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Synthese (2008) 162:341–372 DOI 10.

1007/s11229-007-9252-z

Room for a view: on the metaphysical subject of personal identity
Daniel Kolak

Received: 1 June 2007 / Accepted: 16 August 2007 / Published online: 22 December 2007 © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Abstract Sydney Shoemaker leads today’s “neo-Lockean” liberation of persons from the conservative animalist charge of “neo-Aristotelians” such as Eric Olson, according to whom persons are biological entities and who challenge all neo-Lockean views on grounds that abstracting from strictly physical, or bodily, criteria plays fast and loose with our identities. There is a fundamental mistake on both sides: a false dichotomy between bodily continuity versus psychological continuity theories of personal identity. Neo-Lockeans, like everyone else today who relies on Locke’s analysis of personal identity, including Derek Parfit, have either completely distorted or not understood Locke’s actual view. Shoemaker’s defense, which uses a “package deal” definition that relies on internal relations of synchronic and diachronic unity and employs the Ramsey–Lewis account to define personal identity, leaves far less room for psychological continuity views than for my own view, which, independently of its radical implications, is that (a) consciousness makes personal identity, and (b) in consciousness alone personal identity consists—which happens to be also Locke’s actual view. Moreover, the ubiquitous Fregean conception of borders and the so-called “ambiguity of is” collapse in the light of what Hintikka has called the “Frege trichotomy.” The Ramsey–Lewis account, due to the problematic way Shoemaker tries to bind the variables, makes it impossible for the neo-Lockean ala Shoemaker to fulfill the uniqueness clause required by all such Lewis style definitions; such attempts avoid circularity only at the expense of mistaking isomorphism with identity. Contrary to what virtually all philosophers writing on the topic assume, fission does not destroy personal identity. A proper analysis of public versus perspectival identification, derived using actual case studies from neuropsychiatry, provides the scientific, mathematical

D. Kolak (B ) Department of Philosophy, William Paterson University of New Jersey, 265 Atrium Building, 200 Pompton Road, Wayne, NJ 07470, USA e-mail: kolakdan@msn.com

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and logical frameworks for a new theory of self-reference, wherein “consciousness,” “self-consciousness,” and the “I ,” can be precisely defined in terms of the subject and the subject-in-itself. Keywords Personal identity · Consciousness · Self-consciousness · Fission · The subject · The subject-in-itself · Frege trichotomy · Transplant intuition · Animalism · Psychological continuity · Ramsey–Lewis sentences · Public versus perspectival identification · Self-reference · Identification disorder syndrome (IDS) · Neuropsychiatry · Demonstratives · Quantifiers · Cogito · Metaphysics · Locke · Neo-Lockean · Parfit · Frege · Hintikka · David Lewis · Shoemaker · Descartes · Wittgenstein “I am not an animal,” declares the Elephant Man, the all-to human monster in the movie of the same name. It is less a denial than an assertion. He does not mean really to deny he is an animal but, rather, to assert his moral standing in the universe as something more than just an animal, namely, a self-conscious being aware of his own existence and identity: a person. Probably the only persons encountered thus far have been animals. Is a person, therefore, essentially, an animal? Many people claim to have encountered persons who are not animals: God, spirits, angels, aliens of the non-carbon based variety (e.g. intelligent machines), and so on. We may doubt such claims but not their significance. What can be conceived, unlike the proverbial square triangle, is possible. Conceptually speaking (or speaking conceptually), “animalhood” and “personhood” express (or subsist in) different modalities. For animals such as ourselves who happen also to be persons, this poses a metaphysical dilemma over which philosophers have divided themselves ever since John Locke brought the issue to a head (literally) with his prince/cobbler example: wherein does the identity of the person reside—with the animal or with consciousness? “The history of the topic of personal identity has been a series of footnotes to Locke,” writes Shoemaker (2008), the opening salvo of which he takes to be Locke’s thought experiment wherein “the prince’s ‘consciousness’ and memories of his life,” as Shoemaker spins it, are switched with that of the cobbler. Shoemaker leads today’s “neo-Lockean” liberation of persons from the conservative animalist charge of “neoAristotelians” such as Eric Olson, according to whom persons are biological entities and who challenge all neo-Lockean views on grounds that abstracting from strictly physical, or bodily, criteria plays fast and loose with our identities. Both sides agree the stakes could not be higher. “The metaphysical issue of personal identity,” says Shoemaker, “boils down to the issue of whether this challenge succeeds.” The purpose of the present paper is not so much to weigh in on their (mis)take on the issue (essentially, a false dichotomy between bodily continuity versus psychological continuity theories of personal identity) but, rather, to show how Shoemaker’s defense, which uses “package deal” definition that relies on internal relations of synchronic and diachronic unity and employs the Ramsey–Lewis account to define personal identity, leaves far less room for his view than Shoemaker thinks and much more for my own, thereby considerably raising the stakes. My view, independently of its more radical implications, is that

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(1) consciousness makes personal identity, and (2) in this alone personal identity consists. Lest I be throttled in the new theory of reference tradition of (long ostensive) finger pointing, let me confess I stole both (1) and (2) from a well-known philosopher whose name I am compelled to reveal, as his actual view on the topic of personal identity seems to have gone almost entirely unnoticed. His name is John Locke. 1 Out-locking the neo-Lockeans: a very brief history of consciousness What Locke actually says bears repeating in some detail, and not only because many perhaps most philosophers weighing in on either side of the debate seem either to not have read the actual text or glossed over its meaning, or both: . . . to find wherein personal identity consists, we must consider what person stands for; which I think, is a thinking intelligent being, that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing, in different times and places, which it does only by that consciousness which is inseparable from thinking, and it seems to me essential to it: it being impossible for anyone to perceive, without perceiving that he does perceive. When we see, hear, smell, taste, feel, meditate, or will anything, we know that we do so. Thus it is always as to our present sensations and perceptions: and by this everyone is to himself that which he calls self; it not being considered, in this case, whether the same self be continued in the same or divers substances. For since consciousness always accompanies thinking, and it is that that makes everyone to be what he calls self . . . in this alone consists personal identity . . . Consciousness makes personal identity.1 In case anyone missed that: consciousness makes personal identity, and in this alone consists personal identity. Call me retro, but Locke’s insightful view on the (non) matter is here so directly and explicitly expressed there certainly is no need in my book to call it “neo.” Now, although Locke nowhere defines consciousness, he tries to explain why he thinks personal identity consists in consciousness, and consciousness alone, and why consciousness is not a substance, neither physical nor immaterial: But it is farther inquired whether it be the same identical substance . . . I say, in all these cases, our consciousness being interrupted, and we losing the sight of our past selves, doubts are raised whether we are the same thinking thing, i.e., the same substance, or no. Which, however reasonable or unreasonable, concerns not personal identity at all: the question being, what makes the same person, and not whether it be the same identical substance which always thinks in the same person, which in this case matters not at all; different substances, by the same consciousness (where they do partake in it) being united into one person, as well as different bodies by the same life are united into one animal, whose identity is preserved, in that change of substance, by the unity of one continued life. For it
1 Locke, Ch. 27, paragraph 9.

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being the same consciousness that makes a man be himself to himself, personal identity depends on that only, whether it be annexed solely to one individual substance, or can be continued in a succession of several substances . . . For it is by the consciousness it has of its present thoughts and actions that it is self to itself now, and so will be the same self, as far as the same consciousness can extend to actions past or to come; and would be by distance of time, or change of substance, no more two persons than a man be two men, by wearing other clothes today than he did yesterday, with a long or short sleep between: the same consciousness uniting those distant actions into the same person, whatever substances contributed to their production.2 Now, when Shoemaker, in (mis)describing Locke’s example, says “prince’s ‘consciousness’ and memories of his life” are switched with that of the cobbler, he is not nearly as far off the mark as when for instance Derek Parfit says, “Locke suggested that experience-memory provides the criterion of personal identity,” (Reasons and Persons, p. 205). Having read Parfit’s immensely influential book and related works a number of times now and discussed it with him in person and in print, I am less sure of what he means by “experience memory” than I am that Locke would have shaken his head at the locution, utterly at a loss. Shoemaker at least makes out of the term consciousness a conjunction albeit to then ignore it in favor of the second term, “memories,” to be able to claim to be part of a longstanding Locke-inspired philosophical tradition that amounts to a memory view or, when troubled by counterexamples, still further with the notion of “continuity of psychology.”3 I am, in any case, far less interested in scholarly arguments or making a case for Locke’s “actual” (historically resuscitated) view as “developed” by neo-Lockeans and criticized by their opponents as a matter of philosophical history—a concerted and disconcerting bait and switch perpetrated on both sides of the debate, consisting in the substitution of psychological identification (by proponents) and physiological identifications (by opponents) for personal identity—than I am in (re)turning to the real subject of personal identity: consciousness. To talk in this way openly about consciousness nowadays is of course extremely dangerous. What is the principium individuationis for consciousness? And what is consciousness? The entire stormy debate on personal identity over the past thirty years has been if anything a concerted effort to avoid having to ask the former and define the latter. This is all the more remarkable, given Locke’s actual answer to his own question. Why does he answer as he does? Well, when presented4 with Locke’s example the puzzle is that from the outwardly denoted domain of public reference we are dealing with human beings (animals) iden2 Locke, Book II, Ch. 27, paragraph 10. 3 By my lights the only proper way to use the word “psychology” is with the word “department” after it

to denote an academic discipline having something roughly and vaguely to do with the study of various aspects of the human mind by people distinguished if by nothing else than their reticence to define (or even use) the term consciousness even more so, if that is to be believed, than their colleagues in philosophy departments.
4 Locke in that respect reminds me of the man who, to make sure his pants don’t fall down, wears both

suspenders and a belt. (Where the suspenders are “atoms” and the belt, God.)

