Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Part 7 Identity and Immortality

For Part 8 Moral Theory to present on Monday (each group no more than 10 minutes): send presentation materials to me by Friday.

Pick out three last names from the "magical cup of knowledge" (and, unless you picked out your own last name), call the names out so your colleagues can see you, return the last names to the bottom of the stack, and hand it to the next person until everyone is paired with three colleagues. If you have already been partnered with a colleague just hand the stack of names to the next person. Finally, find your colleagues for the Discussion today and answer the questions on your printed handout.

After the organizational meetings during class if you have not been assigned to a group be prepared to answer a question if someone is absent.

It is important that you attend class, arrive on time, and work cooperatively with a group to earn discussion credit for participation.

If you did not print out the questions (available on Bb) they are available below.

Part 8

Part 8: Moral Theory
How Not to Answer Moral Questions
Tom Regan
Moral Isolationism
Mary Midgley
The Nature of Ethical Disagreement
Charles L. Stevenson
The Rationality of Moral Action
Philippa Foot
Kant’s Ethics
Onora O’Neill
Assessing Utilitarianism
Lewis P. Pojman
A Supreme Moral Principle?
Steven M. Cahn
Virtue Ethics
Bernard Mayo
The Ethics of Care
Virginia Held
Happiness and Morality
Christine Vitrano
Jean-Paul Sartre
Nicomachean Ethics
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: The Categorical Imperative
Immanuel Kant
John Stuart Mill

Review Part 7: Personal Identity: Crash Course Philosophy #19, 7:45

Today Hank is building on last week’s exploration of identity to focus on personal identity. Does it in reside in your body? Is it in the collective memories of your consciousness? There are, of course, strengths and weaknesses to both of these ideas, and that’s what we’re talking about today.


1. How are they all the Doctor?
2. What is the one thing that remains constant?
3. What is our essential property?
4. Summarize some of the ideas philosophers have come up with.
5. Describe a thought experiment.
6. What did Locke contribute?
7. What problems does memory entail?
8. Does any of this really matter?
9. Do you believe you have obligations to particular people in your life?


Personal Identity
Body Theory
Memory Theory
Why Identity Matters

Personal identity deals with philosophical questions that arise about ourselves by virtue of our being people (or, as lawyers and philosophers like to say, persons). This contrasts with questions about ourselves that arise by virtue of our being living things, conscious beings, material objects, or the like.

Many of these questions occur to nearly all of us now and again: What am I? When did I begin? What will happen to me when I die? Others are more abstruse. Personal identity has been discussed since the origins of Western philosophy, and most major figures have had something to say about it.

Personal identity is sometimes discussed under the protean term self. And ‘self’ does sometimes mean ‘person’. But it often means something different: some sort of immaterial subject of consciousness, for instance (as in the phrase ‘the myth of the self’). The term is often used without any clear meaning at all.


Part 7: Identity and Immortality
A Case of Identity
Brian Smart

The Problem of Personal Identity
John Perry

John R. Perry (born 1943) is Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Stanford University and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of California, Riverside. He has made significant contributions to philosophy in the fields of logicphilosophy of languagemetaphysics, and philosophy of mind. He is known primarily for his work on situation semantics (together with Jon Barwise), reflexivityindexicalitypersonal identity, and self-knowledge.



What is the goal of the dialogue?
What does Miller contend?
What is the problem of the soul?
What is the memory view?
What are the two ways of thinking about the transporter works in Star Trek?
Which is correct?
In the third night what is reviewed about personal identity?

The Unimportance of Identity
Derek Parfit

Derek Parfit discussing personal identity in the documentary Brainspotting, 9:24




How do we exist?
What are the four options on the checklist?
What happens after a brain transplant?
Are there one or two persons?
What happens with teletransportation?

Life after Death
Terence Penelhum

Metaphysics deals with the study of the nature of reality. Since the Enlightenment, reality has been seen through the lenses of both religion and science, and frequently there has been a conflict between the views of the two. Following the horrors of the Second World War, the attacks on the views of religion became particularly vigorous with science on the offensive.

Canadian philosophers in the postwar era have attempted, in a number of ways, to resolve these conflicts and to legitimize religious belief. A variety of approaches have been used. 
Some have attempted to address issues in the philosophy of religion by questioning underlying issues in metaphysics. Those following this approach within the analytic tradition include Kai Nielsen, Donald Evans (1963), and Terence Penelhum (1970).
Do We Need Immortality?
Grace M. Jantzen

Grace Marion Jantzen (24 May 1948 – 2 May 2006) was a Canadian feminist philosopher and theologian. She was professor of religion, culture and gender at Manchester University from 1996 until her death from cancer at the age of 57.

