Conditions of Identity: A Study in Identity and Survival by Andrew Brennan

By Andrew Brennan

Addressing many issues in epistemology and metaphysics, this treatise units out a brand new concept of the cohesion of gadgets, and discusses own id, the metaphysics of attainable worlds, the continuity in house time, and the character of philosophical theorizing.

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Extra info for Conditions of Identity: A Study in Identity and Survival

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In the Hollywood sense, two sequences in a film show continuity provided a number of conditions are met. These include similarity of clothing and make-up worn by those on screen, similarity oflighting conditions (so that a sequence in which a car stops in broad daylight is not followed by one in which the occupants get out in pitch darkness) and so on. Observance of strict continuity standards is essential to fooling the audience. For it ensures that the audience views sequences that have been shot separately and often non-consecutively as if they form one unbroken stretch of action.

But then there must be an instantaneous change in the tree from the' volume it occupied when the branch was attached to the volume it occupies once the branch has gone. In other words, the continuity of the tree is compatible with a real discontinuity in its volume from one moment to the next. Hirsch suggests one way we could try to patch things up here. Maybe the notion of continuity we want is one like this. Take any two successive volumes occupied by an object. 7 Thus, we cannot instantaneously deprive a tree of branches accounting for more than half its volume, on this view, without thereby destroying the tree.

Suppose, for example, we think in terms of hour-long stages. It would be wholly baffling if from one hour to the next the desk gained or lost legs in a random way; if scratches present at ten in the morning had disappeared by lunch-time, but reappeared by tea-time; if the large drawer on the left had changed places with the small drawer on the right an hour after we had checked their position, and so on. Of course, we could tell a story to make sense of all these happenings. For example, maybe someone takes great care to make scratches on the desk every morning, notes their position, polishes them out, and then makes them again in the afternoon.

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