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tified as A and B up until time t after which from this same “objective,” “non-perspectival,” “third person” public point of view their identity remains outwardly, publicly identifiably, the same while, from their own first-person perspectival point of view (or, as we “project” ourselves into that view), they identify themselves as each other. After t, A says “I am B” and B says, “I am A.” (Notice how one cannot express this state of affairs without questionable linguistic contortions and the bending of naming conventions.) Nothing about their outward physical appearance changes. What does change? From the standpoint of public identification, what an “outside” observer can say is this: after time t (when “the switch” happens) A claims to be B, B claims to be A, and furthermore when we put personal questions to A (“Who are you?” “What is your name?” “What is your favorite food?” “With whom did you last have sex?” and so on) the answers we get are what before t we got from B, and vice versa. We can thus publicly “verify” that the information formerly “stored,” “expressed,” “realized”—use whatever pseudo-technical expression you like—by A is now “stored,” or whatever, on B, and vice versa. We can further along such lines also fill in lots of other interesting details, such as that what the experience reported from the first-person point of view of A and B would be like: “I was over there, where A now is,” we hear from the mouth of B, “Thinking ‘I am A,’ and wondering whether this experiment will work and now suddenly I find myself having been transported all at once here several feet to the left into the body of B, looking at the world from this point of view shifted three feet to the left, and thinking it worked, ‘I am A’ in B’s body,” and so on. We can imagine how this would be the case since along with personal historical information would go the current phenomenological (visual and tactile) perspectival information about the subject’s location in relation to objects perceived in that subject’s world. The question presently before us is not about the single “correct” answer to Locke’s question but, rather, what guides Locke to answer as he does, namely, that B at time t is now the same person as A was at t−1 and that A at time t is now the same person as B was at t−1 . (I don’t mean to rush but why didn’t Locke for instance conclude, on the basis of his example, that consciousness—the subject—is a universal being revealed by his example to be, essentially, no one and, therefore, potentially, everyone? Perhaps because in his own day Locke, like present philosophers who tend not to look too closely at Locke, did not rush out to read Ibn Rushd.) A little reflection reveals the answer: a singular intuition at the very heart of virtually every one of these sorts of puzzle cases up to the present day, so ubiquitous Shoemaker names it the “transplant intuition:” Locke says that the cobbler-body person would then be the same person as the prince—and that of course is an expression of the “transplant intuition” that has been at the heart of the case for memory continuity and psychological continuity accounts of personal identity. But Locke also says that the cobbler-body person would not be the same man as the prince. And that poses a bit of a problem. If both the prince and the cobbler-body person are persons, and both are men, how can they be the same person and not the same man?5

5 Shoemaker (2008).

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Before we have a closer look at both the role such intuitions play and the even more important role played by our two incommensurately different (under the received logic) modes of identification, let us first see how Shoemaker and other “memory continuity” and “psychological continuity” theorists deal with the problem just raised. 2 How two different human beings can be one and the same person: a brief history of borders from Aristotle to Frege to Hintikka According to Locke, the particular human being that gets the consciousness of the prince is the same person, but not the same animal, as the prince. It then in Shoemaker’s view follows that I can be this physical organism without being personally identical to it, which is exactly the sort of prima facie counterintuitive result that feeds neo-Aristotelian animalists such as Eric Olson who, anchored in the even more conservative, essentially pre-Fregean, Aristotelian conception of existence, identity and reference, along with the corresponding intuitions, view persons as essentially biological categories, constituting thereby, in Shoemaker’s words, A powerful challenge to neo-Lockean views . . . Denying that persons are identical with human animals is . . . prima facie counterintuitive. The claim that we are “rational animals” goes back . . . to Aristotle, and we can scarcely be rational animals if we are not animals. And it is standard both in biology and in ordinary discourse to equate persons with human beings and to take human beings to be a species of animals.6 For well over twenty years now Shoemaker and other “psychological continuity” theorists who try (consciously or unconsciously) to avoid the counter-intuitive implications of as it were unlocking consciousness (think subject) from the natural separateness conditions (think signatures) derived from the boundaries of individual objects (think product codes), have found sanctuary from the above sort of counter-intuitive result by a convenient verbal fiat to avoid the difficult if not impossible task of defining consciousness and articulating its existence and identity in fundamentally Fregean terms: In taking this view one can allow that there is a sense of “is” in which a person is an animal. But this will not be the “is” of predication or of identity; it will be, perhaps, the sort of “is” we have in “The statue is a hunk of bronze”—it will mean something like “is composed of the very same stuff as. (Shoemaker and Swinburne 1984, p. 113) Derek Parfit too exploits the same (surface structure) verbal ambiguity (and is likewise criticized for it by [short-term]7 bodily continuity theorists no less steeped in the Fregean—rather than Aristotelian—conception such as Peter Unger) to draw suppos6 Shoemaker (2008). 7 According to the latest formulation of Unger’s view (1990) identity is what matters primarily in survival

and you have identity for as long as the “physical realizer” of your “psychology” persists, which by his reckoning gives us each less than seven years to live.

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edly state-of-the-art metaphysical implications by noting that the “is” in “a statue is a piece of bronze,” is not the is of identity. A statue and a piece of bronze are not one and the same thing. This is shown by the fact that, if we melt the statue, we destroy the statue but do not destroy the piece of bronze. Such a statue is composed of a piece of bronze. (Parfit 1984, p. 211) Such verbal maneuvers stem from the still widely shared notion among most mainstream (pre-Hintikka) analysts of the semantics of natural language about the ambiguity of “is,” inherited from Russell, according to whom The word is is terribly ambiguous . . . We have (1) the sense in which it asserts Being, as in “A is”; (2) the sense of identity; (3) the sense of predication, in “A is human” (4) the sense of “A is a man” . . . which is very like identity. (Russell 1903, p. 64) This ubiquitous Russelianism, which actually originates with Peano and Frege, bleeds so deeply into the broken heart of what is commonly called first-order logic (Eklund and Kolak 2002; Hintikka 2002)—where “=” expresses the “is” of identity, “∃” the “is” of existence, and “P(a)” the “is” of predication—it has been called the “Frege trichotomy” by Hintikka, who after politely noting its ubiquity (Frege, Russell, Quine, Davidson, Chomsky, Lakoff) politely demonstrates that it is false (Hintikka 1998a). I won’t go into details here except to say that out the window with it (Hintikka 1998a) go virtually all “language of thought” type theories on the basis of which our supposedly “common sense” intuitions about how the (Parmenidean) universe and everything in it, up to and including ourselves, should be articulated into nice, neat Fregean borders,8 have been given precedence in mainstream philosophical discourse over formal analysis and language as calculus (calculus ratiocinator) approaches that articulate the world and everything (including other worlds, both large and small) not with the ill-defined but “no-nonsense” denizens of ordinary language predicated on a fundamentally materialist ontology but with well-defined albeit rather more mysterious sort of entities that live in the domain of mathematical science.9 (Witness, for instance, the Scott semantics, which altogether dispenses with the category of individuals in favor of the λ-calculus, Rantala’s theory of urn models and other such derivatives of game-theoretical semantics, and attempts to reassess the received first-order logic in favor of IF logic [with regard to the latter see in particular Kolak 2001, Eklund and Kolak 2002].) In any case, trying to squash animalism while at the same time leaving room for his psychological continuity view, here is what Shoemaker concludes: So two things, the statue and the hunk of bronze, can occupy the same place and share the same matter and the same non-historical properties . . . The suggestion
8 Meaning, in the analysis of the semantics of natural language domain, that I think it is high time to move away altogether from a Fregean ontology consisting, basically, of a common world articulated into individuals, their properties, relations and functions. 9 As I’ve repeated in On Hintikka (Wadsworth 2001) and on many other occasions: nicht Frege, Frage. The

expression is a Jaakko original.

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is that a person “is” an animal, not in the sense of being identical to one, but in the sense of sharing its matter with one . . . On such a view it is possible for a person to “be” one animal (human being) at one time and another animal (human being) at another time. (Shoemaker and Swinburne 1984, pp. 113–11f) Shoemaker illustrates with an example in which no transfer of any bodily organ or of any physical material occurs but about which our intuitions say the person has survived, what he calls a “brain-state transfer procedure” (“BST procedure” for short). A person’s complete brain state—the information containing all the memories, “psychology,” etc., of the original brain—is transferred to a different brain and body while the original brain and body are destroyed. Now, supposing that materialism is true, and that the people in the imagined society know this; would it be wrong for them to consider the BST procedure as person-preserving? Shoemaker answers no: If they are right in thinking that the BST-procedure is person-preserving, and if they mean the same by “person” as we do, then it seems that we ought to regard the BST-procedure as person-preserving. (Shoemaker and Swinburne 1984, p. 109) And what makes identity across such physical borders possible is that the BST-procedure does not involve the transfer of any bodily organ, or of any matter at all, from the one body to the other. All that is transferred, it is natural to say, is “information,”. (Shoemaker and Swinburne 1984, p. 110) Many find this aspect of the neo-Lockean view as an attractive alternative way to restate the traditional mind/body problem using software/hardware concepts. As E. J. Lowe has already noted, It is to the credit of the neo-Lockean theory that, unlike the neo-Aristotelian theory, it is untainted by anthropocentrism (this indeed is the lesson of Locke’s story of the rational parrot). This explains, too, why the neo-Lockean theory should appeal, as it clearly does, to enthusiasts for the prospects of artificial intelligence. The existence of a neo-Lockean person is popularly likened to the running of a computer program, which is largely independent of the detailed ‘hardware’ of the machine on which it is run. Human brains and nervous systems provide, on this view, highly efficient hardware (or ‘wetware’) for the ‘running’ of a person, but there is no reason in principle why the ‘program’ should not be run on an altogether different kind of machine, constructed on electronic rather than on biological principles. This even offers human persons—albeit only in the distant future—the prospect of immortality by means of transfer to a solid state device (though equally it offers an embarrassment of riches in the form of simultaneous transfer to more than one such machine). (Lowe 1996, p. 24) The parenthetical clause alluding to fission cases also underscores another aspect of our thesis regarding the role of intuitions. For it is in the fission examples that intuitions seem to fly apart at the seams. But what is it that flies apart, actually? Not the intuitions themselves, surely, but, rather, the philosophical foundations upon which those ordinary language intuitions are predicated (notice I didn’t say derived). Before turning to that problem (or, on the way to it) we need to address the even more press-

