45:15. Comments to theo@theotodman.com.