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animalism. The Problem of Personal Identity. Whether we are to live in a future state, as it is the most important question which can possibly be asked, so it is the most intelligible one which can be expressed in language. --Bishop Butler

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    1. animalism

    2. The Problem of Personal Identity Whether we are to live in a future state, as it is the most important question which can possibly be asked, so it is the most intelligible one which can be expressed in language. --Bishop Butler • The Persistence Question: what are non-trivial necessary and sufficient conditions for the persistence of persons? • Criterion for Personal Identity: answer to the persistence question • This is a question of numerical identity not qualitative similarity • It’s not a question about mere evidencesof personal identity

    3. Numerical Identity & Qualitative Similarity • Type-Token Ambiguity: “identical” and its cognates (e.g. “same”) are type-token ambiguous in the sense that we can mean either the same type (kind) of thing or the very same token (individual) thing. • Example: identical twins are type identical—two (token-)different individuals of the same type. • Numerical Identity is token-identity: being literally the very same individual • We’re not asking whether someone is, metaphorically, the “same person” after, e.g. religious conversion, but whether we have literally the same (numerically identical) person when we discuss the problem of personal identity.

    4. Criteria and Mere Evidences • Criteria for Personal Identity aren’t mere evidences of someone we encounter now being the same person as someone we used to know • Example of Mere Evidences: similar appearance, same fingerprints or (on some accounts!) spatio-temporal continuity. • We’re interested in what makes a person the same over time • Example: What makes something water is it’s being H20; it’s being clear, colorless, tasteless and occupying lakes and rivers is merely evidential for it’s being water.

    5. Some Related Questions • The Mind-Body Problem • Personhood: what makes something a person in the Lockean sense where “person is a forensic term”? • What non-humans, if any, ought to be treated as persons? • What humans, if any, ought not to be treated as persons? • Synchronic Identity: at any given time, what counts as the same person? • Multiple personality, including brain-split cases • Individual Person Essences: in what ways could I have been different from the way I am and still be me?

    6. Philosophical Orthodoxy The problem of personal identity and the mind-body problem, though related, should not be conflated.--John Perry • Persons are essentially persons (Olson will deny this) • Persons are material objects: the correct solution to the mind-body problem is some form of physicalism • Our criterion for personal identity is mentalistic: what makes me now the same person as me at some other time is some sort of psychological continuity (Locke says yes; Olson says no) • What matters for survival is identity (Parfit will deny this)

    7. Identity • The problem of personal identity is a special case of the problem of identity-through-time (persistence, “diachronic identity”) for spatio-temporal objects generally • The identities of objects of different kinds are supposed to be “differently constituted” such that they have different persistence conditions. • In every case we want to elicit “our” identity criterion for the identity of F’s (where F is a sortal term) • And make sure that it’s consistent with the formal features of identity: • an equivalence relation • an indiscernibility relation

    8. Locke: The Personal Identity Guy All the great ends of Morality and Religion, are well enough secured without the philosophical Proofs of the Soul's Immateriality; since it is evident that he who, at first made us beings to subsist here, sensible intelligent Beings, and for several years continued us in such a state, can and will restore us to a like state of Sensibility in another World, and make us there capable to receive the Retribution he has designed to men, according to the doings in this life.[Essay IV:2:6] • Locke was (IMHO) the first person to recognize that the problem of personal identity should not be conflatedwith the mind-body problem and • That it was an open question whether physicalismregarding the mind-body problem was consistentwith religious doctrines concerning post-mortemsurvival.

