Dictionary of Arguments

Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute

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The author or concept searched is found in the following 1 entries.
Disputed term/author/ism Author
Person Williams Nozick II 29f
Self/Person/Self-identity/Identity/B. Williams: e.g. two stories together that put us to a mystery: 1st case: one person enters a new body, actually two people exchange their bodies - A-body-person: (now connected with the A-body): has all the memories, knowledge, values, behaviors, etc. of the (earlier, complete) person B - if A could choose which pain should be inflicted after the change, he would choose the A-body for it - because he assumes that he lives in B.
2nd case: someone tells them to endure pain. after that, you will learn that you will undergo a change in your psychological condition - so that you will possess the character of someone else - which frightens you, you don't want to lose your identity and then endure pain. Question: Why did the A-person not have the same fears in the first case? Why is case 1: Transfer of a person to another body - and case 2: something that happens to a permanent person? Why does memory play a role in case 1?
II 31
Difference 1/2: in 2, B does not acquire the memories of A.
Nozick II 29f
Identity/Person/Self/B. Williams: e.g. Symmetric case: Outside view: two people swap bodies, A is now in the B-body and decides that B (now in his old A-body) pain should be inflicted instead of him in the new body - inside view (symmetric): You are supposed to get pain inflicted which frightens you, before you should get another character which frightens you even more - you choose the pain for yourself to ward off the loss of the person - other decision, symmetric case - problem: nothing outside influences A's task and acquisition of a new psyche - question: how can then two tasks and acquisitions lead to an exchange of bodies? Williams: Thesis: physical identity is a necessary condition for personal identity.
II 31
Problem: what happens elsewhere can have no effect on whether A continues to live in the A-body. Williams: Thesis: Physical identity is a necessary condition of personal identity.
Nozick II 32
Identity/Person/Self/B. Williams: Principle 1: Identity of something cannot depend on whether there is another thing of any kind. Principle 2: if it is possible that there is another thing that prevents identity, then there is no identity, even if this other thing did not exist.
NozickVsWilliams: both principles are wrong - e. g. Wiener Kreis dissolves - several successor groups emerge - then the identity depends on something that happens elsewhere ((s) whether there are several groups). > "closest continuer.
Nozick II 33
Identity/time/next successor/NozikVsWilliams: but dependence on the existence of other things: whether a group can call itself a Viennese circle depends on whether there are other groups in exile - if two things are equally close to the original, there is no next successor nN. Identity in time: necessary condition: to be next successor.
II 35
If God provided causally for identity in time, he would also have to decide how the factors should be weighted (ship of Theseus).
II 40
It may be that the next successor is not close enough.
II 41
Randomly created copy is not a next successor (because of missing causality) - we could have the second one without the first one.
II 45
Identity in time/problem: overlapping.

WilliamsB I
Bernard Williams
Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy London 2011

WilliamsM I
Michael Williams
Problems of Knowledge: A Critical Introduction to Epistemology Oxford 2001

WilliamsM II
Michael Williams
"Do We (Epistemologists) Need A Theory of Truth?", Philosophical Topics, 14 (1986) pp. 223-42
Theories of Truth, Paul Horwich Aldershot 1994

No I
R. Nozick
Philosophical Explanations Oxford 1981

R., Nozick
The Nature of Rationality 1994

The author or concept searched is found in the following 2 controversies.
Disputed term/author/ism Author Vs Author
Tradition Nozick Vs Tradition II 113
Properties/Tradition/Nozick: philosophers tend to regard properties as something eternal and immutable. NozickVsTradition: it is natural to regard properties as something that amerges:
E.g. did the property of being president of the United States exist before Washington became the first president? Certainly: the position was provided by the Constitution before the election. But I would not be able to say when exactly the property came about.
((s) E.g. "The thickest Neanderthal man has the property of being president of the United States": this sentence can be formed and then it can be found out that it is false. This would not be possible if the property had not yet formed.)
E.g. the property of being a human being: from fertilization?
E.g. the property of being me: does it not change in the course of life with the acquisition of experience?
I/Property/Nozick: here the question whether is we want to apply the scheme of nN: e.g. being the nN of the bearer of this exact reflexive self-referring acts may walk on too winding a path. ((s) >Castaneda, "volatile egos") I could simply assume a permanent, underlying self.
Nozick: this amounts to the question of whether I prefer to assume less intrinsic unity or fewer boundaries.