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ing problem with Shoemaker’s view, to which all neo-Lockean theories are prone. As again E.J. Lowe so well puts it, What is wrong with the neo-Lockean theory is that, in purporting to supply an account of the individuating and identity of persons it presupposes, untenably, that an account of the identity conditions of psychological modes can be provided which need not rely on reference to persons. But it emerges that the identity of any psychological mode turns on the identity of the person that possesses it. What this implies is that psychological modes are essentially modes of persons . . . By psychological modes I mean . . . individual mental events, processes and states. (It is important to emphasize that we are talking about individual entities here—‘tokens’ rather than ‘types’.) Paradigm examples would be: a particular belief-state, a particular memory-state, a particular sensory experience, a particular sequence of thoughts constituting a particular process of reasoning, and so on. But, to repeat, such individual mental states are necessarily states of persons: they are necessarily ‘owned’—necessarily have a subject. The necessity in question arises from the metaphysical-cum-logical truth that such individual mental states cannot even in principle be individuated and identified without reference to the subject of which they are states. (Lowe 1996, p. 25) This problem of circularity, which has been at the heart of all mainstream functionalist theories such as Shoemaker’s that try to avoid the mind-body dichotomy (and corresponding dilemmas) using a middle-ground “psychological” account, is hardly new. Likewise, Lowe’s point that to talk about personal identity and escape the circularity requires unmooring ourselves from traditional analytic anchors and unleashing ourselves into the maelstrom of the subject (consciousness) would hardly be in need of stating were it still not so conveniently ignored by virtually all philosophers writing on the topic of personal identity today, many of whom were but children when Strawson first made it.10 The explanation for the repetition and omission in the latter case is I think due less to the subtleties in the Strawson–Lowe argument for the primacy of the subject than, in the first two cases, to a common failure to define consciousness qua subject so as to differentiate the subject (consciousness) as bearer of personal identify from its psychological (object) identifications. This is nowhere more readily apparent than in what happens when Shoemaker tries to avoid both the circle and the fork with his (naïve) materialist grounded, functionalist enhanced “psychological continuity” view with his “package deal” definition that tries to steer clear of the circularity relying on internal relations of synchronic and diachronic unity articulated using Ramsey–Lewis sentences. The technique, developed by David Lewis using (modified) Ramsey sentences to avoid circularity, is as follows. Suppose I believe that positively charged atoms attract negatively charged atoms and repel positively charged atoms, while negatively charged atoms attract positively charged atoms and repel negatively charged atoms. When you ask me to define “positive charge” and “negative charge” in terms of these beliefs, it seems I can’t do it without circularity. Lewis’s solution to this problem is to construct a Ramsey sentence wherein the terms “positive charge”

10 Strawson (1959).

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and “negative charge” are replaced with variables, turning it into an “open sentence” which can then be prefaced with existential quantifiers binding the variables, as follows: “For some properties P and N , P-atoms attract N -atoms and repel P-atoms, while N -atoms attract P-atoms and repel N -atoms.” We can then define “positive charge” as (3) x is a positive charge = def x is the unique property P such that for some property N , P atoms attract N atoms and repel P atoms (4) x is a negative charge = def x is the unique property N such that for some property P, N atoms attract N atoms and repel N atoms. Since the definiendum in neither case occurs in the definiens of either definition, circularity is avoided. Shoemaker applies this very same Lewis–Ramsey technique to define mental terms in terms of functionalist terms (!) that avoid circularity. He realizes however that if the only terms replaced by variables in the modified Ramsey sentence are mental predicates, and that because the modified Ramsey sentence speaks of mental states as instantiated in and cause effects in one and the same person, it will still thereby either explicitly or implicitly yet again invoke the notion of personal identity. But just as we can avoid reference to particular mental states using the modified Ramsey sentence we can, according to Shoemaker, likewise avoid the reference to personal identity. If we thus reformulate his theory so that reference to personal identity is replaced with the relation predicate “is copersonal with,” we can then use our modified Ramsey sentence to replace this predicate with the relational variable “stands in R to.” The problem is: how is this variable bound? Shoemaker’s answer: by placing at the front of our modified Ramsey sentence an additional existential quantifier, (5) “For some relation R, or for short, ‘∃R’.” Then, representing the modified Ramsey sentence as “∃R, F, G . . . (. . .),” (6) “x is copersonal with y =def “∃!R, F, G . . . (. . . ∧ x Ry).” But this way of trying to fix (avoid) the circularity leads straight into a fork, exemplified nowhere more clearly than in the fission examples and Shoemaker’s response to them. In other words, the possibility revealed by the fission examples of two entities satisfying the requirements of being copersonal with x at a given time render it impossible for the Neo-Lockean ala Shoemaker to fulfill the uniqueness clause required by all such Lewis style definitions. Shoemaker avoids circularity only at the expense of mistaking isomorphism with identity.11 3 Does fission destroy identity, or, how can different human beings be the same person at the same time? If I can exist as one and the same (metaphysical) entity, personally identical, identified as different animals each of which is (constitutively) non-identical to the other, while the human beings consist in different exclusively conjoined physiological and
11 I am grateful to Troy Catterson for clarifying my point here.

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psychological bundles—consisting, for instance, at this moment, in numerically different atoms of carbon and oxygen, numerically different sensations of pleasure and pain, numerically different thoughts, and so on—what happens when there is more than one human being bearing this same relationship to me not over time but at a time? Shoemaker realizes that once the first question—can one person be two human beings—is answered in the affirmative, thereby dislodging personal from animal identity, our next question must be asked and so the good philosopher asks it: what about ties? In Shoemaker’s BST—example, as in commisurotomy examples, (Kolak and Martin 1991) we can imagine “fission” occurring; something goes wrong and instead of only one duplicate there are two. In that case, there would be two contemporaneously existing people who are alike in every respect, each with two hemispheres containing the exact same information and with bodies that are atom-for-atom perfectly alike. Shoemaker claims—like Parfit, Nozick, Nagel, and a host of other “psychological continuity” theorists—that the two survivors, each one of whom were it not for the existence of the other would be the same person as the original are, because of the existence of the other, not the same person as the original. They come to this conclusion on the basis of the same “transplant intuition” that guides them, on the one hand, to conclude that (7) a person can be two different human beings and, on the other, that (8) a person cannot be two different human beings. Of course what my putting it this way to bring out both the contradiction and the Necker-cube like flip-flop leaves out is obvious, but what difference does adding the phrase “over time” to (7) and “at a time” to (8) make? It makes our hunches different, no doubt, and perhaps that can even be tweaked, but what is difference that makes the difference? If it’s just because our intuitions say the cases are different we’re out of the fork and right back in the circle. So is the difference metaphysical? Ontological? Epistemological? A little reflection reveals the real culprit yet again: our two different modes of identification (which we refine below). From the first-person point of view of perspectival identification of A’s twin offshoots, B and of C, there is no quantifiable difference: whether or not C exists is irrelevant to the existence of B and whether or not B exists is irrelevant to the existence of C. Imagine, for instance, that B and C are kept apart from the moment of fission in a black room without mirrors (they do not know what they look like, i.e., “which bodies they are in”) and are not told whether the other has survived or not. Will B be then in the dark there worried about whether or not he, B, exists? No. Will he be worried about whether or not he, B, is A? Perhaps, but why? From the first person perspectival point of view the subject readily and identifies himself to himself with the anything but proverbial “I am,” “I exist,” “I am I.” To him, the consciousness there in a dark room having that experience, nothing is missing, certainly nothing existential. How then can the addition of another subject, C, in an adjoining dark room destroy B’s existence? Is that not also counter-intuitive, in fact at least as if not more so than to suppose, as I argue in my book, (Kolak 2004, see especially the chapter “Identity Borders”) that identity has in the branch-line case been preserved, and that what the example shows is not what cannot be conceived

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but, rather, in that very conception, reveals what prior to that example we had insufficient evidence to show, namely, the possibility of one and the same person existing simultaneously as multiple numerically distinct human beings not just over time but at the same time, over space (my nonlocality condition (Kolak 2004)). The real culprit here is not two different intuitions but the same intuition sans philosophical theory (of consciousness) trying to do the impossible job of double mutually conflicting identifications. To give explicit example to this double bind (Necker-cube “flip flop”) effect, look at how Derek Parfit is forced to claim, on the one hand, that In the imagined case where I divide . . . personal identity cannot take a branching form. I and the two resulting people cannot be one and the same person. Since I cannot be identical with two different people, and it would be arbitrary to call one of these people me, we can best describe the case by saying that neither will be me. (Parfit 1984, p. 263) While claiming, at the same time, that Some people would regard division as being as bad, or nearly as bad, as ordinary death. This reaction is irrational. We ought to regard division as being about as good as ordinary survival. (Parfit 1984, p. 261) Just as on Shoemaker’s, Nozick’s, and other similar views, fission is construed as preserving survival. How? Either because I, a person, can survive without identity or, as Parfit wants his view now in light of these sorts of criticisms to be understood, that while the resulting relation “may not” be one of survival, as we “ordinarily understand” survival, it is “as good as” ordinary survival and so—although I do not survive—“what matters” does survive. The reason survival without identity is according to these theorists as good as ordinary actual survival is that, in their view, even in ordinary cases of moment-to-moment existence, “personal identity is not what matters.” On some variants, such as Nozick’s, this solution is softened with the notion that identity is an extrinsic rather than intrinsic relation and thus that, alas, you lose your identity the moment there is a tie. Other philosophers argue that survival without identity (i.e., that identity does not matter), or that personal identity is an extrinsic, not an intrinsic relation, is not just counter-intuitive but, in fact, absurd. Just how absurd these sorts of counter-absurdist proposals can get is nowhere more evident than when Nozick tells us, of exactly the sort of case just imagined where B is A if C does not exist and C is A if B does not exist but if B and C both exist neither B nor C is A: once we have become used to the idea that whether y at t2 is (identical with) x at t1 does not depend only upon the properties and relations of x and y, but depends also upon whether there exists a z of a certain sort (which more closely continues x). (Nozick 1981) To see just how incredibly bizarre these modifications (think epicycles) can get, suppose we live in the society envisioned by Shoemaker, where once a year we go in for a BST-procedure. And suppose, furthermore, that I wanted to kill you but that I am a pacifist so repulsed by the thought of violence that I come up with the following clever scheme. I wait until you go in for your physiology-change, I bribe the corrupt engineer, we make two duplicates instead of one and, presto: instead of continuing