    9. Puzzle Cases • We want to sort out genuine criteria from mere evidences • C is criterial for something’s being an F: necessarily a is an F iff a has C • Since these are claims about what’s necessarily the case, all we need to show that some proposed criterion, C* fails is that it’s logically possible for something to be an F without satisfying C* • Conceivability is traditionally thought to show possibility in the relevant sense—hence puzzle cases • Example: the twin-earth puzzle case shows it’s possible to have superficially water-like stuff that isn’t water hence that the superficial characteristics of water are mere evidences

    10. Identity Criteria • We want to sort out identity criteria from mere evidences • R is criterial rather than merely evidential for F-identity: necessarilya is the same F as b iff a is R-related to b • Example: sameness of fingerprints are mere evidences of personal identity • Not necessary because we can imagine the same person’s fingerprints changing—or a person losing his fingers • Not sufficient because we can imagine two different people with the same fingerprints

    11. Sortals and Identity Criteria • What, if anything, is the connection between criteria for being an F and criteria for F-identity, understood as persistence conditions for Fs? • According to the traditional view, to understand a sortal term, F, is precisely to understand how to trace Fs through space and time in at least normal cases • Example: If I understand the sortal river I should be in principle able to determine whether different waters in which I step are both (spatial or temporal) parts of the River Cäyster • Example: to understand our criterion for personal identity through time, we need to understand what it is to be a person

    12. F-hood and F-identity • Locke argues that we get confused about persistence conditions for spatio-temporal objects because we literally don’t know what we’re talking about • At any given time, a spatio-temporal region may be occupied by different objects of different kinds • Example: an oak tree and the mass of matter that constitutes it • Example: a statue and the lump of clay of which it’s composed • To answer questions about an object’s identity we need to know which object we’re talking about

    13. What are we talking about? That wall, that building or the brick? To determine identity conditions, how far the thing we’re talking about spreads, we need to specify a sortal

    14. Stepping twice in the same what? River-stageat t3 River-stage at t2 time River-stage at t1 space River and water give us different ways of tracing through time.

    15. Personhood and Personal Identity • On this account, to understand the persistence conditions for person—our criterion for personal identity—we need to understand personhood—what it is to be a person. • We need to distinguish between person, human being (“man”) and soul (spirit or spiritual substance) • Locke argues that these are different sortals that convey different identity criteria via puzzle cases • Then getting at the concept of person, proposes “consciousness” as the criterion for personal identity

    16. Person not the same as Human Being • Human Being: a living member of species homo sapiens; a particular kind of animal • Person: a thinking intelligent being that has reason and reflection and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing, in different times and places [Essay II:XXVII:11] • Locke will argue that the concept of human being and person are different (since something can count as a person without being a human) and hence that • The persistence conditions (criteria for identity-through-time) for persons and human beings are different

    17. The Rational Parrot [Prince Maurice told me] that he had heard of such an old parrot when he had been at Brazil; and though he believed nothing of it, and it was a good way off, yet he had so much curiosity as to send for it: that it was a very great and a very old one; and when it came first into the room where the prince was, with a great many Dutchmen about him, it said presently, What a company of white men are here! They asked it, what it thought that man was, pointing to the prince. It answered, Some General or other. When they brought it close to him, he asked it, D'ou venez-vous? It answered, De Marinnan. The Prince, A qui estes-vous? The Parrot, A un Portugais. The Prince, Que fais-tu la? Parrot, Je garde les poulles. The Prince laughed, and said, Vous gardez les poulles? The Parrot answered, Oui, moi; et je scai bien faire; and made the chuck four or five times that people use to make to chickens when they call them. I set down the words of this worthy dialogue in French, just as Prince Maurice said them to me. I asked him in what language the parrot spoke, and he said in Brazilian. I asked whether he understood Brazilian; he said No, but he had taken care to have two interpreters by him, the one a Dutchman that spoke Brazilian, and the other a Brazilian that spoke Dutch

    18. Humanness isn’t necessary for personhood • On Locke’s account the Rational Parrot would be a person in the relevant sense • So being human is not a necessary condition for being a person • Therefore the persistence conditions for person may be different • Human beings may survive the persons with which they coincide • Persons may survive the human beings with which they coincide

