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Personal Identity

What are We?

(Text as at 18/12/2010 19:58:05)

(For earlier versions of this Note, see the table at the end)


For the present, I just mention that I need to distinguish, as candidates for what we are, (human-) animals1, organisms2, persons3, bodies4, beings5 and brains6. Additionally, I need to treat of selves7 and maybe contrast terms like “mensch” (Link) with “person”.

We: the use of the plural is significant. However, the determination of “we” as “the sort of entity likely to be reading this paper” isn’t quite right, even though Dennett and others use similar expressions. Read the first parts of "Brandom (Robert) - Toward a Normative Pragmatics" in "Brandom (Robert) - Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing & Discursive Commitment" for inspiration on “We”.

Intelligibility: this is a reciprocal relationship. We find others (of “our” sort) intelligible, and it is important that they find us intelligible in return. Does this thereby make R = “finds intelligible” an equivalence relation, dividing the world into equivalence classes of mutually intelligible individuals, or does R come in degrees and fall prey to Sorites paradoxes?

For an essay on this topic, follow this link8.

This is mainly a place-holder9. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.



Printable Versions:



Table of the Previous 3 Versions of this Note:

Date Length Title
26/11/2007 23:25:26 1415 What are We?
11/11/2007 13:00:29 434 What are We?
10/11/2007 13:17:46 30 What are We?



Note last updated Reading List for this Topic Parent Topic
18/12/2010 19:58:05 What are We? Thesis - Outline

Summary of Note Links from this Page

Animals Awaiting Attention (Personal Identity) Body Brain Human Beings
Organisms Person Self Thesis - Chapter 02 (What are We?)  

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.




Summary of Note Links to this Page

Animalism Animals Biological View Bodily Continuity Brain
Brain Criterion Brains in Vats Cartesian Ego Cerebrum Computers
I Johnston - Human Beings Mereology Mind Origins
Out of Body Experiences Persistence Properties Sleep Sortals
Thesis - Chapter 02 (What are We?) Thesis - Current Stance Uploading    

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.




Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note

Author Title Medium Extra Links Read?
Claxton (Guy) Intelligence in the Flesh - Limbering Up: An Introduction Paper High Quality Abstract   Yes
Dainton (Barry) Self: Philosophy In Transit: Prologue Paper High Quality Abstract 2 Yes
Johnston (Mark) Human Beings Paper High Quality Abstract   Yes
Liao (S. Matthew) The Organism View Defended Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Olson (Eric) Animalism and the Remnant-Person Problem Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Olson (Eric) Psychology and Personal Identity Paper High Quality Abstract   Yes
Olson (Eric) Why We Need Not Accept the Psychological Approach Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Shoemaker (David) Personal Identity, Rational Anticipation, and Self-Concern Paper High Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Animalism Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Animals Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Biological View Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Bodily Continuity Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Brain Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Brain Criterion Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Brains in Vats Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Cartesian Ego Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Cerebrum Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Computers Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Current Position Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - I Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Mereology Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Mind Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Origins Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Out of Body Experiences Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Persistence Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Properties Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Sleep Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Sortals Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Uploading Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes