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to exist as a BST-preserved person, either (on Nozick’s reply to Shoemkaer’s example) you cease being the person you presently are or, (on Parfit’s reply), the survival that before the addition of the second individual was going on continuously is now suddenly disrupted by the existence of the second individual; survival can go on for a little while but on Parfit’s view will end as the psychological differences increase. This seems an extremely bizarre way of killing someone or, even, a bizarre way of ending anyone’s survival; would we be willing to prosecute such acts as being murder, for instance? Or, how has even “what matters” here changed by an event that happens elsewhere? Such departures from our traditional intuitions derived from an “absolute” view of persons to a sort of “relational” view, Derek Parfit likens to the shift from Newtonian mechanics to Einsteinian relativity: Newton believed that any physical event had its particular Space and Time. We now believe that a physical event has its particular spatio-temporal position in virtue of its various relations to the other physical events that occur . . . We can claim that a particular mental event occurs within some life in virtue of its relations to the many other mental and physical events which, by being interrelated, constitute this life. (Parfit 1984, p. 252) There is a deep irony here, one that runs far deeper than perhaps any of us have yet fully come to realize; what, after all, is relativity theory if not physics advanced by integrating two otherwise incommensurate modes of identification under one general (and one special) theory? Einsteinian reference frames are, if anything, a perspectival mode of identification integrated with the public mode (via differential equations, Lorentz transformations, tensors, and so on) predicated on a general theory of individuation and identification, up to and including the identification of physical objects (in which cross-identification depends on continuity), wherein the mathematics used for these identification tasks are the stability theory of differential equations. Hence the “paradoxes” of which our Newtonian (or, more precisely, Aristotelian) predicated intuitions run afoul.12 In mainstream philosophy no such techniques are as yet in play (which we shall remedy shortly). Parfit, handicapped rather than helped by the Russell/Frege trichotomy, is thus forced to say, simply, that I do not view a tie as like death; I am no longer there, yet it is a good enough realization of identity to capture my care which attaches to identity. (Parfit 1984, p. 68) This means that some time in the future when I won’t be dead (“I do not view a tie as like death”) I also won’t be there (I am no longer there,). But if I am not there, and I am not dead, what state am I in (perhaps some sort of weird existential status accorded to Schrödinger’s Cat or Wigner’s Friend?) At this future time when there is a perfect tie I will not exist anywhere. This sounds to me very much like being dead. Yet I should according to both Parfit and Shoemaker care about the person similar to me just as if he were me, and that this somehow makes me, in some sense, not dead. Parfit goes so

12 This in fact is the basis for my crazy idea, expressed in Kolak and Symons (2004) that IF logic can be

used to bridge relativity theory and quantum mechanics.

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far as to say that one way to look at this admittedly strange state of affairs would be to say that, when fission happens to you, You will lose your identity. But there are different ways of doing this. Dying is one, dividing is another. To regard these as the same is to confuse two with zero. Double survival is not the same as ordinary survival. But this does not make it death. It is even less like death. (Parfit 1984, p. 262) Can this be right? It might be. It certainly avoids one counter-intuitive result but only at the cost of raising an even more counter-intuitive one. Let us go back to our variant of Shoemaker’s BST-example in which I have just “done away” with the original person (or ended what previous to my intervention was a case of survival with identity) by making two replicas instead of just one. If Shoemaker, Nozick and Parfit are right, it would be possible for someone to argue, as for instance Swinburne does, that you could ensure your survival by killing your double, or, perhaps, that in some sense you could even “bring yourself back,” at least in the sense of bringing back a state that is “as good as survival,” or else perhaps re-establish survival with identity; either, on one possible reading of Nozick’s closest continuer view, you (one of the duplicates) could become identical to the person who went in for the BST-procedure (a person who, until the moment you kill your double, you were no longer identical to because of the tie) or, on Parfit’s condition that identity does not matter, re-establish whatever type of survival there had been before the tie and which the tie disrupted. You could achieve whichever one of these possibilities is the actual state obtained, someone might argue, by killing your double. Swinburne, for instance, writes that if a non-branching condition (like Parfit’s) or a closest continuer condition (like Nozick’s) were true, then, in our split-brain operation, The way for a man to ensure his own survival is to ensure the non-existence of future persons too similar to himself. Suppose the mad surgeon had told P1 before the operation what he was intending to do . . . P1 is unable to escape the clutches of the mad surgeon, but is nevertheless very anxious to survive the operation. If the empiricist theory in question is correct there is an obvious policy which will guarantee his survival. He can bribe one of the nurses to ensure that the right half-brain does not survive successfully. (Shoemaker and Swinburne 1984, p. 237) It is extremely revealing to note how Shoemaker answers Swinburne’s objection. Shoemaker, like Nozick and Parfit, wants to get out of the difficulty by claiming that the tie case is not, let us say, as bad as death. But since Shoemaker, like Nozick, is working with Fregean borders conscripted under the Frege trichotomy articulated in a fundamentally Fregean conception of existence and identity, he cannot go as far as to identify both persons in the tie case as being, numerically, the same person. Under both the received logic and semantics this is utterly forbidden. However, if they are not the same person (because of the tie), neither of them can in the received logic and semantics be properly identified as the original. This, to Shoemaker, too, seems counter-intuitive because it would mean that, apparently, the original person, merely due to the tie (as Parfit so well puts it: “How can a double success be a failure?”), is now dead. So Shoemaker, like Nozick, and even more so like Parfit ends up almost

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giving up the received semantics and logic when he claims that nonetheless actual death has not taken place so that (using “survival” as a state that in neither literal death nor literal survival) survival has in some (albeit non-literal) sense occurred: What is at stake here is what it is that we really care about when we care about our own survival and our own future well-being. Swinburne makes the natural assumption that when I want to survive it is essential to the satisfaction of my want that I, the very person who is now wanting this, should exist in the future. But this can be questioned. (Shoemaker and Swinburne 1984, p. 119) Shoemaker cannot bring himself to understand how he, the very person who wrote that passage, could exist at more than one place at a time. But he is led by the same (unanalyzed) intuition (which we will formally ground shortly) to believe that at some future time when he, the very person who wrote that passage, no longer exists, there has occurred something which pushing against the limits of ordinary language he dubs as “significant survival.” This means, either, that he can in some “significant” sense survive without being the same person he now is, or that although he cannot survive without being the same person he now is, there can hold between X and Y a relationship that would qualify as “survival” even though X and Y are not identical: Consider another variant of our half-brain transplant case. Suppose that half of my brain and all of the rest of my body are ridden with cancer, and that my only hope for survival is for my healthy half-brain to be transplanted to another body. There are two transplantation procedures available. The first, which is inexpensive and safe (so far as the prospects of the recipient are concerned) involves first transplanting the healthy hemisphere and then destroying (or allowing to die) the diseased hemisphere that remains. The other, which is expensive and risky (the transplant may not take, or it may produce a psychologically damaged person) involves first destroying the diseased hemisphere and then transplanting the other. Which shall I choose? Notice that if I choose the first procedure there will be, for a short while, two persons psychologically continuous with the original person (me), and therefore that on the non-branching psychological continuity theory the recipient of the healthy hemisphere cannot count as me. If I choose the second procedure, on the other hand, then at no point will the recipient (the post- operative possessor of the healthy hemisphere) have any “competitor” for the status of being me, so it seems that he can count as me (if the transplantation takes). Should I therefore choose the expensive and risky procedure? This seems absurd. The thing to do is to choose the first procedure, even though (I think) it guarantees that the transplant recipient will not be me. (Shoemaker and Swinburne 1984, p. 118) Shoemaker recognizes that it certainly does seem right to him to choose the first procedure. Yet if he chooses the first procedure, according to the semantic and logical limits imposed by Shoemaker’s own analysis, the survivor will not be Shoemaker. If he chooses the riskier second procedure, and it is successful, according to Shoemaker’s own analysis, the survivor will be Shoemaker. In the first, “less risky” operation there is, according to Shoemaker’s own analysis, a zero percent chance that he, Shoemaker, will survive. In the second, “more risky” operation there is, according to Shoemaker’s

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own analysis, perhaps about a fifty–fifty chance that he, Shoemaker, will survive. How can a zero percent chance of surviving as the identical person you are be less risky than a fifty–fifty chance of surviving as the identical person you are? Here is Shoemaker’s startling answer: The reason is that whether the future person will be me is in a case like this of no importance to me. (Shoemaker and Swinburne 1984, pp. 119–120) We need not try to refute Shoemaker’s claim that the choice would be less risky, on his view, relative to preserving what (according to him) matters to you. But note, first, that Shoemaker is here quite in opposition to his own claim that issues of “what matters” are but a shift from the metaphysical issue (see his paper, this issue), making use of exactly this point of contact between values and metaphysics. Second, I don’t disagree with Shoemaker that we could choose as he chooses. What I am claiming is that the conclusion he and other personal identity theorists draws from this—namely, that identity does not matter—does not follow; we would choose the overlap procedure because we believe that we will survive and since what actually matters in survival (I claim) is identity. The alternative (mis)conception is but the latest casualty resulting from a tacit reliance on the Frege handicapped (from the standpoint of IF) logic and semantics. The correct move in my view in other words is not to preserve the status quo received view with clever conceptual (and logical and semantic) epicycles to avoid the paradox but, rather, to use the results to form a better theory of personal identity predicated on what the discussion should have been (and was) from the start: consciousness, even and especially if it means moving to more formal theory that makes room enough for simultaneous consciousness identity simultaneously across both space and time. The standard alternative, after all, asks us to accept the possibility that a person can, in some sense, exist (in the sense that the situation is not as bad as death) at some place (indeed, in the tie case at more than one place) without that person being there. Shoemaker’s view handicapped by the received Frege logic asks us to accept that he will survive without continuing to exist and his way of avoiding rather than using the paradox (by dissolving personal identity, i.e., “identity is not what matters”) is at least as strange, if not stranger, than the very “trap” he is trying to avoid, a trap into which he got into the first place by trying to avoid the quicksand of dealing with the problem (even impossibility) of defining consciousness within a universe of borders articulated using a fundamentally Fregean conception of existence, identity and reference. The mainstream analyst who comes closest to dissolving the condition that fission destroys identity is Parfit, when he discusses the case where his life overlaps with that of his Replica and claims that his relation to his Replica is as good as survival because identity is not what matters. But since we ordinarily assume that identity is what matters, I need not assume that my Replica on Mars is someone else . . . I can believe that I do now have another stream of consciousness, of which, in this stream, I am now unaware. And if it helps, I can take this view about my Replica. (Parfit 1984, p. 288) In other words, Parfit can regard himself and his Replica, though spatially separated (in his example, by the distance between Earth and Mars), as being the same person: if

