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PRIMITIVE IDENTITY Boran Berčić Department of Philosophy University of Rijeka.

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Presentation on theme: "PRIMITIVE IDENTITY Boran Berčić Department of Philosophy University of Rijeka."— Presentation transcript:

1 PRIMITIVE IDENTITY Boran Berčić Department of Philosophy University of Rijeka

2 Bishop Butler ( ) Fifteen Sermons Preached at the Rolls Chapel Preface § 39 ( ) Everything is what it is, and not another thing.

3 G.E.Moore: Principia Ethica Good is undefinable just as yellow is undefinable. We recognize it, we inuitit it, but we can not define it.

4 Good What is good? (Meaning) Which things are good? (Criterion)

5 Good x is good iff x promotes happines x is good iff an impartial observer would say that x is good x is good iff people accept x x is good iff x develops people potentials

6 Truth Meaning and Criterion What is truth? (Meaning) Which sentences are true? (Criterion)

7 Tuth p is true iff... p is true iff p is useful in interaction with enviroment p is true iff p is coherent with accepted beliefs p is true iff p is a product of reliable scientific method p is true iff p is either part of immediate experience or constructed out of it

8 Sameness Meaning and Criterion What is sameness? (Meaning) Which entities are the same? (Criterion) What is identity? (Meaning) Which entities are identical? (Criterion)

9 Transcendentals Unum, Verum, Bonum Even more general than categories. Therefore, undefinable!

10 Definition Square is equiangular and equilateral quadrilateral.

11 Fingerprint

12

13 Fingerprint Juan Vucetich ( )

14 Fingerprint and Identity a and b are the same person iff they have the same fingerprint. The same fingerprint is a very good indicator that a and b are the same person, but “a and b are the same person” does not mean “they have the same fingerprint”.

15 PIN and Identity a and b are the same person iff they have the same JMBG or the same OIB. (social security number) The same JMBG presupposes the same person. If one person has two JMBG’s or if two persons have the same JMBG, it is simply a mistake. Personal identity is primitive in respect to the JMBG.

16 Memory and Identity a and b are the same person iff they have the same memory. (1) In order to rule out Q-memory, my memory has to be mine. (2) People with complete amnesia remain the same persons. (3) My doppelganger has the same memory as I do but he is not me. Hence, personal identity is primitive in respect to the memory.

17 Memory as Evidence In the cases of body swap, memory is evidence that we dealing with the person a in the body of b. If she knows something that only she can know, it is evidence that she really is a. It can also be evidence that psychic really is in contact with the person a, or it can be evidence that b shared the prison cell with a.

18 Agency and Identity a and b are the same person iff they have the same life plans. However, (1) more than one person can have the same life plans, and (2) life plans of one person can change through life.

19 SOLARIS Stanislav Lem 1961

20 Rea1 and Rea2 (Andrei Tarkovsky 1972)

21 Rea1 and Rea2 (Steven Soderbergh 2002)

22 Rea1 and Rea2 They are the same person because they have the same memory, the same character traits, the same values and plans,... all the visual properties in common (Leibniz’s Law). If anything is continuer of Rea1, Rea2 is the closest continuer. They are not the same person because spatiotemporal continuity between the two is broken, Rea1 is buried for good down on the Earth, she did not resurrect. Also, Rea2 is made of different stuff.

23 Sets A and B are the same set iff they have the same elements. Renata and Cordata have the saem elements but are not the same set. Triangular and Trilateral necessarily have the saem elements but are still not the same set.

24 Nations Oton Iveković: The Croats' Arrival at the Adriatic Sea

25 Nations Are we the same nation? Forefathers (assimilation) Language (Canada, Switzerland,...) Religion (Germans, Americans,...) Territory (Jews, Gipsies, diasporas,...)

26 Nations Therefore, C-making characteristics are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for C, they are rather evidence that there really is nation C.

27 Spatiotemporal Continuity a and b are the same thing iff b is spatiotemporally continuent with a. However, (1) things can be decomposed and composed again, and (2) things can undergo radical transformations and become other things.

28 Spatiotemporal Continuity Spatiotemporal continuity can be seen as socalled operational definition of identity. This liquid is acid means Litmus paper will turn blue if you put it in. There is 220 volts in this wire means If you connect it to the voltmeter, the voltmeter will show 220 volts.

29 Essentialism How to account for the identity through change? Find their essential property and if they have the same essential property than they are the same thing! a and b are the same thing iff they have the same essential property. a and b are the same thing iff they have the same haeccity. a and b are the same thing iff they have the same thisness. a and b are the same thing iff they have the same bare particular. a and b are the same thing iff they have the same supstratum.

30 What follows from the failure? There are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for F. (1) Therefore, there are no F’s. (2) Therefore, there are F’s but they satisfy some weaker condition like family resemblance, stereotype, etc. (3) Therefore, there is some degree of arbitrariness in F’s. (4) Therefore, there are F’s but they are primitive (undefinable).

31 What makes... ? What this thing makes this thing? Nothing! This thing just is this thing! What this thing makes the same as that thing? Nothing! This thing just is that thing!

32 What makes... ? a and b are the same F. (Relative Identity) What makes a an F? Nothing! It just is an F! What makes a and b the same F? Nothing! They just are the same F? What F makes F? We can give a list of F-making characteristics?

33 What makes... ? Ambiguity What makes it the same? What makes you say it is the same? All proposed criteria of identity are in fact answers to the second question, not to the first.

34 Synchronic and Diachronic Identity Criterion of Individuation What makes this thing one and the same thing in the given moment? (Synchronic) Criterion of Identity Through Time What makes this thing one and the same thing through time? (Diachronic) Both questions should have the same answer. Answer to the first should ipso facto be answer to the second.

35 Counting In order to count things, we must have a criterion of individuation: how many houses in town, how many books on the shelf, how many people in the room, how many dogs in the park, etc. (1) What makes one thing one? (not two things or half of one thing) (2) What makes this thing at t2 one and the the same as that thing at t1? (that thing at t1 still exists and it is not some third thing at t2) (3) What makes an F an F? (not an G or an not-F) (1) and (2) are primitive but (3) is not.

36 Synchronic Identity What makes this chair this chair? (1) What makes this chair this chair? (Question about individual essence) (2) What makes this chair a chair? (Question about species essence) (1) is primitive, (2) is not

37 4D The view that diacronic identity is primitive rules out four-dimensionalism. According to 4D, things persist through time by having temporal slices linked by causal relation. So, according to 4D, persistence is not primitive but rather analysable.


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