    19. Prince and Cobbler [S]hould the soul of a prince, carrying with it the consciousness of the prince’s past life, enter and inform the body of a cobbler, as soon as deserted by his own soul, every one sees he would be the same person with the prince, accountable only for the prince’s actions: bu who would say it was the same man? [Essay II:XXVII:15] • Since the Rational Parrot case shows that being human isn’t the same thing as being a person there may be different identity criteria for human and person • Citing the Prince/Cobbler Body Exchange Case, Locke will argue that human being identity is neither necessary nor sufficient for personal identity

    20. Souls • BUT…Locke is not claiming that that it’s the identity of “spiritual substance” that makes for personal identity either! • Locke (kinda) believes that there are souls and that they are the things that, at any given time, in fact do the thinking in persons • But he argues that soul-identity isn’t criterial for personal identity citing puzzle cases: • Not sufficient: the DayMan/NightMan • Not necessary: the dingbat who claimed to be the reincarnation of Socrates

    21. DayMan/NightMan Granting that the thinking substance in man must be necessarily supposed immaterial, it is evident that immaterial thinking thing may sometimes part with its past consciousness…Make these intervals of memory and forgetfulness to take their turns regularly by day and night and you have two persons with the same immaterial spirit. [Essay II:XXVII:23] time

    22. Do you believe this? • You are about to undergo a painful operation and are offered the choice of conventional aenesthesia or an amnesiac drug that will temporarily zap all past memories prior to the operation. Afterwards, you will remember everything prior to the operation but nothing that happened during the operation. The amnesiac drug is much cheaper… time

    23. Reincarnation? I once met with one, who was persuaded his had been the soul of Socrates…would anyone say, that he, being not conscious of any of Socrates’s actions or thoughts, could be the same person with Socrates? • If my soul is memory-zapped but recycled do I survive? • If my brain is memory-zapped but reprogrammed do I survive? • Locke argues that neither soul-identity nor bodily (or brain) identity is sufficient for personal identity • Or at least for what matters for survival

    24. Substance and Bundle Theories • Descartes held that personal identity was determined by the sameness of substance—in particular of the spiritual substance underlying our thoughts and other experiences. • Locke argues for a bundle theory: our experiences are bound together as the same person in virtue of relations they bear to one another so: • sameness of substance is not sufficient for personal identity: different persons can occur to the same (spiritual or material) substances at different times (DayMan/NightMan) or at the same time (brain splits, etc.) • sameness of substance is not necessary for personal identity: body exchange and resurrection are possible

    25. Person as a “Forensic Term” • Our understanding of moral and legal notions like “responsibility” hang on our understanding of personal identity • We don’t hold people responsible for other people’s actions • We don’t reward or punish people for things that they didn’t do • So understanding the notion of responsibility and determining the legitimacy of reward and punishment assumes a proper understanding of personal identity

    26. Resurrection World • In ordinary this-worldly cases we have no problem in principle determining whether we have the same person: fingerprints are good evidence and spatio-temporal continuity settles it • So in this-worldly cases this is evidence of who’s responsible for an action and so who deserves reward or punishment • In a resurrection world we wouldn’t have spatio-temporal continuity • According to Locke spatio-temporal continuity isn’t necessary for personal identity so • Resurrected individuals may be the same persons as pre-mortem individuals—and so responsible for their actions and worthy of reward or punishment!

    27. Lockean Orthodoxy • Most philosophers who work on personal identity are probably inclined to buy some neo-Lockean criterion for personal identity • [P]robably nine out of ten philosophers writing about personal identity today either deny outright that we are animals. (Olson) • Most philosophers who work on personal identity probably don’t believe in post-mortem survival but do believe it’s logically possible • Most philosophers who work on personal identity assume that persons are essentially persons so that • I don’t come into being until I become a person and • I cease to exist when I cease to be a person

    28. Olson’s Animalism • The claim that persons are essentially persons is controversial: we should argue for it or, if we assume it, make it explicit that that is an assumption • The traditional way of stating the question of personal identity through time is question-begging: • Traditional formulation: under what possible circumstances is a person existing at one time identical with a person existing at another time? • Olson’s formulation: Under what possible circumstances is a person who exists at one time identical with something that exists at another time (whether or not it is a person then)?