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the Replica is not “someone else” then on this interpretation who else but Parfit could he be (except, possibly, no one)? Why this in his view does not make a difference of life and death is revealed to him by what his own intuition expresses, in this crucial example, in terms of something rarely if ever mentioned by any of these theorists, the pincipium individuationis which has yet to be explored, namely, consciousness. Parfit claims that he, Derek Parfit, can exist with a divided mind . . . I can say that I now have two streams of consciousness, one here on Earth, and another on Mars . . . It makes little difference that my life briefly overlaps with that of my Replica. (Parfit 1984, p. 289) If, as Ayer once quipped, analytic philosophy at its best consists in “the bit where you say it and the bit where you take it back,” here is Parfit at his analytic best, the bit where above he just said it followed by the bit where takes it back: If the overlap was large, this would make a difference. Suppose that I am an old man, who is about to die. I shall be outlived by someone who was once a Replica of me. When this person started to exist forty years ago, he was psychologically continuous with me as I was then. He has since lived his own life for forty years. I agree that my relation to this Replica, though better than ordinary death, is not nearly as good as ordinary survival. But this relation would be about as good if my Replica would be psychologically continuous with me as I was ten days or ten minutes ago. (Parfit 1984, p. 289) Nozick is forced into virtually the same verbal yoga: If the old body plus half-brain linger on for long enough, three years say, then surely that is the person, and the person dies when that body expires—the duplicate does not suddenly become the person after three years. A one-minute period of lingering is compatible with the new body-person being the original person, a three-year period is not. (Nozick 1981, p. 44) Nozick’s response is especially odd in relation to his own view because, if we have the two-person case (as demarcated using Nozick’s view of how to draw boundaries), what happens when we throw into the picture Nozick’s following condition? I suggest that there is not simply one correct measure of closeness for person. Each person’s own selection and weighting of dimensions enter into determining his own actual identity, not merely into his view of it. Because of our differing notions of closeness, for the same structural description of a problem case we can give different answers about which resulting person would be us, each answer correct. If the story were about me, then Z would be X and Y would not, whereas if it were about you, Y would be X and Z would not. Which continuer is closest to a person depends (partially) on that person’s own notion of closeness. (Nozick 1981, p. 106) For suppose it is a perfect tie and so, on Nozick’s view, neither Y nor Z is X. Since we then have two persons, Y and Z, and “each person’s own selection and weighting of dimensions enter into determining his own actual identity not merely into his view of it,” suppose Y, who upon fission reads Nozick’s book and, convinced, now really

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is not identical to Z who, as it happens, upon fission reads my book and, convinced, now really is Y! From Y’s point of view, Y is not Z. From Z’s point of view, Y is Z. But suppose it is not a tie, so that Y is not the closest continuer. In that case, that Z is convinced by my book makes no difference: Z is not Y, nor X. Y is X but not Z. The problem is that none of these views manage to get out from under the weight of their own semantics handicapped, as I have been saying from the start, by the Frege trichotomy and the resulting received view intuitions not suitable for developing sound philosophical views any more than they are in scientific and mathematically based ones. And here the way out is the way in: what is needed now more than ever is what Locke evoked from the start but then failed to define and articulate, namely, a view of consciousness. We need not a view without a room but a room for a view. 4 Public versus perspectival identification: toward a new theory of self-reference Let us first, as promised, buttress Shoemaker’s (and Locke’s) imaginary puzzle cases with an actual example from neuropsychiatry on the basis of which I have devised a number of thought experiments, a variation on a range of extraordinarily revealing phenomena from dissociative pathology. Here, first, is a general description of one such actual case: Of particular note is the role of identification in the fashioning of a secondary personality. Margaret B., for example, when she was a little girl, had had a playmate, Harriet, to whom she was devoted. When they both were 6, Harriet was suddenly taken ill with an acute infectious disease and died in 3 days. Margaret was deeply upset at the time and wanted to die in her friend’s place. At some undetermined time after that event, Harriet went “inside Margaret,” as Harriet reported when she held sway in consciousness, and she lived there quite happily for many years until Margaret “got religious” and their formerly common tastes for entertainment and pleasure diverged. Internalizing the image of her dead friend appeared to have protected Margaret from the despair and sorrow . . . that emerged unspent and unabated, to be observed in all its poignant strength when, under hypnosis, the adult patient was directed to revive these memories of an event then 30 years in the past. (Nemiah 1988, pp. 234–258) Consider, now, my slightly different but more specific actual case.13 A set of twins, whom I will call A and B, grew up together until, at the age of seven, one of them— B—died. The resulting trauma on A produced an example of what I have termed identification disorder syndrome (IDS), which has come into some use among neurologists (see the article by Jay Lombard, this issue). When A was told that she was A, not B, she did not believe her parents nor, subsequently, her doctors who told her, quite openly and frankly, that she only thinks she is B for psychological reasons having to do with a combination of amnesia and guilt brought about by the death of her twin
13 It is on the basis of this actual example that I have predicated a number of “imaginary” thought experi-

ments, such as some of the ones depicted in I Am You.

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sister. When a family video of the twins was played, A pointed to A on the screen and said, “That’s A, my sister who died.” When, again, parents and doctors insisted that A is alive and, moreover, that A is A, she—interestingly enough—showed little specific response anxiety, showing more systematic anxiety about the death (as she perceived it) of A than of assertions that A was alive, that she was A, and that it was B who had died. Now, when A says, pointing to herself in the video, “That is A,” she is identifying properly. Pointing, she says, “That’s A, who is seven, who prefers items a, b, c (toys, people, tv shows) more than d, e, f, which B prefers over a, b, c.” (The twins were fond of differentiating each other by their various likes and dislikes marked most of all by their innocuous innocence, whereas about [what normal adults would regard as] more important things they were, in their parent’s words, “of one mind.”) After only a relatively brief therapy A began to realize, intellectually, that she was in fact A, not B. When the family videos were now played, she once again correctly identified A as A and B as B, and herself as A—“I am A,” she would say—although, under very mild questioning, as was suspected, she did not really fully yet feel as if she was A. It wasn’t so much that she didn’t believe she was A; she now did. She merely admitted, under questioning, that although she now “knew” that she was A and that, probably because of her sadness, had only mis-identified herself initially as her dead twin, she didn’t yet really or fully “feel herself.” A felt herself to be B, while acknowledging to herself that she knew she “really” wasn’t. What was still missing, of course, was the correct mode of presentation. When A, still feeling that she is B, says (because intellectually I now “understands” what psychologically she still doesn’t feel), “I am A,” she is identifying herself properly to others and even to myself. But within the overall psychology in which she subsists as the subject she is not identified as A. It still feels to her as if she is B, not A. She can refer to herself as A but does not have the first-person point of view on herself as A. What really is going on here? We’ve seen how some very fine philosophers fail to get out from under their own examples which, thus far, barring some extraordinary technological advances (which are just around the corner14 ) have been imaginary thought experiments, the down side of which is that, unlike in for instance physics, where say Einstein’s downright physically impossible thought experiment of riding a beam of light is naturally (or I should say formally) philosophically unconstrained by mathematical technique, there has unfortunately in the mainstream philosopher’s arsenal no such tooling (or retooling) been available. Except on the formal side now the thought experiment puzzle cases can similarly function to as it were bring consciousness to light using recent revolutionary advances (e.g. Hintikka and Sandu 1995) in our understanding of indexicals (Hintikka calls them demonstratives) not as a special mode of reference but a special mode of identification reinforced on the one hand by pathological examples (such as those involving distortions of spatial perception and orientation in general, including and especially in IDS) and, on the other, our two different modes of identification— third-person public and first-person perspectival—both of which have been working
14 The transporter is just around the corner. 3-D printers that replicate 3-D objects in a fraction of the time it ordinarily takes to manufacture them are already on the market; the “mathematically perfect” mode is as startling as it is, presently, expensive.

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quietly in the background throughout the puzzle cases. I follow Hintikka in calling these two forms of identification public and perspectival, respectively, though this I think is not the best locution since in reality both identifications are carried out from the first person point of view (either by “I the subject who am the ‘outside’ observer of A and B” or “I the subject who am the ‘inside’ observer of A and ‘outside’ observer of B). “Public” in my book is better termed “multi-perspectival,” but this leads to further complications that I won’t go into here. Now, the indexical “I” represents, in my view, a perspectivally rather than publicly identified entity. Taking then Quine’s “no entity without identity” and “to be is to be a value of a bound variable” together, allows us to then track such differences between different modes of identification that come into play crucially and are manifested by being values of different quantifiers, which Hintikka expresses by symbolizing quantifiers that rely on perspectival identification using (Ex), (Ax) and then using the traditional (∃x), (∀x) to signify quantifiers that rely on public identification. This helps us to see, not just understand, from a logical point of view several important aspects of what is going on in the twin’s case. Using Hintikka’s K -operator, we can see there is a clear difference between A identifying A symbolized as (9) (∃x)K A (A = x) or, likewise, (10) K (∃x/K )(A = x) as opposed to (11) (E x)K A (A = x) (12) K A (E x/K A )(A = x). (11) and (12) characterize in Hintikka’s new theory of demonstratives the perspectival mode of identification allowing us, as Hintikka himself does on occasion, to speak at the phenomenology of demonstratives . . . This feature of the conceptual situation is a reflection of the structure of one’s framework of perspectival visual identification. More specifically, it reflects the fact that the center (the origo or zero point) of this framework is always the speaker, including is or her location in space-time. This feature of the perspectival framework is worth acknowledging, for it is sub specie logica not the only possibility. (Hintikka 1998b, p. 223) Now, when in our twins case A says not “I am B” (identifying B as B correctly but A as B incorrectly) but “I am I ,” or “I am me,” just as If I refer to “myself” in a given situation, then in all the epistemic alternatives to the given situation the reference of my word is the same perspectivally identified person, even if I am suffering from amnesia and have forgotten who I am by public criteria of identification. (Hintikka 1998b, p. 224) That captures precisely what is going on not just in our actual (real world) twins case but in all the (imaginary) examples discussed thus far, from Locke’s original prince/ cobbler example to Shoemaker’s BST-procedure and all their various variations. There is of course much more that needs to be not just said but shown, as we shall in the next

