The view that an account of personal identity can be provided in terms of psychological continuity has come under fire from an interesting new angle in recent years. Critics from a variety of rival positions have argued that it cannot adequately explain what makes psychological states co-personal (i.e. the states of a single person). The suggestion is that there will inevitably be examples of states that it wrongly ascribes using only the causal connections available to it. In this paper, (...) I describe three distinct attacks on the psychological continuity theory along these lines. While I acknowledge that a number of interesting issues arise, I argue that the theory can withstand all three attacks. (shrink)
This paper examines Husserl’s fascination with the issues raised by Hume’s critique of the philosophy of the ego and the continuity of consciousness. The path taken here follows a continental and phenomenological approach. Husserl’s 1905 lecture course on the temporalization of immanent time-consciousness is a phenomenological-eidetic examination of how the continuity of consciousness and the consciousness of continuity are possible. It was by way of Husserl’s reading of Hume’s discussion of “flux” or “flow” that his discourse on (...) temporal phenomena led to the classification of a point-like now as a “fiction” and opened up a horizonal approach to the present that Hume’s introspective analyses presuppose but that escaped the limitations of the language that was available to him. In order to demonstrate the radicality of Husserl’s temporal investigations and his inspiration in the work of Hume, I show how his phenomenological discourse on the living temporal flow of consciousness resolves the latter’s concern about the problem of continuity by re-thinking how, in the absence of an abiding impression of Self, experience is continuous throughout the flux of its running off impressions. (shrink)
The life–mind continuity thesis holds that mind is prefigured in life and that mind belongs to life. The biggest challenge faced by proponents of this thesis is to show how an explanatory framework that accounts for basic biological processes can be systematically extended to incorporate the highest reaches of human cognition. We suggest that this apparent ‘cognitive gap’ between minimal and human forms of life appears insurmountable largely because of the methodological individualism that is prevalent in cognitive science. Accordingly, (...) a twofold strategy is used to show how a consideration of sociality can address both sides of the cognitive gap: (1) it is argued from a systemic perspective that inter-agent interactions can extend the behavioral domain of even the simplest agents and (2) it is argued from a phenomenological perspective that the cognitive attitude characteristic of adult human beings is essentially intersubjectively constituted, in particular with respect to the possibility of perceiving objects as detached from our own immediate concerns. These two complementary considerations of the constitutive role of inter-agent interactions for mind and cognition indicate that sociality is an indispensable element of the life–mind continuity thesis and of cognitive science more generally. (shrink)
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a well-accepted treatment for movement disorders and is currently explored as a treatment option for various neurological and psychiatric disorders. Several case studies suggest that DBS may, in some patients, influence mental states critical to personality to such an extent that it affects an individual’s personal identity, i.e. the experience of psychological continuity, of persisting through time as the same person. Without questioning the usefulness of DBS as a treatment option for various serious and (...) treatment refractory conditions, the potential of disruptions of psychological continuity raises a number of ethical and legal questions. An important question is that of legal responsibility if DBS induced changes in a patient’s personality result in damage caused by undesirable or even deviant behavior. Disruptions in psychological continuity can in some cases also have an effect on an individual’s mental competence. This capacity is necessary in order to obtain informed consent to start, continue or stop treatment, and it is therefore not only important from an ethical point of view but also has legal consequences. Taking the existing literature and the Dutch legal system as a starting point, the present paper discusses the implications of DBS induced disruptions in psychological continuity for a patient’s responsibility for action and competence of decision and raises a number of questions that need further research. (shrink)
This paper explores the relationship between temporal continuity in nursing and temporal features of sickness. It is based on phenomenological and hermeneutical philosophy, empirical studies of sickness time, and the nursing theories of Nightingale, of Benner and of Benner and Wrubel. In the first part, temporal continuity is defined as distinct from interpersonal continuity. Tensions between temporal continuity and discontinuity are discussed in the contexts of care management, of conceptualisations of disease and of time itself. Temporal (...) limitations to the methodological concept of situation are discussed. The main part of this paper explores nurses' possibilities to relate to their patients' time, and how temporal features of sickness may warrant temporal continuity of nursing. Three temporal characteristics of sickness are discussed: the immediacy of patients' suffering, the basic continuity of life through sickness and health care, and the indeterminism and precariousness of sickness. The timing of nursing acts is discussed. The paper explores how sickness is both part of the continuity of life, and threatens this continuity. It concludes that this tension is implicitly recognised in the temporal continuity of nursing, which allows for discontinuous and continuous aspects of sickness time. Nurses accordingly perceive the sick person's time at several levels of temporality, and distinguish highly complex temporal processes in their patients' trajectory. Temporal continuity provides the time, flexibility, and closeness for nurses to perceive and act into time dimensions of individual sickness. The paper shows that temporal continuity of nursing is grounded in temporal characteristics of severe sickness. It suggests that temporal continuity is an important theoretical concept in nursing. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is an axiomatic study of the interrelations between certain continuity properties. We deal with principles which are equivalent to the statements "every mapping is sequentially nondiscontinuous", "every sequentially nondiscontinuous mapping is sequentially continuous", and "every sequentially continuous mapping is continuous". As corollaries, we show that every mapping of a complete separable space is continuous in constructive recursive mathematics (the Kreisel-Lacombe-Schoenfield-Tsejtin theorem) and in intuitionism.