References & Reading List

Author Title Medium Source Read?
Ablondi (Fred) Almog's Descartes Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract Philosophy - 80, Jul2005, Issue 313, p423-431, 9p No
Bailey (Andrew M.) You Needn’t be Simple Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Philosophical Papers, Vol. 43, No. 2 (July 2014): 145-160 7%
Baillie (James) Problems in Personal Identity Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Medium Quality Abstract Baillie (James) - Problems in Personal Identity 63%
Baillie (James) What Am I? Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract Baillie (James) - Problems in Personal Identity, 1993, Chapter 4 Yes
Baker (Lynne Rudder) What Am I? Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Mar99, Vol. 59 Issue 1, p151, 9p; Yes
Baker (Lynne Rudder) What Does It Mean to be One of Us? A Response to Bransen Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Anthropological Psychology, 20:2008, 2008 No
Bloom (Paul) Descartes' Baby: How Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human Book - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Bloom (Paul) - Descartes' Baby: How Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human No
Bourgeois (Warren) Persons: What Philosophers Say about You Book - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Bourgeois (Warren) - Persons: What Philosophers Say about You 22%
Brandom (Robert) Making It Explicit: Conclusion Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Brandom (Robert) - Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing & Discursive Commitment, 1994, Chapter 9 9%
Brandom (Robert) Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing & Discursive Commitment Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Brandom (Robert) - Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing & Discursive Commitment 3%
Brandom (Robert) Toward a Normative Pragmatics Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Brandom (Robert) - Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing & Discursive Commitment, 1994, Chapter 1 50%
Chisholm (Roderick) Which Physical Thing Am I? An Excerpt from 'Is There a Mind-Body Problem?' Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract Van Inwagen & Zimmerman - Metaphysics: The Big Questions Yes
Chitty (Andrew) First Person Plural Ontology and Praxis Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, New Series, Vol. 97 (1997), pp. 81-96 20%
Claxton (Guy) Intelligence in the Flesh - Limbering Up: An Introduction Paper - Referencing High Quality Abstract Claxton (Guy) - Intelligence in the Flesh: Chapter 1 Yes
Claxton (Guy) Intelligence in the Flesh: Why Your Mind Needs Your Body Much More Than it Thinks Book - Referencing (via Paper Referencing) Medium Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 28%
Dainton (Barry) Self: Philosophy In Transit Book - Referencing (via Paper Referencing) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 10%
Dainton (Barry) Self: Philosophy In Transit: Prologue Paper - Referencing High Quality Abstract Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit, Prologue Yes
DeGrazia (David) Are we essentially persons? Olson, Baker, and a reply Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Philosophical Forum; Winter2002, Vol. 33 Issue 1, p101, 20p 67%
Dennett (Daniel) Brainstorms - Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Low Quality Abstract Dennett (Daniel) - Brainstorms - Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology 43%
Dennett (Daniel) In Darwin's Wake, Where Am I? Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 75, no. 2 (November 2001): 13-30 No
Dennett (Daniel) Where Am I? Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract Dennett - Brainstorms - Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology, Chapter 17 Yes
Doepke (Frederick) Introduction: What Are We? Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Doepke - The Kinds of Things, Chapter 1 14%
Doepke (Frederick) The Kinds of Things: A Theory of Personal Identity Based on Transcendental Argument Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Medium Quality Abstract Doepke (Frederick) - The Kinds of Things: A Theory of Personal Identity Based on Transcendental Argument 4%
Doepke (Frederick) What We Are Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Doepke - The Kinds of Things, Chapter 9 No
Ford (Norman) When Did I Begin: Conception of the Human Individual in History, Philosophy and Science Book - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Ford (Norman) - When Did I Begin: Conception of the Human Individual in History, Philosophy and Science 4%
Howsepian (A.A.) Who or What Are We? Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 45, No. 3 (Mar., 1992), pp. 483-502 6%
JCS Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 14, Issue 05-06 (2007) Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Medium Quality Abstract JCS - Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 14, Issue 05-06 (2007) No