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section, about this “center” that Hintikka parenthetically denotes by “the origo or zero point.” It is one general weakness of his analysis of demonstratives, as is generally the case in all logico-lingustic approaches thus far, regardless of how sophisticated technically, that—precisely because they have not yet been applied to the problem of personal identity—they have not yet had to integrate (or perhaps I should say distribute) consciousness—the subject—into their equations and, instead, have left it to the surface grammar of language (rather than to deeper e.g. computational, mathematical, or phenomenological formal structures) to account for perspectival identification. This is a natural mistake, as subjectivity in general and the subject in particular is enabled, as it were, by the logical necessity in every human language to identify who it is that is speaking. This can be done informally using personal pronouns, verb modality, and so on, and yet it is so fundamentally essential that it is itself a necessary feature of consciousness. I have in fact argued that without the special words and phrases of simultaneous denotation and expression, what I have called communicatives (“I,” “I am,” “I am I,” and so forth (For a detailed discussion see, Kolak 2004, Ch. 2)), there would be no self-consciousness for without them there would be no intuition of personal identity (more precisely defined below). This gap in Hintikka’s analysis is mediated by bringing into sharp focus the two different modes of identification, especially brining into view the depth of the perspectival mode, including its metaphysical issues cashed out, in Hintikka’s world(s) in terms of his “small worlds” (Hintikka 1998a, b). Presently we are in a process across a series of articles (in this issue) of correcting this limitation. With regard to our twin example, what certainly we would not want to say about this actual, neurological upgrade of Locke’s imaginary prince/cobbler example and the various related puzzle cases, is that when A correctly identifies A but misidentifies herself as B, there is no one there inside her head. On the contrary: throughout the ordeal there is someone there, an “I,” the subject in relation to which phenomena (e.g. objects) are individuated and identified in perspectival space and time (localized) from the first person point of view, i.e., observed, experiencing the world and being influenced through the (“psychological”—I here use the term in Freud’s sense) contours of a particular personality that the subject is to herself from her own first person point of view on herself and her world—Hintikka’s “small world”—identified as. In other words, the subject formerly identified (perspectivally, to herself, as) A initially (after B’s death) behaved like and thought she was B. As the therapy progressed further, the subject formerly identified as B became identified as A (not just having the intellectual ability to refer to herself as A) rather suddenly (as is so often the case in these and other, related, sorts of pathological psychological cases, there is rapid cycling, virtually instantaneous shifts). As a result, in the end, A in addition to identifying with A is identified as A.15 Throughout the ordeal the subject is there, situated in and among those varying psychological borders, “correctly” identified as A (before B’s death), then “falsely” identified as B, and so on: when she says, “I am B,” she, the subject, is identified as B. When she says, “I am A,” she is identified as A. But, then,
15 For a detailed discussion of my distinction between identification with and identification as, see my “Finding Our Selves: Individuation, Identification and Multiple Personal Identity Disorder,” Philosophical Psychology, and Ch. 6, “Psychological Borders,’ of I Am You.

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first, who is the I identified as the one self and then the other, and, second, who is the self and who is the other that I am identified as? Before addressing either of these questions, let us first make sure we are clear what mode of error this actually is. Identified as B, is the subject mistaken about her personal identity? One is tempted here perhaps to answer yes; let us for a moment suppose it to be so. Is the subject then also mistaken about her existence? Well, unless we are prepared to split metaphysical hairs about the term, “existence,” if we are now for the sake of argument supposing the answer to the identity question to be yes then on the existence question the answer clearly cannot be yes, it must be no. Being mistaken about who I am can only reinforce the fact that I am. If, before B’s death A says: “I think I am A, therefore I am,” and after B’s death says, “I think I am B, therefore I am,” and the intended denotation of the phrase, I am, is the proper name, then in neither case is the statement true. Not because she is not A, but because what establishes the truth of the statement, “I am A,” is not her thinking it. On the other hand, if the intended denotation of I am is in neither case the name being as it were pointed at but, rather, the I doing the as it were pointing, i.e., the intended denotation is the subject itself, the I , then in both cases the statement is true. Thus, albeit perhaps not surprisingly, we may thus think to find ourselves agog here in old Cartesian territory, stumbling across our long banished unfamiliar familiar, the Cartesian Ego. Certainly a nothing, a nonentity, cannot be deceived about anything, least of all its own (non)existence. But how could the subject who as such cannot be mistaken about its own personal existence be mistaken about its personal identity? Surely that is impossible! Here we are in a position to discover not only the affirmation in the act of doubting of the “existence” of the doubting subject but the subject’s intuition (in the act of identification) of its own existence and identity as the identifying subject: the subject is me, I am the subject, I am I. Here not the (false) ego of (psychological) identification but the (true) intuition of (personal) identity—consciousness, defined below in terms of the subject-in-itself—shows itself to itself. Hintikka reveals as much by his sharp insights regarding the Cartesian dictum, (13) I exist. As Hintkka notes, We can thus see (and in what sense) the famous Cartesian insight is valid . . . Indeed, the peculiarities of the Cartesian cogito can now be seen not to be peculiar at all, but rather examples of what is true of the logic of demonstratives in general. For one thing, (6) is analytic only as long as “I” is taken to be a demonstrative, that is, refers to a perspectivally identified entity. In brief, Descartes can hope to prove by his cogito argument (if it is an argument) only the existence of a perspectivally identified entity. This should of course be obvious. If Descartes had uttered or written, “I think, therefore Cartesius exists,” he would have fallen flat on his face—or uttered a philosophically sophisticated joke. (Hintikka 1998b, p. 228) Clearly, what A cannot be mistaken about in the above and other such examples of misidentification is the existence and identity of the subject, in the same way that when I utter (13) I know with absolute certainty that I exist, I am, and that I am me,

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that I am I . Indeed, the metaphysical misidentification reveals what the psychological identification conceals, namely, that the psychological objects of my psychologically binding identifications do not bind my personal identity. In classical (e.g. Jungian, Freudian) terms clearly we could say, for instance, that it is A’s “public,” “outer,” personality, or persona, that after B’s death the subject formerly identified as A becomes (falsely) identified as B. The subject is, in that specific sense and to a certain limited degree, “possessed” by B. Or, we should say: “B”—in so far as she, qua the subject is identified as (subject to) the contours of that personality—“possesses” her. “B” possesses the subject. “B” becomes her “self,” she becomes “B’s” subject. The subject cannot be identified as B’s “private,” “hidden,” or “inner” personality for the obvious reason that the-subject-identified-as-A has no direct access to anything but her own representations as presented to and through A (disregarding the possibility of some sort of “mystical” connection between the twins). All A knows of B is the personality B projects to her and others. So the “other” that she after B’s death becomes identified as is B’s public personality, or persona, represented to her in the brain through which she, the subject identified as A, subsists as a subject, literally subject to those “psychological” contours. Now, if the A public personality, or persona, becomes the personality that she is then identified as—her primary identification—who then—or what—is the identifier? The subject who says “I am A,” then, “I am B,” the (unidentified) subject, is the identifier, yes, but I who? It cannot be her (A’s) public personality, or persona, which immediately after B’s death has, as it were, “absconded” from her psychology (taking flight [fugue] in, or being filed away into, the unconscious like a stored mask). Perhaps, then, the identifier is some aspect of her (A’s) “private,” “hidden,” or “inner” personality. But that too is what she is identified as and the personality that she is now identified as is the B-personality, not the A-personality! What, after all, does “identified as the A-personality” mean? Finding herself identified as that persona means she experiences herself (her inner states) and her world (her perceptions) from the first-person point of view of that personality; it means she finds herself—her behavior, her likes and dislikes, her (seeming, or apparent) memories, her beliefs, and so on—bordered by and exclusively conjoined onto the complex of individuations perspectivally identified to be, and ordinarily called, “B.” When she says, “I am B,” B is her identification, her “personality (psychological, qualitative) identification.” But I who? Who is the person being thus identified as B? The question now is who the subject—the I , consciousness—is that is being thus identified as the B personality? She could well answer: the subject is me, I am the subject, I am I , that person is I, myself. And when above I said that the misidentification reveals what the identification conceals I meant precisely this: her binding identification as A does not bind her personal identity—her existence as a person is not closed under individuation and identification by such known borders. What the pathology reveals, I claim, is what the (normal) psychology conceals; what we have here, in other words, is what we have everywhere, namely, personal (numerical) identity without psychological (qualitative) identity. This not only defeats, once and for all, psychological continuity theories, but provides the philosophical ground for the intuition of the subject-in-itself, what I call “the intuition of personal identity.” Denoted and expressed simultaneously to speaker and hearer, i.e., communicated, by two first-person indexicals conjoined by a copula, “I am I,” the intuition of the

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subject-in-itself—the intuition of personal identity—is what ordinarily we simply and naively call “self-consciousness”. It is what guides, and grounds, our theory of consciousness in terms of which the best theory of personal identity is best articulated, such as the one that, if correct, I can only feign to call “my own.”

