Philosophy Sept.

12, 2007 Personal Identity The problem of personal identity involves three difficult questions: 1) What is a person? 2) What is identity over time? 3) What is it to be the same person through change and time? What is a Person? John Locke: A person 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 the consciousness which is inseparable from thinking, and as it seems to me essential to it.” It is our ability to reason, introspect, and survey our memories and intentions that make us persons. What is Identity? Prima facie, this seems like an absurdly simple question. Identity is the fact that everything is itself and not something else. Law of Identity: A=A

Identity over time, or re-identification is much more complicated (this is referred to as numerical identity) Numerical identity is a distinct concept for that of qualitative identity What is it for something to be numerically identical over time? Continuity over time seems like a plausible criterion of identity However this criterion is more problematic What is Personal Identity? Locke notes that a mass of matter is the same mass of matter over time as long as it is composed of the same particles In the case of living things, identity cannot just depend on the sameness of particles Even variations in large amounts of matter do not seem to alter the identity of living things

In living things what matters is continued organization partaking in one common life This is true too of the identity over humans over time. The identity of humans consists: “In nothing but a participation of the same continued life, by constantly fleeting particles of matter, in succession vitally united to the same organized body.” A human is just an animal of a certain form It is one thing to be the same substance, another to be the same human, and another to be the same person “since consciousness always accompanies thinking, and it is that which makes every one to be what he calls self, and there by distinguishes himself from all thinking things; in this alone consists personal identity, i.e., the sameness of rational being.” “as far as this consciousness can be extended backwards to any past action or though, so far back reaches the identity of that person.” This is a version of psychological continuous criterion of personal identity Locke considers the objection that is not sameness of consciousness that really matters to personal identity, but sameness of substance He argues that: “it 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.” Locke notes that the implication that if consciousness could be transferred from one thinking substance to another, sameness of person would transfer with it. Prince/Cobbler Example. If an individual is unable to remember part of his or her life, then they may be the same human, but they are not the same person. Locke argues that in “personal identity is founded all the right and justice of reward and punishment.” No one should be punished for a crime that he or she cannot remember committing. Problems with Locke’s view 1. Sleep and amnesia 2. The problem of transitivity

Can Locke’s view be developed to accommodate these objections? Other Accounts of Personal Identity Over Time: The Bodily Criterion The Brain Criterion The Ego Theory Sept 19 We have no substantial self with which we are identical DAVID HUME Hume argues against the ego theory of personal identity. Hume’s theory of personal identity is known as the Bundle Theory Calling this a theory of personal identity is a bit misleading, as Hume thinks that personal identity is a fiction. He argues that although most of us think that we are aware of some continued self, we are mistaken. Hume’s Fork “Although the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be divided into two kinds, to wit, relations of ideas and matters of fact. On the first kind are the science of geometry, algebra, and arithmetic .. [which are] discoverable by the mere operation of thought … Matter of Fact, which are the second object of human reason, are not ascertained in the same manner; nor is our eveidence of their truth, however great, of a like nature with the forgoing.” (an enquiry concerning human understanding, p.25) Relations of ideas are necessary, analytic, and knowable a priori. Things that are habitual and already known by instinct. Matters of fact are contingent, synthetic and knowable a posteriori. Things that are known by past experience and past senses (previous results). “If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the f lames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.” (An enquiry concerning human understanding, p. 165)

We have no real idea of self because there is no experience that could give us such an idea. There is no impression from which it could be derived. If an impression could give us an idea of self, then that impression would have to be the same throughout our entire lives. But, no impressions are constant and invariable. *I am the same person I was last week  matter of Fact ♦ If claims is not relations of ideas or matters of fact, then is all an illusion ♦ We have no real idea of self because there’s no experience that could give us such an idea ♦ There’s no impression from which it could be derived ♦ If an impression from which it could be derived that impression could give us an idea of self, then that impression would have to always be the same (always thinking the same thing, etc.) ♦ No impressions are constant and invariable ♦ Feelings, experiences, and sensations never exist all at the same time, always succeed one another ♦ Experiences can be considered apart from each other, can exist apart from one another ♦ Therefore, they cannot belong to one continuing self ♦ Whenever we try to catch our “self”, we only find a perception, we don’t observe anything but perception ♦ When we sleep, all perceptions are removed, still no sense of self remains *we are only a bundle of different perceptions  in succession ♦ If there’s not self, why do we all think there is? ♦ Because we confuse our idea of sameness with diversity ♦ Because imagination moves from one experience to another and makes it appear as if it is all one object ♦ Imagination connects perceptions of senses by inventing the notion of a soul, self, substance ♦ Useful fiction ♦ We call a ship same ship even after parts replaced ♦ Identity is a quality that we attribute to things, not real property that belongs to ship ♦ Through memory that we conceive of ourselves as existing through time ♦ We attribute identity to ourselves and to other conscious beings as far back as memory can be extended

