Human nature Unit 2

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Human nature Unit 2
2011-04-06 20:01:49
Human Nature

Locke, Reid, Perry, Dennett
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  1. Four characteristics of Personhood
    • -intrinsic value (unconditional, non-derivative)
    • -should never be treated as merely as means to an end (non-exploitation clause)
    • -non-interchangeable and non-replaceable
    • -bearers of rights and entitlements
  2. Personal Identity
    what accounts for the numerical sameness of a person existing at some time in the past and a person existing now
  3. Numerical Identity
    "x and y" are numerically identical = df "x=y"
  4. Qualitative Identity
    "x and y are qualitatively identical" = df "x is indistinguishable in appearance from y"
  5. Empiricism
    senses provide the primary basis for knowledge claims, introspective experience also provides a basis for knowledge
  6. John Locke's Personhood Definition
    • "person" = df "rational, self-conscious being", not every human is a person; non-human animals aren't persons
    • "x at t2 remembers having experiences that x at t1 actually had"
  7. Prince and Cobbler
    Person who wakes up in palace is really the cobbler because he remembers cobbler's experiences (human is still prince) and vice versa
  8. Substance Dualist Analysis of Personal Identity
    • person = non-material soul
    • Descartes doesn't care about memories
    • rejected by Locke (based on experience)
    • Tabula Rasa Theory = intellect at birth is a blank slate
  9. Reductive Materialist Analysis of Personal Identity
    • person = brain
    • Locke rejects because consciousness is not reduecable to brain states
  10. Continuity Requirement
    Personal Identity requires continued uninterrupted existence over time, perfect identity
  11. Perfect Identity
    Does not admit degrees; questions about truth values of statements of the form "x is numerically identical with y" require strict yes/no answers (personal identity)
  12. Imperfect Identity
    admits of degrees; questions about the truth values of the statements of the form "x is numerically identical with y" do not have strict yes/no answers (physical object identity) --> replacing parts (not Reid/Locke)
  13. Objection to Transmigration
    possibility of intelligent beings to be the same if consciousness transmigrates bodies, absurd that many humans can be the same person --> Locke's theory on personal identity is implausible
  14. Objection to amnesia case
    possible to be many persons, absurd to suppose one human could be many persons --> implausible theory
  15. Braver Case Objection
    old general doesn't remember childhood (not same person) but does remember middle age (which remembers childhood) --> same person; Locke accepts Transitivity of Numerical Identity Principle (A=B, B=C --> A=C) so general MUST be same person as child --> Locke gives two incompatible answers but can only have one due to the principle
  16. Continuity arguement
    Personal Identity is grounded in a continuous and stable substratum, memory/consciousness is always changing --> personal identity can't be grounded in memory
  17. Logical Possibility
    "x is logically possible" = df "x can be conceived or thought or imagined in a non-contradictory way"
  18. Material Possbility
    "x is materially possible" = df "x is compatible with known physical laws" (scientifically possible)
  19. GW's Account of Personal Identity
    • determined by bodily continuity
    • KB is annihilated and can never exist again, a qualitatively identical KB might exist after destruction of original KB but it would not be numerically identical with original KB
  20. Soul/Body Correlation Theory
    Person consists of an unobservable soul contained in observable material, observation of same body --> infer same soul
  21. GW's Critique on Soul/Body Correlation Theory
    can't be established since soul is unobservable --> can't be a known posterior; soul definition doesn't entail that it remains with same body (logically impossible to separate) --> can't be a known priori and it's groundless; judgements about personal identity are not groundless --> can't be used to establish judgements
  22. Posterior and Prior
    • knowledge following an observation
    • knowledge before and independent of experience/observation
  23. Miller's Defense
    soul is basis for psychological continuity, directly observable via introspection and indirectly by behavioral regularities --> soul is directly observable via introspection and behavioral regularity observations
  24. GW's critique on Introspection
    what I observe via introspection are psychological states, not observing ground for states --> psychological continuity could be grounded in more than one soul over time and change, no reason to believe one soul serves ground of psychological continuity
  25. GW's critique on Behavioral Regularities
    psychological states are indirectly observable via observation of behavioral regularities, if soul exists, then two or more souls could contain similar psychological states --> observable behavioral regularities could be product of multiple souls existing consecutively in same body, observing regularities isn't evidence of one soul continuing to exist in a body, does not provide warrant to conclude soul is basis of personal identity
  26. Circulatory Objection to Locke
    Personal Identity is based on real memories of the past, to establish it's real is to show that memories are caused by actual past experiences, to show this it's necessary to prove same person with memories experienced it --> only legitimate if personal identity has been established, real memory can't be used in a non-circular way
  27. Reductive Materialist Analysis
    • Personal identity = brain continuity, having the same brain
    • Merry Beaudine (dies, brain transplant with Julia North)
  28. Existential Gap Theory
    at death, person ceases to exist, brought back into existence that is psychologically and physically indistinguishable --> numerically identical
  29. GW's critique on Existential Gap Theory
    suppose GW2 is a psychological and physical duplicate of God's, and GW2 is brought into being after GW1's death. Any reason to believe higher being can create GW2 means it can make GW3. GW2 = GW1 --> GW1=GW3 but then GW2=GW3 --> absurd (personal identity is 1:1, no personal fission) --> GW2 is only qualitatively, not numerically, identical so theory is false
  30. Dennett's Rationale for Rejecting Bodily continuity Theory of Personal Identity
    • Hamlet (duplicate of original brain), Dennett can survive loss os his body, therefore his personal identity is not associated with his body
    • brain survived in a sense
  31. Rationale for Rejecting Reductive Materialist Analysis
    • Dennett experiences bodily states (when a brain is hooked up to a body), a disembodied brain in a vat cannot have the experiences
    • therefore Dennett does not equal his brain
  32. Problems with Locke's theory
    • a person's consciousness/memories/perspective can change
    • personal identity does not change
    • therefore Dennett does not equal his consciousness, memories, and perspective
  33. Implausibility of Personal Fission
    • based on practical human concerns (marriage, property rights, legal and moral obligations) personal identity is a 1:1 relation
    • if personal fission is possible, then one person can become two, which would undermine normal human legal and social conventions
    • personal fission is impossible
  34. Plausbility of Functionalism
    • any cognitive data processing system that is functionally isomorphic with the human brain is conscious and counts as being a person
    • any reason for claiming that A is a person is a good reason for claiming that B is a person
    • functionalist analysis is plausible
  35. Caramel Candy Example
    Can tell what a candy is by the swirl on top, know what's inside, but can't bite into a soul