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This 12 page Study Guide was uploaded by Yixin Hu on Friday March 6, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to 1 at a university taught by STRICKLAND J in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 35 views.
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Date Created: 03/06/15
Philosophy 1 Notes The problem of Personal Identity What are the conditions of personal identity In other words what makes it the case that the person giving today s lecture is the same person who gave Friday s lecture A personstage df a temporal segment of a person s life This includes the person s mental states during that temporal segment Examples of personstages you from 4pm until now you from age 5 to age 7 Copersonality of Personstages personstages A and B are copersonal df A and B are temporal segments of the same person s life Examples of personstages that are not copersonal you from 4 until now and me from age 5 to age 7 Mental Substance MS theory Two personstages A and B are copersonal iff they have the same mental substance If A and B have the same mental substance they are copersonal Also if A and B are copersonal they have the same mental substance According to Descartes Mental Substance is a immaterial substance unextended does not take up space distinct from any material objects like a brain or a body Or subject of mental states a thinking thing the thing that has beliefs desires memories it is the thing that remains the same while mental states change We saw when studying the Cogito that Descartes thinks a person is a mind And since Descartes thinks minds are immaterial mental substances he thinks persons are immaterial mental substances Not surprisingly then Descartes thinks that a person persists through time just in case that person s immaterial mental substance persists through time This is the Mental Substance Theory of Personal Identity in a nutshell Descartes thinks I am an immaterial mental substance normally joined with a material body I will survive bodily death because this immaterial mental substance will continue to exist and that mental substance is me Problem We cannot detect a change in mental substance since mental substances cannot be perceived nor are they known directly by introspection For this reason we cannot rule out counterexamples to the MS Theory Locke s challenge to the MS theory Suppose a person is a mental substance A tree remains the same tree even though its substance changes Why can t a person remain the same person even though the mental substance changes Hume s point about introspection My mental substance is supposed to be something distinct from the mental states that has the mental states But when I introspect all I nd are mental states not some additional thing having them How do I know anything about my MS Not by sense perception Not by introspection So how The LockeKant objection to the MS theory The Ms theory says Model 2 is impossible But in light of Hume s point about introspection we could never detect the difference between model 1 and model 2 The MS has nothing to say in response to the suggestion that model 2 is correct Model 2 cannot be ruled out Mental States over time model 2 My beliefs on Monday My MS on Monday My beliefs on Tuesday My MS on Tuesday My beliefs on Wednesday My MS on Wednesday Bodily Continuity BC Theory Two personstages A and B are copersonal iff they have the same body In what ways does a plant or animal body remains the same despite changes in the physical material that makes up the body The unified functional organization To say two personstages have the same body is to say that they have the same unified functional organization The stuff that the body is composed of may be replaced or recycled but what remains the same is the functional organization of that stuff Same body Not the same qualities the body may have changed shape size etc Not the same physical substance the cells have been regenerated Same Body Not qualitative identity but numerical identity two identical twins might look alike but they are still two person leVi s body at age 2 looks different from his body at age 4 but he is still one person Problem Intuitively you might think two people could switch bodies This is certainly a common theme in science ction suggesting that there are possible counter examples to the BC Theory Refuting BC The BC says that there are not possible A and B are copersonal but do not have the same body A and B do have the same body but are not copersonal If there are possible the BC is false this method can also apply to other theories Is BC consistent with Cartesian Dualism In other words could Descartes endorse the BC theory Cartesian s theory is not compatible with BC theory of PI Simple Lockean Memory SLM Theory Two personstages A and B are copersonal iff they are memorylinked A and B are memorylinked de remembers or under the right circumstances could remember an experience or other mental state had by B Locke s basic insight If I remember having some particular mental state then I am the same person who had that mental state Two personstages are copersonal iff they are appropriately linked by memory Problem The Brave Of cer example see Blackburn p 130135 Most people think intuitively that copersonality is a transitive relation But being memorylinked is not a transitive relation so copersonality cannot consist in being memorylinked The Brave of cer case as a counterexample According to the story LB little boy BO brave of cer OG old general The LB and B0 are memorylinked The B0 and 0G are memorylinked But the LB and the 0G are not memorylinked Implications of the story B0 and LB are copersonal 0G and B0 are copersonal Because copersonality seems like a transitive relation it follows from these two claims that 0G and LB are copersonal But the Brave Of cer case is one where 0G and LB are copersonal even though 0G and LB are not memorylinked ltgt Transitive relations consider some relation R and things xy and z R is a transitive relation df If R holds between X and y And R holds between y and 2 Then R holds between X and z ltgt The fundamental problem copersonality is a transitive relation If X is copersonal with Y And Y is copersonal with Z Then X is coperaonal with Z ltgt Being memorylinked is not a transitive relation If X remembers Y s experiences And Y remembers Z s experiences It does not necessarily follow that X remembers Z s experiences ltgt What really matters for two personstages to be memorylinked is for the later personstage