II 264
Def Reliability Theories/Reliability/Knowledge/Document/Talbott/Hanson/Nozick: Question: is the method by which the subject comes to a belief reliable? (FN 94). Nozick: Problem: how do you determine this statistical fact about the method used or find the reference class.
Reference Class Problem/Nozick: the reference class of beliefs cannot consist in the beliefs acquired so far, because it may have been a coincidence that the method was reliable. Like the class of all possible acquisitions of beliefs, because the method is not influenced by
II 265
the possibility that it fails in situations that never occur! It is about possible situations in the actual world. How do you represent it? Def Strong Reliability/Nozick: should provide knowledge rather than belief. Would be worth investigating.
Reliability Theory/Nozick: externalizes justification. (Just as we have already externalized knowledge and evidence (VsTradition).
Reliability/Nozick: should be right in more than 50% of cases.
It would also be possible that a method delivers less than 50% correct answers, but more correct ones than any other method (see above >closest continuer).
In addition, a method may be suitable (reliable) to acquire very specific (narrow) beliefs.
E.g. I know from experience that every piece of news in the paper contains errors, but still I believe every statement and its conjunction. I do not know what the mistakes are!
II 266
Reliability/Nozick: is a relation between belief (by method) and truth. Direction: from belief to truth.
Vice versa:
Conditions/Connection: (tracking) (3), (4) (see above): from truth to belief. Difference (like between error type I and II):
a) the probability that a particular method leads to the belief that p is false. This relates to the adequacy of the method. (Real connection?).
b) the probability that p is false, given this particular method has convinced you that p is false. That is the question of reliability. (sic). (Symmetry/Asymmetry).

Evidence/Knowledge/Justification/Nozick: what are the relationships? Can we know without evidence? We can believe without having made any conclusions.
A counterfactual conditional or conditional may apply without us understanding the mechanisms.
Knowledge: but if a person knows something, then there is a fact available for him that p.
II 267
Knowledge/NozickVsTradition: believing something is true without (perhaps weak) evidence does not imply knowledge, but it is evidence of knowledge. JTB: justified true belief is not sufficient for knowledge. Nevertheless, it seems to be evidence of knowledge.
Connection: to facts: involves a kind of universality.
It seems plausible that in the case of knowledge there is a reliable submethod.
II 268
Belief: in evidence: is this a reliable method for justified belief? ((s) that's not a method, at most it is circular.)
Nozick: the question is whether it is the most reliable one.

II 291
Free Will/Nozick: Tradition/Nozick: often presents the problem as one of punishment and responsibility. How can we punish someone if the action was causally determined?
NozickVsTradition: my interest is not how we can legitimately punish others, or can consider ourselves responsible.
Without free will we seem reduced, our value and our human dignity seems to be cut short.
II 292
Determinism/Nozick: if our actions, as opposed to determinism were purely coincidental, our human dignity would be equally questioned. Indeterminism: hence the opponent of determinism needs a positive concept of free acts.
Free Will/Nozick: a free action is then an undetermined act with a little extra. What is this little extra? This should in turn be compatible with determinism and also with the notions of human value. In this case this little extra would be the whole access to free will.
Procedure: the division must look like this:
a) causal determinedness and coincidence on the one hand,
b) assessable actions and agents on the other.
Free Will/Nozick: different approaches are possible, for example, there is an analogy to our study of knowledge (see above). We want our beliefs to relate to the facts (co-vary with them). Could the causation of actions not be related in the same way with the facts?