5 Consciousness defined, self-consciousness regained, intuitions grounded: I am I, the intuition of personal identity That you are to yourself the subject—which translates albeit ungrammatically into the statement that “you are I ”—is for me, putting it still simply albeit rather more awkwardly, an intuition. From a sortal point of view identifications are not interpretations but facts, albeit special sorts of facts, the way experience can be stated in incorrigible terms (e.g., I am being appeared to greenly). Now, in so far as this intuition as it were of “the subject in the object” (e.g. you) informs me that you, a fellow human being, have like me an internal, subjective mental life, that you are “subjectively illuminated from within” in the way ordinarily we suppose human beings, unlike rocks, amoebas, etc., are, it is the “independence” therein communicated that describes the sense in which to me you are to yourself once removed (phenomenologically and hermeneutically distanced) from the objects in your experience, whereby the subject therein thus exclusively conjoined is apparently able to immediately control some borders directly in experience individuated and perspectivally identified from the first person point of view at the exclusion of others. Thus when I exclaim, as I bring my arms to my chest, “This is me” and then point to you or the chair and say “That is not me,” what I mean, without assuming any presuppositions that go beyond the character of my own experience, is this: “I am apparently able to control immediately this border directly in my experience onto which I am conjoined at the exclusion of that one.” I am drawing an ostensive, perspectivally identified boundary between us based on an incontrovertible fact about my experience, which I call “the Fact of Exclusive Conjoinment,” or FEC: FEC: The apparent ability to control immediately certain borders directly in experience onto which the subject is conjoined at the exclusion of others. In other words, render your experience “non-immediate,” “indirect” “compounded by layers of interpretation”—e.g. “thick,” in C.I. Lewis’s sense—as you like, distancing thereby the subject (hermeneutically) from its objects, you cannot escape being drawn (phenomenologically) into your (interpreted, indirect, compiled) experience, literally, locked into the thick of it, by the Fact of Exclusive Conjoinment. For no matter to what degree the borders in experience are “subjective” in the sense that they depend for their particulars upon the subject (even if entirely, for their existence as such, in say Berkeley’s, Fichte’s, Schopenhauer’s, or especially Schelling’s sense), this very dependence upon the subject is, itself, at the same time, necessarily, and to a certain but always pragmatically significant degree, dynamically independent from the subject, so much so that the subject is conjoined onto the former at the exclusion of the latter. “Thick but locked,” experience at the most basic level involves, necessarily, “independence friendly” border dynamics. The Fact of Exclusive Conjoinment thus gives rise to an equally important and equally necessary condition for the having of

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experience as we know it, namely, the intuition that the objects immediately before me directly in my experience—regardless of to what degree I may know, or believe, that they are mind-dependent (e.g., they are perspectival)—are subject-independent, i.e., that they are not only ontologically but phenomenologically independent of the subject. By “subject-independent” in this case I mean to express something both neutral and broad, so as to give the reader sufficient philosophical latitude to see, or at least get to, as it were, the necessary philosophical longitude. (We thus can avoid tangential discussions of cause and effect, agency, etc.) The border dynamics involved, for instance, regardless of what view one takes (if any) of the computational drivers involved in the (literally) “behind-the-scenes” mental processing of experiential phenomena, thus require at least the appearance of subject-independence, as do colors, shapes, textures, etc. In other words, render your experience “mental,” “phenomenal,” “unreal,” “mind-dependent”—e.g. “ideal”—as you like, there is no escape from the (in some views “false,” “illusory,” “transcendentally illusory,” etc., in some views “true,” “real,” “pragmatically given,” etc., but in either case necessary for the having of experience) intuition that what is before you is there, and is as it is, independently of the subject or—to put in just in the most simply vulgar terms—is real. This is nowhere more apparent then in what is, arguably, the most “unreal” sort of experience there is, namely, dreams. (For instance even the good Descartes says he almost can’t tell the difference, and even the good Schopenhauer says the two states are, at the very least, different readings of the same book, modulo different page-turnings.) Now, what it means, to me, to say that you, that body there, are not “dark” inside— you are not an automaton, a “zombie,” etc.— is that among the borders individuated in my experience some, like you, are identified not as mere appearances, empty of subjectivity but, rather, as having within themselves the subject therein exclusively conjoined, etc. Which is but to say that while a border such as I encounter experiencing for instance a tree or a cloud is as a matter of fact identified in my experience as object (objectification of the subject) in virtue of the relevant border dynamics, a border such as I encounter experiencing for instance you is, as a matter of fact, identified by me as containing within itself experience requiring within itself the subject, intuited as such in the object, also in virtue of the relevant border dynamics (seemingly purposeful behavior, etc.). What I call Alter Subject Identification (ASI) is thus, in affect, what can be expressed as an intuition of the subject in the object. Given our locutionary dispensations above, this means that you (that border there, the body individuated and identified as such in relation to me, this subject of experience) are not empty but have right there (somewhere) within those borders there what we call experience, consisting in phenomena individuated and identified in (a mutually independent subject-dependent) perspectival space and time (localized) from the first person point of view, i.e., “observed,’ in relation to the reciprocally individuated and identified (localized) subject exclusively conjoined therein, etc. Now, in the same sense that in virtue of my (internal) relation onto locks me into (my) experience, Alter Subject Identification locks me “out” of (your) experience (assuming you have any) while thereby locking you (assuming that you are there) out of mine, in virtue of the mutually “independence friendly” relation described above, locking us as it were onto each other’s mutually inclusive “independence-friendly” exclusions.

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Thus, as we already pointed out, that you are not a zombie or a mere apparition but, rather, that within that object there too is the subject in relation to which objects are individuated and identified in perspectival space and time (localized) from an alter first person point of view, i.e., observed, translates, albeit ungrammatically, into the statement “you are I as I am I .” This identification is, as I say, for me, an intuition of the subject in the object. It tells me that among the observed (individuated and identified in relation to me, the observer) there are multiple observers, each one as it were “fixed” (think Brouwer’s fixed point theorem) in a uniquely ostensively described (axiom separable) perspectival space characterized by its vanishing point and unique point of convergence. Now, I cannot see these vanishing points but alas if I am a good enough mathematician I can construct them and, if I am a good enough mathematician and logician, appropriately relate the constructions with an “independence friendly” logic with (branching quantifiers) provided that my map of all maps is, as I have argued it could be made to be, (Eklund and Kolak 2002) first-order. Let us now thus primed address what we are presently in a rather better, perhaps even philosophically speaking privileged, position to do, as no doubt in their own way the good René and perhaps the not so good Augustine tried to, namely, to see that I am I —my intuition of the subject-in-itself—is also indeed an intuition, albeit of a quite different and perhaps very special, even unique, sort than is my intuition that, as above we managed to sort of put it, you are I —my intuition of you qua subject. The latter, stated in terms of Alter Subject Identification, is as we just saw semantically equivalent to “the intuition of the subject in the object.” In other words, that to yourself you are the subject in relation to which objects are individuated and identified in perspectival space and time (localized) from the first person point of view, i.e., observed, is to me an identification involving, also, an individuation, of the subject (qua mannigfaltigkeit [manifold], the Kantian “totality of experience as it is presented in sense”) by the subject (me) in relation to which objects (you) are individuated and identified in perspectival space and time from the first person point of view, i.e., observed. Now, the kicker: in my own case that is not the case. That I am I is for me not an intuition of the subject in the object (though very easily misinterpreted as such, due to what we defined in terms of tertiary identification as) but, rather, an intuition of the subject-in-itself, which we shall now flesh out as follows. Consciusnessdef = the subject-in-itself in relation to which objects are individuated and identified in perspectival space and time from the first person point of view, i.e., observed (“individuation” and “identification” themselves being intuitions of objects in space and time, respectively), denoted and expressed simultaneously by I . Self-consciousnessdef = the intuition of the subject-in-itself (resulting from the cross product of the [space-like] intuition of the subject [what we might think of, with a slight variation on the theme by Husserl, as “internal space consciousness”] and the [time-like] intuition of the subject [what we might think of, again with Husserl, as “internal time consciousness”]), denoted and expressed simultaneously by I am I.

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Over and above the intuition of personal identity, I am I—“self-consciousness”—is the intuition of the subject-in-the-not-itself, what I call, “moral consciousness,” denoted and expressed simultaneously by I am you. Thus when we speak of the subject-in-itself as the I of personal identity (in contrast to the ego of psychological identification), and the intuition of the subject-in-itself, the I am I, the intuition of personal identity, what we mean is consciousness (the I ) and self-consciousness (the I am I), respectively. That is, besides being aware of (i) objects in consciousness from which I am dissociated (e.g., clouds, tables, chairs, dogs—“That is not me, I am not that,”) and (ii) states or events in consciousness that I associate (identify) with (e.g., thoughts, various beliefs, emotions, pains, pleasures—“Those are my thoughts, my emotions,”) and (iii) structures in consciousness that I am identified (associated) as (e.g., the introvert, the extrovert, the private persona, the public persona, “Kolak,” “A,” “B”—“That is me, that is who I am, that is my Self,”) I am also aware that (iv) the subject of (i), (ii) and (iii) exists and I am the subject, I am I . The intuition of personal identity is not the rational judgment, “I am so-and-so,” or the interpretation, “I am such-and-such;” rather, it is the formal (uninterpreted) intuition that I am someone, anyone at all, the subject qua subject, a “feeling of subjectivity,” of “I -ness,” of someoneness, the vague (but not unvivid), non-localized awareness of “my own presence” bordered apparently within whatever psychological bundle I, the subject-in-itself, find myself identified as, the I of personal identity situated as the fulcrum of space-like and time-like consciousness at the vantage point, the center of my world. Unmasked (uninterpreted) from my identifications by the intentional act of, as it were, “un-identification,” in and of itself, “unidentified (i.e., uninterpreted) identified” consciousness—the “I am p1 ,” “I am p2 ,” etc., turned away from the p back in on itself—reveals itself to itself as a particular someone—this I, this subject, this someone—appearing always through a mask yet bound to no one in particular, the unapparently featureless form of consciousness, of subjectivity aware of its own existence and identity, capable of taking on any apparent form p, of being identified as any p. This self-conscious experience of myself not as personality or “self” but as the subject-in-itself aware of its existence and identity in space and time, respectively—not “I am Kolak” but “I am I ”—is me, the subject, as it were “caught” in the act of trying, without possibility of success, to become its own object of experience, like an empty mirror turned back in on itself reflecting nothing but its own reflecting. We could try thus to understand the intuition of personal identity (the I am I) by which the I of personal identity as such comes to know itself through the intentional act—paradoxically, “non-Self self-consciousness,”—in terms of a pure (i.e., formal, uninterpreted) conscious act (perhaps in Fichte’s sense), the Wesensschau by which Max Scheler denoted the subject’s immediate grasp of its own essences and Hermann Weyl, following Husserl (Logical Investigations and Ideas), signified the self-conscious act of immediate insight. But under ordinary circumstances the