to be capable of remembering an experience or mental state had by the earlier personstage In other words being memorylinked goes both directions A is memorylinked with B if and only if B is memorylinked with A but the remembering only needs to go in one direction So A at time tl is still memorylinked with B at time t2 even if A can39t remember anything about B since B doesn39t exist yet i ii Revised Lockean Memory RLM Theory Two personstages A and B are copersonal iff either A and B are memorylinked OR A and B are connected by a chain of memorylinked personstages To say that A and B are connected by a chain of memorylinked person stages is to say that even though they are not memorylinked to each other they are each memorylinked with a third personstage C How does RLM solve the problem The LB and 0G are not directly memorylinked But the LB and 0G are connected to teach other by being memorylinked with BO So condition ii of the RLM is satis ed Problem You might think this theory is still too simplistic You may think it is possible for a person to retain his numerical personal identity even with unbridgeable gaps in his memory Responses to the RLM theory of PI The revision seems a little ad hoc NEWS 4 3 Eifil l Maybe we should not rely entirely on memory Locke s own theory emphasizes the psychological features of consciousness and memory maybe a stronger theory would connect P1 with other psychological features Psychological Continuity PC Theory Two personstages A and B are copersonal iff either i ii ii iii iv A and B are psychologically continuous OR A and B are connected by a chain of psychologically continuous person stages Total Mental Pro le TMP of a personstage df all the psychological facts about a person during that temporal segment conscious mental states like memories but also unconscious or subconscious factors plus character traits A and B are psychologically continuous de and B have very similar TMPs and that similarity is due to a reliable causal connection Problem The Duplication Problem You may think that it is possible to create a situation Where person stages A and B are psychologically continuous and A and C are psychologically continuous The PC Theory would have the bizarre absurd implication that B and C are one and the same person even if B and C eXist in different places at the same time Teleportation g Di39 iin Suppose we had a device that Scans your brain and body here Makes a digital copy Destroys your brain and body here Uses the digital copy to create a replica Wherever you want to go Personstages A you entering the device here at 5 gets scanned and copied etc B a personstage that arrives in San Francisco at 501 created from the scan of A at 5 ii Suppose that A and B have nearly identical TMPs in virtue of the reliable scanningcopying process employed by this device This means A and B are psychologically continuous fEA scan mental states Memories The PC theory says therefore that A and B are copersonal you have traveled from here to San Francisco in 1 minute The Duplication Problem counterexample to PC theory A you entering the device here at 5 gets scanned and copied B a personstage that arrives in San Francisco at 501 created from the scan of A at 5 Ca personstage that arrives in San Diego at 501 also created from the scan of A at 5 According to the PC theory A and B and C are all copersonal they are all person stages of YOU This means that at 501 you are in San Francisco and you are also in San Diego This is getting very weird If you had committed some crime before 5 who should we punish B or C If you had been accepted into medical school who should go B or C If B and C meet and get into a ght and B kills c had B committed suicide Fixing the PC theory of PI Personstages A and B are copersonal iff A and B are uniquely psychologically continuous Or A and B are connected by a chain of uniquely psychologically continuous person stages Not psychologically continuous B me on 352014 Ca personstage on 352514 Suppose just by crazy coincidence that B and C have exactly similar TMPs But there is no causal connection between B and C the similarity in their TMPs is entirely coincidental Weird but reliable causal connections Recall that psychological continuity requires a reliable causal connection In normal cases this causal connection will be continuity of brain and body Personal Identity and Moral responsibity If X and Y are not coperaonal it would be wrong to punish X for Y s actions So the justification for our practices of praise and blame all rely on our ability to determine when two person stages are copersonal For example suppose Personstage X is on trial for murder There is Video footage of personstage Y performing the murder The defense proves that X and Y are not copersonal X is not the person who committed the crime So it would be wrong to blame X Locke s Point The concept person is a moral concept Persons are moral agents Persons are morally responsible for their actions Persons are deserving of praise blame reward and punishment for their actions person is a forensic term Locke thinks the word person refers to the mind or self these are the same The mind is the thinking intelligent being that has reason and re ection and can consider itself as itself the same thinking thing in different times and places p39Not simply the mental substance of MS theory Locke s point man human refers to the human organism the liVing human body Note that this is the body in the BC theory Notice Locke s agnosticism about the question of whether the mind is a material or an immaterial substance The conditions of personal identity are the conditions under which a mind persists over time We can address this issue without settling the materialismdualism debate Memento Consider these personstages A Leonard at some time tl prior to his brain injury B Leonard at time t2 when jimmy is killed C Leonard at time t3 when teddy is killed Why might someone think these personstages are not copersonal One might think Leonard is not morally responsible for his actions because of his memory loss One might still think Leonard should be locked up though to protect the general public Why might someone think he is not morally responsible He lacks a kind of autonomy He is at the mercy of those around him C kills teddy because C has been manipulated and led to believemistakenly that teddy killed his wife He has been manipulated in the same way that Natalie and Teddy manipulated him But when C kills teddy who has manipulated him B
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