Liao (S. Matthew) The Organism View Defended Paper - Referencing Medium Quality Abstract The Monist, Vol. 89, No. 3, Coming into Being and Passing Away (July 2006), pp. 334-350 Yes
Ludwig (Arnold) How do we Know who we are? A Biography of the Self Book - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Ludwig (Arnold) - How do we Know who we are? A Biography of the Self 5%
Nagel (Thomas) Other Minds - Critical Essays 1969 - 1994 Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Low Quality Abstract Nagel (Thomas) - Other Minds - Critical Essays 1969 - 1994 1%
Nagel (Thomas) Searle: Why We Are Not Computers Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Nagel (Thomas) - Other Minds - Critical Essays 1969 - 1994 20%
O'Hear (Anthony), Ed. Philosophy - 80/313 (July 2005) Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) O'Hear (Anthony), Ed. - Philosophy - 80/313 (July 2005) No
Olson (Eric) Animalism and the Remnant-Person Problem Paper - Referencing Medium Quality Abstract J. Fonseca and J. Gonçalves, eds., Philosophical Perspectives on the Self, Peter Lang 2015: 21-40 Yes
Olson (Eric) Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 13 (Olson) Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Low Quality Abstract Olson (Eric) - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 13 (Olson) 21%
Olson (Eric) Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 13 (Olson) Book - Referencing (via Paper Referencing) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 21%
Olson (Eric) Psychology and Personal Identity Paper - Referencing High Quality Abstract The Human Animal, September 1999, Chapter 1, pp. 7-21 Yes
Olson (Eric) The Human Animal - Personal Identity Without Psychology Book - Referencing (via Paper Referencing) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied Yes
Olson (Eric) What are We? Book - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Olson (Eric) - What are We? 57%
Olson (Eric) What Are We? Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 14, Issue 05-06 (2007), pp. 37-55 (19) Yes
Olson (Eric) What Are We? Animals Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract What Are We? A Study in Personal Ontology, Chapter 2 (November 2007: Oxford University Press.) 81%
Olson (Eric) What Are We? The Question Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract What Are We? A Study in Personal Ontology, Chapter 1 (November 2007: Oxford University Press.) Yes
Olson (Eric) What Are We? What Now? Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract What Are We? A Study in Personal Ontology, Chapter 9 (November 2007: Oxford University Press.) 38%
Olson (Eric) What Does It Mean To Say That We Are Animals? Paper - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Journal of Consciousness Studies 22: 11-12 (special issue: First-Person Perspective and the Self), 2015: 84-107 6%
Olson (Eric) Why We Need Not Accept the Psychological Approach Paper - Referencing Medium Quality Abstract The Human Animal, September 1999, Chapter 3, pp. 42-72 Yes
Parfit (Derek) Reasons and Persons Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Low Quality Abstract Parfit (Derek) - Reasons and Persons Yes
Parfit (Derek) What We Believe Ourselves To Be Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Parfit - Reasons and Persons, January 1986, pp. 199-219(21). Yes
Pollock (John L.) What Am I? Virtual Machines and the Mind/Body Problem Paper - By Subtopic Medium Quality Abstract Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 76, No. 2 (Mar., 2008), pp. 237-309 No
Shoemaker (David) Personal Identity and Ethics: A Brief Introduction Book - Referencing (via Paper Referencing) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied Yes
Shoemaker (David) Personal Identity, Rational Anticipation, and Self-Concern Paper - Referencing High Quality Abstract Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity and Ethics: A Brief Introduction, 2009, Chapter 2 Yes
Smith (Barry C.), Broks (Paul), Kennedy (A.L.) & Evans (Jules) What Does It Mean to Be Me? Paper - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract BBC Website Yes
Stevenson (Leslie) & Haberman (David) Ten Theories of Human Nature Book - By Subtopic High Quality Abstract Stevenson (Leslie) & Haberman (David) - Ten Theories of Human Nature 24%
Trigg (Roger) Ideas of Human Nature: An Historical Introduction Book - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Trigg (Roger) - Ideas of Human Nature: An Historical Introduction 6%
Trupp (Andreas) Why We Are Not What We Think We Are: A New Approach to the Nature of Personal Identity and of Time Book - By Subtopic Low Quality Abstract Trupp (Andreas) - Why We Are Not What We Think We Are: A New Approach to the Nature of Personal Identity and of Time 6%
Van Inwagen (Peter) & Zimmerman (Dean) Metaphysics: The Big Questions Book - By Subtopic (via Paper By Subtopic) Medium Quality Abstract Van Inwagen (Peter) & Zimmerman (Dean) - Metaphysics: The Big Questions 16%



Text Colour Conventions

  1. Black: Printable Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
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