Monday, February 28, 2005

Chisholm on Personal Identity

For Wednesday, re-read Chisholm's "Which Physical Thing Am I?" and state which premise he denies in the following argument and explain why he denies it:

1. If ME is correct, then no thing survives the gain or loss of parts.
2. If no thing survives the gain and loss of parts, then I am not strictly identical to any thing that woke up this morning.
3. So, if ME is correct, then I am not strictly identical to any thing that woke up this morning.
4. But I am strictly identical to some thing that woke up this morning.
5. So, ME is incorrect.

Keep in mind that Chisholm understands 'gain and loss of parts' in a more ordinary sense than that of the 'just matter' theorist considered by Sider. Anyone who wants to discuss what they believe Chisholm's response is and whether it is plausible is free to comment on this post.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dan McCormick said...

what exactly does Chisholm mean with terms like 'entia nonsuccesiva' and 'ens nonsuccessiva'? Does this have something to do with the inclusion or exclusion of physical parts?

9:19 PM  
Blogger Chris Tillman said...

An ens successivum is an entity which is made up of different things at different times.

An ens nonsuccessivum is an individual thing that is not made up of different things at different times.

(Chisholm defines these on the first and second pages of the reading, respectively.)

The distinction does not have anything to do with the having or lacking of physical parts. The definition leaves open whether the things that compose entia successivum and entia nonsuccessivum are physical or otherwise.

I am no Latin scholar, but I believe that 'entia' is merely the plural of 'ens'.

Btw, sorry the copy of the article is so bad. It is anthologized in several sources available from the library. The version on the website is from van Inwagen, Peter and Zimmerman, Dean (eds), Metaphysics: The Big Questions, which is an anthology published in 1998 by Blackwell.

10:49 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home