♦ Immanuel Kant’s criticism (objection) o Mind cant be reduced to stream of consciousness o Fact to be explained of succession of awareness, but awareness of succession o If that which is aware passed w/ awareness, there would be no awareness of succession, but it doesn’t pass with it. o Suggests that there is a self beyond stream of consciousness that Hume speaks of. Sept. 26, 2007 Brain Transplants and Personal Identity: A Dialogue Derek Parfit and Godfrey Vesey Case One: “Brownson” (pg 313) Who is the resulting person? Case Two: Brown’s “Division” (pg 313)

What are the implications of such a case for our ordinary notions of personal identity? Parfit holds that there is nothing more to personal identity than psychological continuity. Like Hume, Parfit holds that there is no underlying subject of experience. There is only a long series of different mental states and events (e.g., thoughts, sensations, memories). Each series is unified by various kinds of casual relations (e.g., the relations that hold between experiences and later memories of them). When a series is suitably unified through such casual relations, we have psychological continuity. Psychological Connectedness: Any persons X and Y are psychologically connected if and only if (iff) the mental states and actions of X are dependent in the appropriate way on the mental states and actions of Y (or vice versa).
means X and Y are psychologically the connected or are insync IF each others actions or thoughts of X or Y are dependant on the mental states and actions of the other like me and you are not psychologically connected because my actions and thoughts don't effect your actions or thoughts *~ ÐäVÏñÅ ~* says: your actions or thoughts dont effect mine

Psychological Continuity: Any persons X and Y are psychologically continuous if and only if X and Y are elements in a series of persons such that contiguous pairs of persons are psychologically connected. Exam psychological continuity and the role continuity plays *** EXAM QUESTION Psychological continuity can take a “branching” form. Two (or more) people can (in theory) be psychologically continuous with one person (e.g., in the case of Brown’s “division”). Parfit argues that most of us hold a false belief about personal identity: that it is a real question whether or not we will exist, or not exist at some future time. We believe that personal identity is an all or nothing matter. Parfit argues that we can easily describe and imagine a large number of cases in which the question “will that future person be me – or someone else?” does not have an answer, and the fact that it does not have an answer is not puzzling. Consider again the case of “Browns Decision” There are three possible ways to answer the question “what happened to Brown” 1. Brown is both of the resulting people. This is problematic because the two resulting people are going to live very different lives. They will be different people. IF they are the same person, then each of them would have to be the same as the other. 2. Brown is just one of the resulting people. This is implausible because what reason do we have to say that Brown is one of the resulting people, but not the other? Brown’s relations to resulting people is exactly similar. 3. Brown is going to be neither of the resulting people. Parfit argues that this is “grossly” misleading to answer the question in this way. Surely the operation is not as bad as death? If we suppose that only one of the transplants succeeds, this becomes apparent. It seems that each of the resulting people both is and is not Brown. Parfit draws three conclusions from this case: 1. There is no true answer to the question to what happens to Brown

2. 3.

If we try to provide one of the answers discussed above we obscure the true nature of the case. The case is not puzzling. This is because Brown’s relation to each of the resulting people is the relation of full psychological continuity.

When we have psychological continuity with a one to one relation we have identity. When we have psychological continuity without a one to one relation we have survival without identity. Brown’s relationship to each of the two people he survives as is just as good as the relation he would have had to himself tomorrow (should the operation not have occurred). One will only deny this if she/he assumes that identity is a further fact over and above psychological continuity (e.g., the ego theory). Case: Secular Resurrection (pg. 315) Will that person be you? Or, just some other person who is merely artificially made to be exactly like you? Parfit argues that the two descriptions, “It’s going to be me: and It’s going to be someone who is merely exactly like me” don’t describe different outcomes. They are just two different ways of describing the same course of events. Case: The Club If we think that there is no difference in the case of the club, what makes us think there is a difference in the case of personal identity? How can we defend the view that there is a difference? One might try to argue that there is a difference based on dualism. How? Parfit presents a further case that is designed to shake us out of holding the belief that there is some further fact to personal identity beyond psychological continuity. The Spectrum Case At what point along the spectrum is the person no longer you? Even the most convinced dualist seems committed to the view that there is some critical percentage long the spectrum where the person stops being you. This is implausible.

