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Freshman Seminar

by: Selena Stehr

Freshman Seminar PHIL 87

Selena Stehr

GPA 3.61


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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Selena Stehr on Thursday October 22, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 87 at University of California - San Diego taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see /class/226823/phil-87-university-of-california-san-diego in PHIL-Philosophy at University of California - San Diego.


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Date Created: 10/22/15
1 7 05 PHIL 87 Persons amp Values Winter 200539 David O Brink Handout 1 Preliminaries PERSONS 0 Persons play an important forensic role Locke Essay IIxxvii8 15 1721 23 26 They are the bearers of rights and responsibilities and the object of special concern Persons as responsible agents must be able to distinguish strengthauthority of desires to deliberate about the appropriateness of desires and form new desires and to regulate their emotions and actions in accordance with their deliberations o If so we should distinguish the normative category of person from the biological category of human beings Not all humans are persons and persons could fail to be humans PERSISTING SUBJECTS In Physics i 7 Aristotle claims that change presupposes the existence of persisting subjects Change he claims requires three things a an underlying subject of change b a prechange lack of quality or property and c a postchange possession of quality or property So any change has the form of some underlying subject x a going from possessing uF b to a state of possessing F c or vice versa Aristotle claims that this structure is present in both nonsubstantial change when a single underlying substance e g a candle undergoes a change e g heat makes a straight candle droop and substantial chang when a substance comes into being from some underlying matter or goes out of existence into some underlying matter eg when a candle comes into existence from a lump of wax or melts into a pool of wax Persons are substances They are subject to both substantial and nonsubstantial change People persist through some physical and psychological changes but not others DISTINCTIONS We talk about identity and diversity in different ways that are easily confused but need to be distinguished o Numeric identity 7 one and the same substance 0 Qualitative identity 7 qualitatively indistinguishable o Compositional identity 7 composed of the numerically same materials Numeric identity over time appears to require neither compositional identity eg the ship of Theseus persists even if some of its pine planks are replaced with numerically distinct pine planks nor qualitative identity eg the ship of Theseus persists if some of its pine planks are replaced with cedar planks PUZZLES ABOUT PERSISTENCE One puzzle involving qualitative change appeals to Leibniz39s Law the indiscernibility of identicals according which to which identical things must have all and only the same properties l A the leafat t1 2 B the leafat t2 3 A is F eg green 4 B is F eg red 5 Hence the leaf at tl i the leaf at t2 This puzzle is fairly easily dissolved Leibniz39s Law only requires that identicals be indiscernible at the same time If AB then the leaf cannot be F and F at either tl or t2 but it can be F at t1 and F at t2 or vice versa Another puzzle involves compositional change 1 The river at tl waterl 2 The river at t2 water2 3 Waterl i water2 4 Hence river at tl i river at t2 This puzzle is a little trickier to dissolve a One view treats the persistent subject the river as a compound object created out of nonpersistent objects temporal slices of the river The relationship is that of part to whole the parts are four dimensional objects and the whole is the temporally ordered series of such objects If the expression quotriver at tquot refers to the whole premises 1 and 2 are false Alternatively if the expression quotriver at tquot refers to a temporal part then the argument as a whole is sound but 4 establishes nothing about the persistence of the river b Another solution is to reject l and 2 on the ground that objects are constituted by but not identical with the stuff out of which they are made cf the way that it is said that a statue is constituted by but not identical to the gold of which it is made CRITERIA OF IDENTITY We should distinguish metaphysical epistemic criteria of identity 0 A metaphysical criterion of X tells us necessary and sufficient conditions of being X 0 An epistemological criterion of X tells us how to ascertain whether something is X This is like the distinction between essence and symptom The fact that you have certain spots might be a reliable symptom epistemological criterion of your having chicken pox but having chicken pox consists in having a certain virus metaphysical criterion Our inquiry is into the metaphysical issue about what personal identity consists in but our metaphysical criterion must explain why our normal epistemic criteria are reliable REDUCTIONISM AND NONREDUCTIONISM o Reductionism claims that personal identity can be analyzed in terms of familiar facts about eg relations among the physical andor psychological states of persons 0 Nonreductionism claims that personal identity cannot be analyzed in terms of such facts but must remain a quotfurther factquot cf Parfit Reasons and Persons p 210 Reductionist views might be purely psychological e g Locke Grice Quinton Parfrt Shoemaker Lewis and Nozick purely physical eg Nagel or mixed eg Williams Nonreductionist views either treat personal identity as primitive and unanalyzable eg Butler and Reid or think that it consists in the persistence of a special typically mental entity the soul or ego eg Descartes REDUCTIONISM ABOUT PHYSICAL OBJECTS


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