No I
R. Nozick
Philosophical Explanations Oxford 1981

R., Nozick
The Nature of Rationality 1994
Williams, B. Nozick Vs Williams, B. II 29
Self/Person/Self-Identity/Identity/B.Williams: E.g. two stories that put together present us with a mystery: Case 1: a person enters a new body, or rather two persons exchange their bodies. Two persons, A and B enter a machine
A body person: (now connected to the body A): has all the memories, all the knowledge, values, behaviors, etc. of the (former, complete) person B. In the body A is now the "vector product" of this B material with the physical boundaries of body A.
Similarly, all the other way round for B. The situation is symmetrical.
II 29/30
If A were to decide (after substitutions) now, which severe pain should be inflicted by the two bodies, then A would select the A body for it! Because he believes that he himself inhabits the B body. Case 2: Imagine someone tells them that they are to endure terrible pain. That frightens them. Next, they get the information that they will undergo an enormous change in their psychological constitution, perhaps to the extent that they will have exactly the same character, the memories and behaviors of someone else, who is currently alive. That will scare them even more. They do not want to lose their identity and suffer pain afterwards.
Williams: question: why had person A not exactly the same concerns when she heard the first story, as in Case 2?
What makes the first story a story about the transfer of a person to a different body and not a story about something that happens to a person who remains who they are?
How can the difference consist in that in the first case, in addition to what happens to body A,
II 31
also A's memories and mind end or are newly created in body B? Problem: what happens anywhere else can have no effect on whether A continues to live in body A.
If this happens to a body, it is a psychological task and the acquisition of a new psyche.
Question: how can two tasks and the acquisition of new memories and values ​​result in the exchange of two bodies?
                 Body A / B Body
1) Situation acquires memories + character of B/acquires memories + character of A

2) Situation acquires memories + character of B/keeps memories + character or perhaps entirely new