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intuition of the subject-in-itself, i.e., the intuition of personal identity, the (un)selfconscious experience denoted and expressed simultaneously by I am I, as a matter of phenomenological fact, is the subject as it were looking to itself for its intended “object,” the intuition of personal identity obscured by the intentional act (the psychological object) of (“non-Self”) self-identification. Because of the virtually constant conjunction of the I (the subject qua its psychological function as identifier) with its designated object of identification, primary identification (i.e., identification as), the I ’s primary phenomeno-psychological function (14) I am ( p) [e.g., I am A, I am B, I am Kolak] is thus erroneously conceived by the subject’s effort at self-conception in terms of the simple equation, (15) I = a [e.g., I = A, I = Kolak, etc.] thereby alienating consciousness, subjectivity—I , the subject-in-itself, consciousness—from itself: personal (numerical) identity obscured through psychological (qualitative) identification, i.e., essential subjectivity obscured by the intuition of one’s own existence and identity. Here we have arrived at that aspect of our existence that not only gives us our firstperson perspectival points of view on our ourselves and our worlds but is necessary for the having of any such minded perspectives. It is what makes an analytic statement like “These experiences are my experiences,” a necessary truth, and why the indexical word “I” is indeed most aptly suited for simultaneously denoting and expressing the subject-in-itself, the I of personal identity. It is by reference to myself as the subjectin-itself (I ) that the first person demonstrative “I” allows us to say, as we do in the various thought experiments involving the intuition of personal identity, (16) that I am (17) that I am and (18) that who I am is I , on the very grounds of being able to say that I am not my brain, I am not my body, I am not my personality, I am not (as we are about to see in more detail) even my self. What I , the subject-in-itself, am—my personal identity—is revealed in and shown in the self-reflexive expression “I am I,” but hidden (masked) in what I am identified as, namely, the (psychological object of) my identification, “I am Kolak.” I, the subject-in-itself, thereby come to intuit myself as the subject-in-itself—I am I—in the self-reflexive act of intuition defined above as the intuition of personal identity in which I, the subject-in-itself, become, as it were, “the intended subject of experience.” The brain, the body, the personality, etc., may be necessary conditions for my existence as such (or not) but they are not sufficient for my existence the way that consciousness, subjectivity, the subject-in-itself, is. The problem with our seeing this is that in our experience almost always we are identified as someone. Our solution to this problem, as the various examples show,

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is not to achieve some super-conscious or transcendental state in which I, the subject-in-itself, become as it were unidentified from my identifications (e.g., a “mystical” experience), but by our various thought experiments, both actual and imaginary, regarding the true nature of personal identity that where consciousness is (or goes) there I am, personal identity resides not in the psychological identification but in the subject-in-itself, regardless of the underlying cause. Indeed, the way I come to know myself as such is through the intuition of personal identity—self-consciousness, which is but the intuition, by the subject in relation to which objects are individuated in perspectival space and time from the first person point of view, i.e., observed, of the subject-in-itself, resulting from the cross-product of the space-like intuition of the subject and the time-like intuition of the subject. Thus even when, as in our twins example, the subject experiences the world from the first-person point of view of the B-persona, the personality that after B’s accident the subject is identified as, the subject-in-itself, consciousness, is there bordered, along with the intuition of personal identity: the A-persona is gone but the subject-in-itself, the I of personal identity, is there; moreover, the awareness that someone present is identified as the B-personality and that “I am that someone,” is there: “I am, I exist, I am I .” That is, even though she may be mistaken about “who I am” or suffering from amnesia, that I am, namely, the intuition of the subject-in-itself—i.e., the intuition of personal identity, simultaneously denoted and expressed by “I am I ”—is not only something I still do have, it is something I still do have vividly. Indeed, getting a sudden bout of amnesia would heighten the experiential vividness of the intuition of personal identity, and make me scream: “Who am I ?” Thus when A says (19) I am B, this is formally very different from when she says (20) I am I. Formally, (19) can be analyzed into the following form: (21) (∃x)((x = A) ∧ (E y)(y = x ∧ K I (I = y))), whereas (19) can be analyzed into: (22) (E x)(E y)((x = I ) ∧ (y = I ) ∧ K I ((y = I ) ∧ (x = I )))16 So if the exclusively conjoined personality experienced by the subject “from the inside” as the identified self, then the I am I, itself the cross-product of the space-like intuition of the subject and the time-like intuition of the subject, the intuition of there being a person apparently bordered within that exclusively conjoined personality—the intuition of personal identity, whatever that ultimately is or may be from a metaphysical or ontological point of view—is consciousness, subjectivity, as it were in the act simultaneously denoting and expressing itself by “I am I .”
16 It is important to note that all of the knowledge operators in both 21 and 22 are autoepistemic operators. Thus the ‘I’ in both the index and within the scope of the operator is neither to be construed as a proper name nor a variable. It is rather to be interpreted as the fixed zero point within the speaker’s perspectival space.

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It is precisely here that the metaphysics, philosophy, and psychology of personal identity intersect. For it would be easy for some philosophers to try and diminish the significance both of the subject-in-itself—consciousness, the I of personal identity— and the intuition of the subject-in-itself—self-consciousness, the intuition of personal identity, the I am I—on grounds that in the one or in the other or in both cases I am talking merely about something psychological or even a psychological illusion. And it would be easy for some psychologists to try and dismiss my analysis of personal identity on grounds that I am talking merely about something metaphysical—such as, for instance, a concept—seeking logical conditions for what is not logical but psychological. But here the metaphysical, conceptual world and the experiential, psychological world intersect by both touching upon, and in turn being touched by, one and the same phenomenon, namely, the intuition of the subject-in-itself, I am I. This, the intuition of personal identity, is the I unidentified from its identifications, self-consciousness unmasked in the awareness of one’s own existence and identity. This phenomenon may be no more “real” than, say, the phantom limb phenomenon, an amputee’s awareness of his leg (which is no longer there)—a sort of “phantom identity”—and so may not be an experience of anything real but it is, at least, nevertheless, a real experience. The subject-in-itself is not a persona, personality, nor “self.” It is the consciousness behind the mask. And the intuition of the subject-in-itself—the existential experiential component of the conceptual personal identity equation—is what psychological identification as a persona, or as a personality, itself, feels like. The persona is but a mask. The subject-in-itself—the I of personal identity—is the featureless form of consciousness, pure subjectivity, that lies behind the mask. The intuition of personal identity—the I am I—is the self-consciousness that makes it—or any other mask—feel as if it (and only it) is one’s own. Having thus (re)turned to the real subject of personal identity we have, I believe, raised the stakes significantly. For one thing, we have philosophically grounded the role, function, and nature of intuition, albeit a special variety of intuition—pivotal17 intuitions about ourselves—providing thereby a welcome rapprochement between mainstream and formal approaches to personal identity. It was Hintikka who first pointed out to me that The favorite argumentative method of persent-day analytic philosophers is to appeal to intuitions . . . usually totally without respectable theoretical foundation. Moreover, the best way of justifying the use of intuitions in philosophical argumentation entails radical changes in our ways of thinking about intuitions . . . contemporary thinkers’ practice of appealing to intuitions in philosophical argumentation is without any justification whatsoever . . . what conceivable theoretical rationale do contemporary philosophers’ appeals to intuitions have? The embarrassing answer is: None of the above. The vast majority of philosophical writers who in these days take the name “intuition” in vain do not believe in Platonic anamnesis, Aristotelian forms, Cartesian innate ideas or Kantian transcendental deductions . . . Pending a reorientation of the use of intuitions . . . any such use must be undertaken with caution. In view of the past misuses, it
17 Wittgenstein would perhaps want to have called them “hinge”.

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does not even strike me as far-fetched to suggest a moratorium on all unanalyzed appeals to intuition in philosophical argumentation. It is not entirely as a joke that I suggest that the editors of all philosophy journals adopt a policy of not accepting any paper in which intuitions are relied on without examining their sources and their correct interpretation. (Hintikka, unpublished paper) I suggest we can safely now lift the moratorium, and await Hintikka’s reply. Returning to the subject of personal identity via the I , consciousness, and the intuition of personal identity, the I am I, self-consciousness, to a certain degree provides such a reorientation in the subjective light of what Wittgenstein construed what he called the philosophical I, the metaphysical subject: The philosophical I is not the human being, not the human body, nor the human soul with which psychology deals. The philosophical I is the metaphysical subject, the boundary—nowhere in the world. (Kolak 1998, pp. 38–39) Another philosopher who clearly saw the primacy of the subject in its proper light and its subversive power to overthrow all received views was Descartes. For among the many perceptions, thoughts, feelings, etc., experienced by his variation on the subject, there is—besides the fact of perspectivality, discussed above—what Descartes referred to as the rational intuition of his own existence, beautifully and famously described in his most oft quoted passage: I noticed that whilst I thus wished to think all things false, it was absolutely essential that the ‘I’ who thought this should be somewhat, and remarking that this truth ‘I think, therefore I am’ was so certain and so assured that all the most extravagant suppositions brought forward by the skeptics were incapable of shaking it, I came to the conclusion that I could receive it without scruple as the first principle of the Philosophy for which I was seeking.18 Here then is our self-conscious subject, rightful heir unapparent to the throne made vacant by the banishment of our Cartesian Ego: I , resurrected. Perhaps I should put up a sign. Room for a view. Multiple occupancy. Available immediately. Inquire within. Interested parties need but fill out one form: Cogito, ergo quis est?” References
Descartes, Philosophical Works, I, 101. Eklund, M., & Kolak, D. (2002). Is Hintikka’s logic first order. Synthese, 131(3), 371–388. Hintikka, J. (2002). Comment on Eklund and Kolak. Synthese, 131(3), 389–393. Hintikka, J. (1998a). Is, semantical games, and semantical relativity. In Paradigms for language theory and other essays (pp. 71–106). Kluwer Academic Publishers. Hintikka, J. (1998b). Perspectival identification, demonstratives and ‘small worlds’. In J. Hintikka (Ed.), Paradigms for language theory and other essays. Kluwer. Hintikka, J. The intuitions scandal (unpublished paper).
18 Descartes, Philosophical Works, I, 101.

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