352-Handout- Persons & Bundles-1

352-Handout- Persons & Bundles-1 - Metaphysics H.S....

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Metaphysics Handout 6 H.S. Hestevold Spring 2009 PERSONS AND PERSISTENCE: THE BUNDLE THEORY Review H&O, 141.R.3-143.R.1; and read 145.L.2-148 [Hume] I. Hume on persisting persons: the bundle theory A. Hume's objection to the enduring-substantive-self theory. See 142.L.1-2. The structure of Hume's objection is this: "It is reasonable to believe that you are an enduring-substantive-self only if introspection reveals one of two things. Introspection reveals neither. Therefore, it is not reasonable to believe that you are an enduring-substantive-self." Study question : What are the two things that introspection fails to reveal such that either would constitute evidence for enduring-substantive selves? B. The bundle-theory explicated: 1. 142.R.1 2. The rope analogy 3. Hume:self :: Berkeley:sensible objects 4. 145.L.2: comparison of the diachronic identity of persons with the diachronic identity of common objects (e.g. watermelons and ships) C. In virtue of what is a given perception a member of the bundle that is you rather than a member of the bundle that is me ? Study question : Hume offers two answers to this question. What are they? See pp. 145-6. Study question : Hume notes a potential problem for his answers; see p. 146. What is the potential problem? Study question : What is Hume's response to this potential problem? See 146.R.2.
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II. Parfit: what are the options regarding survival [persistence]? A. The targets of Parfit's work. Study question : On pp. 171-172.L, Parfit notes that he will reject two traditional theses regarding personal identity. What two theses will Parfit reject? B. Wiggins' brain-fission thought experiment. Three options: Option 1: I do not survive the fission. Option 2: I survive the fission as only one of the two people. Option 3: I survive the fission as both people. C. Option 1 : I do not survive (persist after) the fission. Study question : What is Parfit's objection to Option 1? See 172.L.7 and 174.L.6-R.3. D. Option 2 : I survive the fission as only one of the two people. Study question : What is Parfit's objection to Option 2? See 172.L.9-R.1. E. Option 3 : I survive the fission as both people. 1. Possible objection to Option 3 [172.R.3]: "(X) If survival involves identity, then Option 3 is absurd because no one thing that survives can be identical to two discrete entities. (Y) If, however, survival does not involve identity, then Option 3 would be irrelevant to Wiggins' thought experiment, which is a problem about diachronic identity -- about whether I am identical with either of the post-fission people." 2. Possible replies to the objection to Option 3 : a. Reject (X) and claim that there is some
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352-Handout- Persons & Bundles-1 - Metaphysics H.S....

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