Two principles should explain this:
Principle 1/Williams: If x at t1 is the same individual as y after t2, then this can only depend on facts about x, y and the relations between them. No facts about any other existing thing are relevant. That entails:
Principle 2/Williams: if y at t2 (is part of the same continuous particular like) x at t1, by virtue of a relation R to x at t1, then there could be another additional thing z at t2 that also (together with y) stands in R to x at t1. If this additional thing z at t2 exists, then neither z nor y would be identical to x.
If this z could potentially exist now, although it does currently not exist, then y at t2 is not identical with y at t1, at least not by virtue of relation R!
((s) If there is a relation R that allows identity at a later time, then several things can "benefit" from that and then the identity (which must be unique) would be destroyed. This is true even if the existence of a second thing is merely possible.)
II 32
Self/Identity/Person/Williams: Williams had formulated these two principles in three earlier publications to support his thesis: Physical identity is a necessary condition of personal identity.
Otherwise it would be possible to imagine that e.g. a person enters a machine, disappears and appears again in another machine at a distance without having crossed the space between them. Or:
E.g. There could be a third machine on the other side from which an also (qualitatively) different identical being emerges. Neither would be the original person who had entered the machine in the middle.
Now, if in this case of double materialization the original person is not identical with either of the two later persons, so not even in the first case, where only one person appears in a different place.
Williams: the mere possibility that someone appears intermittently in another place is sufficient to show that he himself cannot be the same person without doubling.
1) Principle: Identity of something cannot depend on whether there is another thing of some sort.
2) Principle: if it is possible that there was another thing that prevented identity, then there is no identity, even if this other thing did not exist!
((s) The first follows from the second here).
NozickVsWilliams: both principles are wrong.
1) (without personal identity): E.g. the Vienna Circle was expelled from Vienna by the Nazis, one member, Reichenbach, came to Istanbul. Suppose there were 20 members of the circle, three of which went to Istanbul and continued to meet. In 1943, they hear that the others are dead. Now they are the Vienna Circle which meets in Istanbul.
((s) ArmstrongVs/ChisholmVs: a local property is not a property.)
In 1945, they learn that 9 other members continued to meet in America and further developed the same philosophical program.
Nozick: then the group in America is the Vienna Circle, the one in Istanbul is just the offshoot.
Nozick: how is that possible? Either the group in Istanbul is the Vienna Circle or it is not. How can this be influenced by something that takes place elsewhere?
((s) Because subsets play a role here, which do not play a role, e.g. in personal identity. Analogue would have been to assume that some of the psychological characteristics are kept during the body changes).
II 33
Nozick: E.g. would it not be clear that if the 9 others had survived living underground in Vienna, this would show that the Istanbul group is not the Vienna Circle? So the First Principle (Williams) cannot be applied here: it is not plausible to say that if the group of three in Istanbul is the same entity as the original Vienna Circle, that this can only depend on relations between the two ...
Nozick: ...and not on whether anything else exists.
Def "Next Successor"/Closest Continuer/Nozick: Solution: The Istanbul group is the next successor. Namely so if no other group exists. But if the group in America exists, it is the next successor. Which one constitutes the Vienna Circle depends (unlike Williams) on the existence of other things.
Being something later means being the next successor. ((s) and being able to be called later then depends on the amount of shared properties). E.g. How many other groups of the Vienna Circle are there in exile? ("Scheme").
Identity in Time:/Nozick: it is no problem for something to replace its parts and to keep the identity.
E.g. Ship of Theseus/Nozick: 2nd ship made of collection of discarded parts from the old ship: two originals? (Was already known in this form in antiquity).
Next Successor: helps to structure the problem, but not solve it. Because the scheme does not say of itself, which dimension of weighted sum of dimensions determine the proximity. Two possibilities: a) spatio-temporal continuity b) continuity of the parts. If both are weighted equally, there is a stalemate.
II 34
Neither of them is the next successor. And therefore none is the original. But even if one originally existed without the other, it would be the original as next successor.
Perhaps the situation is not a stalemate, but an unclear weighting, the concepts may not be sharp enough to rank all possible combinations.
Personal Identity/Nozick: this is different, especially when it comes to ourselves: here we are not ready, that it is a question of decision of the stipulation.
Ship of Theseus/NozickVsWilliams: external facts about external things do matter: when we first hear the story, we are not in doubt, only once the variant with the second, reconstructed ship comes into play.
Next Successor/Nozick: necessary condition for identity: something at t2 is not the same entity as x at t1 if it is not x's next successor.
If two things are equally close, none of them is the next successor.
Something can be the next successor of x without being close enough to x to be x itself!
If the view of the next successor is correct, then our judgments about identity reflect weights of dimensions.
Form of thought: reversal: we can conversely use these judgments to discover these dimensions.
II 35
A property may be a factor for identity without being a necessary condition for it. Physical identity can also be an important factor. If something is the next successor, it does not mean that his properties are qualitatively the same as those of x, or are similar to them! Rather, they arise from the properties of x. They are definitely causally caused!
Spatio-Temporal Continuity/Nozick: cannot be explained merely as a film without gaps. Counter-example: The replacement with another thing would not destroy the continuity of the film!
Causal Relation/Next Successor: the causal relation does not need to involve temporal continuity! E.g. every single thing only possessed a flickering existence (like messages through the telephone). If this applies to all things, it is the best kind of continuity.
NozickVsWilliams: but if you find that some things are not subject to the flickering of their existence, then you will no longer talk of other things as the best realizations of continuously existing things. Dependency of identity on other things!
Theology/God/Identity/Nozick: Problem: if the causal component is required, and suppose God keeps everything in continuous existence, closing all causal connections in the process: how does God then distinguish the preservation of an old thing in continuity from the production of a new, qualitatively identical thing without interrupting a "movie"?
II 36
Temporal Continuity/NozickVsWilliams: how much temporal continuity is necessary for a continuous object depends on how closely things are continuously related elsewhere. Psychology/Continuity/Identity/Nozick: experiments with objects which emerge (again) more or less changed after a time behind a screen.
R. Nozick
I Stefansen: Nozick "Der Minimalstaat" aus Hügli (Hrsg) Philosophie im 20. Jahrhundert, Reinbek 1993

II Nozick Philosophical explanations Oxford 1981