Arguably, her most famous work is Becoming Divine: Towards a Feminist Philosophy of Religion. In this book, Grace Jantzen proposes a new philosophy of religion from a feminist perspective. She also authored works on Christian mysticism and the foundations of modernity. Her approach was influenced by Continental scholarship, particularly that of Foucault.

In her final publication, Foundations of Violence, Jantzen, sketches the fascination with death and violence -- what she calls a 'necrophilia' -- that she believes has characterized much of Western culture from classical antiquity through Christianity to present paradigms. In Jantzen's view, this emphasis on violence and death comes at the expense of the physical body in the present (a denigration of the senses, sexuality and sensuality), and thus, establishes a yearning for mystical worlds beyond the here and now.

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
John Locke

PHILOSOPHY - History: Locke on Personal Identity #1, 11:30

PHILOSOPHY - History: Locke on Personal Identity #1, 11:30

Part 1 of 3.  In this Wireless Philosophy video, Michael Della Rocca (Yale University) explores some of the puzzles and problems of personal identity that arise from the revolutionary work of the philosopher John Locke.

What makes you the same person as the little kid growing up a number of years ago? 
Is the identity of a person tied to the persistence of a body or a soul or something else entirely? Can we even give any explanation at all of the persistence of a person?

A Treatise of Human Nature
David Hume

David Hume on Personal Identity -Kiana Crawford, 5:05

David Hume on Personal Identity -Kiana Crawford, 5:05


Are persons just impressions?
Hume rejects what?
What is an impression?
How does he explain impressions?
How can we construct identity?
What does Hume note?
What is causation?
How does Hume disagree with Locke?
Do you agree with Hume's view on personal identify as he had three strong arguments?
How would you recap Hume's arguments?

Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man
Thomas Reid

Thomas Reid (26 April 1710 – 7 October 1796) was a religiously trained Scottish philosopher, a contemporary of David Hume as well as "Hume's earliest and fiercest critic". He was the founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense and played an integral role in the Scottish Enlightenment.

The early part of his life was spent in Aberdeen and he graduated from the University of Aberdeen. He began his career as a Minister of the Church of Scotland but ceased to be a Minister (or called 'Reverend') when he was given a professorship at King's College, Aberdeen in 1752.

He obtained his doctorate and wrote An Inquiry Into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense (published in 1764). He and his colleagues founded the 'Aberdeen Philosophical Society' which was popularly known as the 'Wise Club' (a literary-philosophical association). Shortly after the publication of his first book, he was given the prestigious Professorship of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow when he was called to replace Adam Smith.

He resigned from this position in 1781, after which he prepared his university lectures for publication in two books: Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (1785) and Essays on the Active Powers of the Human Mind (1788). Reid was buried at Blackfriars Church in the grounds of Glasgow College and when the university moved to Gilmorehill in the west of Glasgow, his tombstone was inserted in the main building.

Reid believed that common sense (in a special philosophical sense of sensus communis) is, or at least should be, at the foundation of all philosophical inquiry. He disagreed with Hume, who asserted that we can never know what an external world consists of as our knowledge is limited to the ideas in the mind, and George Berkeley, who asserted that the external world is merely ideas in the mind. By contrast, Reid claimed that the foundations upon which our sensus communis are built justify our belief that there is an external world.

In his day and for some years into the 19th century, he was regarded as more important than Hume. He advocated direct realism, or common sense realism, and argued strongly against the Theory of Ideas advocated by John Locke, René Descartes, and (in varying forms) nearly all Early Modern philosophers who came after them. He had a great admiration for Hume and had a mutual friend send Hume an early manuscript of Reid's Inquiry. Hume responded that the "deeply philosophical" work "is wrote in a lively and entertaining matter," but that "there seems to be some defect in method," and criticized Reid for implying the presence of innate ideas.

5.2. INTROPHIL - Reid's Challenge to Hume, 2:13

Week five of the University of Edinburgh's "Introduction to Philosophy" (INTROPHIL) open online course. Dr Allan Hazlett School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences University of Edinburgh


When should you only trust testimony according to Hume?
How does Reid challenge Hume's assumption?
How do Reid and Hume agree?
What is innate according to Reid?