Parfit argues that his view – that psychological continuity is all there is to identity – has a number of important philosophical implications. What matters in our continued existence is a matter of degree, so the relations between you now and next year are much closer in every way than the relations between you now and in twenty hears. Parfit holds that there are various plausible implications for our moral beliefs and for our emotions: 1. Punishment 2. Concern for others MIDTERM EXAMINATION FORMAT: A. Short Answer -in this section, you will need to demonstrate your understanding key concepts, arguments, objections, and distinctions in just a few (carefully chosen) sentences. There will be seven questions in this section Questions in this section will be worth 3 marks each Ex. Explain role of memory in Locke and Hume’s view B. Long Answer -this section will include three questions that will require you to answer at greater length and in greater detail. You may be required to take a position on a particular issue, and develop a supporting argument, or to critically analyze a passage. Questions in this section will be worth 10 marks each Freewill and Determinism Principle of Macroscopic Casual Determinism (Universal Causation): For any macroscopic event E, there exists some set of prior conditions C, which casually necessitate the occurrence of E. Positions with regard to freewill and determinism have to do with the rela tionship between the folowwing two propositions. 1. Every event is causally necessitated by antecedent conditions. 2. We have free will. (Hard) Determinism: The theory that because everything in the universe is entirely determined by casual laws, and thus whatever happens at any given moment is the effect of some antecendent cause, there is no freewill.

(1 and 2 are inconsistent) Libertarianism: The theory that there are some actions that are expect form casual laws, in which the individual is the sole (or decisive) cause of the act, the act originating ex nihilo, cut off form all other causes but the self’s origination. Determinism and libertarianism are version of incompatibilsm Soft determinism is also called compatibilism. Soft determinism: the theory that, although every event has a cause, we can still be free inso far as we act voluntarily (1 and 2 are consistent) Fatalism: The doctrine that tall events are predetermined by fate and are therefore unalterable. *will not act/because thinks out of control will wait, believes in fait An outline of the Argument for Determinism: 1. 2. 3. 4. Every event (or state of affairs) must have a cause Human actions (as well as the agent who gives rise to those actions) are events (or stats or affairts) So, every human action (including the agent herself) is caused. DETERMINSIM IS TRUE

P. 347 Two arguments for Libertarianism The argument from deliberation: “[There] is the unmistakable intuition of virtually every human being that he is free to make the choices he does… past choice can be so disturbing” -Corliss Lamont There seems to be something psychologically lethal about accepting determinism in human relations it would curtail deliberation and paralyze actions. The argument from Moral Responsibility 1. If determinism is true, and our action are merely the product of the laws of nature and antecedent states of affairs, then it is not up to us to choose what we do. 2. But if it is up to us to choose what we do, then we cannot be said to be responsible for what we do 3. So if determinism is true, then we cannot be said to be responsible for what we do 4. But our belief in moral responsibility is self-evident, or at least as strong as our belief in universal causality 5. So if we believe that we have moral responsibility, determinism cannot be accepted

* if moral responsibility exist, then determinism cannot be accepted 1. F 2. T We are completely determined Baron D’Holbach D’Holbach is a hard determinist 1. Every event is casually necessitated by antecedent conditions (T) 2. We have freewill (F) He argues that those who believe in the immaterial soul have “by a consequence of their own system, enfranchised [liberated] it from t h ose physical laws to which all belongs to which we have knowledge are obliged to act.” (334) It is the idea of the soul that has allowed us to pretend that we are free agents. *body and soul are related. Body can damage soul (ex. Hurting a baby harms soul). If body doesn’t have free will, soul doesn’t have free will either. However, even if the soul is immaterial, it is “continually modified conjointly with the body” and is “submitted to all its motion.” Without such a connection to the body the soul would be “inert and dead” As a result, if the body is subjected to casual laws, the soul will be too. He notes that the moral and intellectual faculties can be explained in naturalistic terms. The same is true of our feelings and opinions. “Thus, man is a being purely physical, in whatever manner… she contains… (334) Yet, we pretend that we are free agents, and can determine our own wills. D’Holbach defines that will as a modification of the brain, by which it is disposed to action or prepared to give play to the organs.” The will is necessarily determined by the qualities of the object, and the motive that acts upon the agent. Thirst Example: A thirsty person will abstain from drinking water that she thinks is poisoned. However, this does not show that she has freewill. “The fact however is that the motive in each case is exactly the same: his own conservation” “The same necessity that determined him to drink before he knew the water was deleterious, upon his new discovery equally determined him not drink.