    29. Animalism and Materialism Animalism implies materialism (animals are material things), but not vice versa. • Animalism: each of us is numerically identical with an animal--we persist just as long as the human animal with which we are identical persist • According to many neo-Lockean accounts there are no non-material beings and, at any given time, a person is no more or other than a human animal but the identity conditions for person are different from the identity conditions for animal—so materialism doesn’t imply animalism

    30. Animals have animal identity conditions • [I]magine that your cerebrum is put into another head. The being who gets that organ…will be mentally continuous with you…so if mental continuity of any sort suffices for you to persist, you would go along with the transplanted cerebrum • [But] no animal moves from one head to another. If this is right then no sort of psychological continuity suffices for the identity of a human animal over time. • So if we go with the cerebrum, it follows that we are not animals • So if we are animals we don’t go with the cerebrum—and don’t have animal identity conditions

    31. The Thinking Animal Argument • There is a human animal sitting in your chair. • The human animal sitting in your chair is thinking. • The one and only thinking being sitting in your chair is you • You are that animal • This argument can be generalized (see symbolized version): the conclusion is that we are all animals and nothing else • Note: the most crucial premise is 3—Olson will argue that denying animalism we get the absurd conclusion that there are two thinkers: the person and the animal.

    32. Alternatives One and Two • There are no human animals • Few take this seriously • Human animals can’t think • This is rather hard to believe. Anyone who denies that animals can think…needs to explain why they can’t. What stops a typical human animal from using its brain to think? Isn’t that what that organ is for? • The serious objection to the argument for animalism will take on Premise 3—arguing that a multiplicity of thinking beings sitting in your chair is innocuous.

    33. Alternative Three: You are not alone Lewis’s Proposal: When two beings are as intimately related as you and your animal are…we ‘count them as one’…Ordinary people have no opinion about how many numerically different thinking beings there are…What matters in real life is not how many thinkers there are strictly speaking, but how many non-overlapping thinkers. • Olson’s response • Overcrowding: there are two thinkers • Which one is you? “I” refers to the thinker so when the animal thinks an “I”-thought he thinks about the animal.

    34. The Problem of the Many • “Overcrowding” isn’t peculiar to the problem of personal identity • The table in the table in the table…

    35. The Statue and the Clay • The statue and the clay occupy exactly the same place • Both the statue and the lump of clay of which it’s made are shaped statuesquely, have the same weight, etc. • But they have different identity conditions

    36. The Statue and the Clay • The lump can survive a radical change of shape • but not loss or replacement of parts. • The statue can survive replacement of parts • but not radical change of shape

    37. Spatial and Temporal Parts • One way of understanding persistence is to regard spatio-temporal objects (or their histories) as having temporal parts • On this account, just as we consider tables within tables—and things that aren’t tables within tables—there are statues that are temporal parts (“stages”) of lumps of clay… • And statues that are temporal parts of statues { lump stages statue stages lump stages time

    38. Persons and Their Animals • There are lots of different (but at some times co-located) things here which count as one • Why should “I” refer to the human animal rather than the person? • If we don’t ascribe thinking to the body, why ascribe it to the animal? human body stages human animal stages fetus stages person stages brain-dead stages corpse stages time

    39. Are we animals? • Arguably, yes and no • At any given time I, the person, occupy the same region as an animal: to that extent I am an animal, i.e. the animal and I count as one • But as a person I have different persistence conditions than my animal so • My animal may predate and postdate me, the person • And conceivably I may survive my animal, e.g. in a resurrection world • A physicalist account of what persons are at any time doesn’t preclude a mentalistic account of personal identity through time

    40. We’re People!