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Status Reports - Status: Personal Identity (2019 - March)

Rationale for this Project



Summary of Progress during January - March 2019
  1. I spent 198 hours in 19Q1 on this Project, or related work (475.25 hours YTD, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2018). That's 62.2% of the planned effort (82.1% YTD). Overall, 31.8% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 39% YTD) - as against 46.3% planned (41.6% YTD).
  2. My planned effort was 25 hours / week5. Unfortunately, this quarter I nowhere near achieved this. This was primarily due to the (perceived) need to focus attention on preparing a timeline for Coxes Farm as part of my Web-Tools project. However, much of the effort actually expended against this project was on items relevant to my Thesis!
  3. Continued with a few Notes associated with my Thesis.
  4. Started looking at "Hofstadter (Douglas) & Dennett (Daniel), Eds. - The Mind's I - Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul".
  5. My main focus this time round was the work of Elselijn Kigma, in particular:-
    → "Kingma (Elselijn) - Lady Parts: The Metaphysics of Pregnancy", and
    → "Kingma (Elselijn) - Were You Part of Your Mother?".
    I attended a lecture with the above title she gave at Birkbeck on Friday 15th March, and asked a question on whether conjoined twins share parts – and whether this says anything about the gravida / foster relationship. She said she had a post-doc researching the matter, but encouraged me to do likewise.
  6. I saw my former supervisor Jennifer Hornsby at the above seminar. We had a quick chat, and she seemed aware of my website8 without prompting, but I didn’t receive encouragement to return to Birkbeck, not that I raised the matter.
  7. I made no further progress with "Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History - A Philosophical Inquiry with Dr Sophie Botros", but completed reading "Orwell (George), Davison (Peter), Taylor (D.J.), Ed. - Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Annotated Edition", where O’Brien expounds his views on the unreality of the past.
  8. Tragically, Oliver Black died on Wednesday 28th March 2019, so the future of his Salon is very much in doubt.
  9. As background tasks, I read
    → "Welch (Robert) - York Notes: George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty-Four",
    → "Campbell (Aifric) - The Semantics of Murder",
    → "Amis (Kingsley), Lodge (David) - Lucky Jim" (nearly, but not quite, finished),
    → A few papers on Aeon.
  10. Substantially caught up with 2019 posting on Philos-List.
  11. Progress between reports can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List. More detail follows:-

Thesis (Total Hours = 126)
  1. Thesis - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 106.75)
  2. Thesis - Discussions (Total Hours = 1.5)
    • Interaction - Correspondence with Zenen Kristensen (0.5 hours)
    • Interaction - Discussions with Mike & Sylvia (0.5 hours)
    • Interaction - Discussions with Pete (0.5 hours)
      → See "Todman (Theo) - Thesis - Current Position" (1.5 hours)
  3. Thesis - Lectures
  4. Thesis - Research Repositioning (Total Hours = 12)
  5. Thesis - Seminars
  6. Thesis - Seminars (Reading) (Total Hours = 2.5)
Thesis Background (Total Hours = 67.5)
  1. Thesis Background - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 47)
  2. Thesis Background - Books Admin (Total Hours = 15.75)
  3. Thesis Background - Status
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 5:
  • 25 hours / week is approximately what I’d expect to put in to a part-time PhD, based on 5 hours / day, 5 days a week.
Footnote 8:
  • I mentioned it received 4,000 hits a day but that I suspected robots.
  • She doubted this, but subsequent investigations have confirmed my suspicions.
Footnote 10:
  • Hopefully, I may complete, or get stuck, earlier.
  • I had hoped to complete this phase of my research by my 65th birthday – ie. by 13/11/2018. Previously, I’ve remarked “This is not to slip!” Unfortunately, the distraction of the problems with Coxes Farm – as well as a general lack of focus – have meant that it has!
  • On the plus side, I’m already much further advanced than would be expected of someone commencing a PhD.
  • On the minus side, I want to go into much greater depth, and have other projects on the go – most notably Music, Philosophy of Religion, Bridge, Chess and – particularly – my Web-tools project.
  • The original reason for deferring to my 65th birthday was that this is when I am eligible for my State Pension. This may not be much to live on – but it is a quite generous supplement which would make a significant contribution towards the fees and expenses, which prior thereto I couldn’t afford.
  • Unfortunately, my state pension (and Julie’s, for that matter) has been more than gobbled up by payments on the mortgage I’ve managed to obtain for Coxes Farm. We’ll be repaying that until 2031, by which time I’ll be 77. Maybe litigation against a negligent surveyor will liberate some cash.
Footnote 11:
  • 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 13:
  • This is still ludicrously inadequate for what I want to achieve, but is approximately what would be expected of a part-time research student.
Footnote 15:
  • This is obviously far too long, and keeps getting items “carried forward” tacked on to it.
  • Maybe I’ll prune it next time.
Footnote 29:
  • Read the Appendices, and extract the Chapter Summaries as learning-points.
Footnote 30:
  • 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: 05/04/2019 10:36:29



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Timestamp: 07/04/2019 22:56:36. Comments to theo@theotodman.com.