Ball Analogy (we are like a pin ball) Although the will is driven forward in a straight line, it is bounced off its course whenever a superior force makes it change direction. D’Hobach challenges the libertarian argument from deliberation. “To deliberate is to hate and love in succession; it is to be alternately attracted and repelled; it is to be moved, sometimes by one motive, sometimes by another.”(336) *move by one motive and repelled by another hating and loving it Ex. Should you have dessert or not? Something happens which changes over motives too much sugar is bad for you. We only deliberate when we do not understand the object that we encounter, or we do not fully understand the effects our actions will produce. However, in deliberating we are “not a free agent for a single instant.” This is because what we choose is a necessary product of our desires and other psychological states. We will always decide on the option that we think is to our greatest advantage. There is then, no such thing as a genuine choice. Our wills are moved by causes that are independent of ourselves – by the properties of our “organization” and by the properties of those things that act upon us. It follows then, that we never act freely. It is true that we are complicated beings and that our actions cannot be traced back to simple causes. However, this does not show that we are free. It merely shows tah we lack understanding. We think we are free because we are ignorant of the causes that act upon us. *because of ignorance, we feel that we are free It is, then, for want of recurring to the causes that move him, for want… he has free agency.”(338)

Oct 10 Freedom of the Will and Human Responsibility Corliss Lamont Lamont is a libertarian

1. 2.

Every event is casually necessitated by antecedent conditions. (F) We have freewill. (T)

Lamont argues that there are nine main reasons in support of the existence of genuine free will: 1. “There is an immediate, powerful, commonsense intuition shard by virtually all humans that freedom of choice is real. It seems just as real to us as pleasure and pain do.” 2. It is true that a great deal of determinism exists in the world. If-then casual laws govern much of the human body’s functioning and much of the universe as a whole. This however does not rule out the possibility of genuine choice. “Determinism wisely used and controlled…can make us freer and happier.” 3. Contingency or chance is an ultimate trait of the cosmos. This contingency is best seen in the intersection of mutually independent event streams between which there was no previous casual connection. (Titanic example) In an if-then statement the if factor picks out this contingency “The actuality of contingency negates the idea of total and all-inclusive necessity operation throughout the universe.” “As regards human choice, contingency ensures that al the outset the alternatives one faces are indeterminate in relation to the act of choosing, which proceeds to make one of them determinate.” 4. The accepted meaning of potentiality (that every object and event in the cosmos possesses plural possibilities of behavior, interaction, and development) shows that the determinist thesis is wrong. Determinism logically implies that there is no such thing as multiple potentialities. (Vacation example) 5. The normal processes of human thought make use of potentiality. Thinking involves general ideas and particulars. Under a general heading (e.g., vacation travel) the particulars (the places one could visit) are potentialities among which one could freely choose. “Unless there is free choice, the function of human thought in solving problems becomes superfluous and mask of make believe.” 6. Only the present exists. “The past is dead and gone; it is efficacious only as it is embodied in present structures and activities.”

The past established the foundations upon which the present operates. In creating both limitations and potentialities, the past conditioned the present, but this is not the same thing as determining it. Man is “part of the unending forward surge of cosmic power. He is an active, initiating agent, riding the wave of the present…and deliberating among open alternatives…” Here Lamont seems to be appealing to the concept of agent causation. Agent Causation: Roderick Chisholm has argued that there are some events tah tare not caused by other events, but by something else instead. This something else is the agent. If agents can cause actions, then there are actions that are caused, but not in a deterministic way. Causation that occurs between inanimate objects, or states of affairs is called event or transeunt causation. When an agent causes an event or state of affairs, this is called agent or immanent causation. Staff/stone example. Chisholm holds that there is an uncaused event that takes place in the agent’s brain. Each of us has a power ordinarily attributed only to God. We are unmoved movers. In order to have moral responsibility, we must have at east one immanently caused event in a relevant section of the casual chain. As a non-reductionist about human agency, Chisholm holds that the explanatory order must include not only events and states of affairs, but also the agent in her role as unmoved mover. This conflicts with our naturalistic picture of the world. It violates “Ockham’s razor.” Does accepting Chisholm’s account mean throwing out science?

More Lamont… 7. “The doctrine of universal causation is seen to be self-refuting when we work out its full implications in the cases of reduction ad absurdum implied.” a) All events are determined all the way back to the beginning of time. b) The notion of an irresistible impulse that is applied to the insane is equally applicable to the sane and virtuous. 8. If determinism is true, then many of the words we use lose their normal meaning. (e.g. regret, restraint, refraining). 9. If determinism is true, then there is no such thing as moral responsibility.