The objective of this paper is to balance two major conceptual tendencies in science policy studies, continuity and discontinuity theory. While the latter argue for fundamental and distinct changes in science policy in the late 20th century, continuity theorists show how changes do occur but not as abrupt and fundamental as discontinuity theorists suggests. As a point of departure, we will elaborate a typology of scientific governance developed by Hagendijk and Irwin ( 2006 ) and apply it to (...) new empirical material. This makes possible a contextualization of the governance of science related to the codification of the “third assignment” of the Swedish higher education law of 1977. The law defined the relation between university science and Swedish citizens as a dissemination project, and did so despite that several earlier initiatives actually went well beyond such a narrow conceptualisation. Our material reveals continuous interactive and rival arrangements linking the state, public authorities, the universities and private industrial enterprises. We show how different but coexisting modes of governance of science existed in Sweden during the 20th century, in clear contrast with the picture promoted by discontinuity theorists. A close study of the historical development suggests that there were several periods of layered governance when interactions and dynamics associated with continuity as well as discontinuity theories were prevalent. In addition, we conclude that the typology of governance applied in the present paper is fruitful for carrying out historical analyses of the kind embarked upon in spite of certain methodological shortcomings. (shrink)
Jeff McMahan's impressive recent defence of the embodied mind theory of personal identity in his highly acclaimed work The Ethics of Killing has undoubtedly reawakened belief that physical continuity is a necessary component of the relation that matters in our self-interested concern for the future. My aim in this paper is to resist this belief in a somewhat roundabout way. I want to address this belief in a somewhat roundabout way by revisiting a classic defence of the belief that (...) enormous changes in the contents of a person's psychology does not preclude justified fear of future pain. I have in mind Bernard Williams' The Self and the Future (1970) in which he argues, against the psychological view, that physical continuity is necessary for survival. I examine Williams' second thought experiment which ostensibly supports that intuition and afterwards defend two related claims. First, I argue that a close examination of the second thought experiment reveals that one's prior commitments to a particular criterion of personal identity can influence one's response to that thought experiment. Second, I argue that Williams' second thought experiment is set out in questionbegging terms. I do not claim, however, that the intuition under consideration lacks justification; I only claim that Williams' second thought experiment does not provide the needed support. (shrink)
A comprehensive and systematic reconstruction of the philosophy of Charles S. Peirce, perhaps America's most far-ranging and original philosopher, which reveals the unity of his complex and influential body of thought. We are still in the early stages of understanding the thought of C. S. Peirce (1839-1914). Although much good work has been done in isolated areas, relatively little considers the Peircean system as a whole. Peirce made it his life's work to construct a scientifically sophisticated and logically rigorous philosophical (...) system, culminating in a realist epistemology and a metaphysical theory ("synechism") that postulates the connectedness of all things in a universal evolutionary process. In The Continuity of Peirce's Thought, Kelly Parker shows how the principle of continuity functions in phenomenology and semeiotics, the two most novel and important of Peirce's philosophical sciences, which mediate between mathematics and metaphysics. Parker argues that Peirce's concept of continuity is the central organizing theme of the entire Peircean philosophical corpus. He explains how Peirce's unique conception of the mathematical continuum shapes the broad sweep of his thought, extending from mathematics to metaphysics and in religion. He thus provides a convenient and useful overview of Peirce's philosophical system, situating it within the history of ideas and mapping interconnections among the diverse areas of Peirce's work. This challenging yet helpful book adopts an innovative approach to achieve the ambitious goal of more fully understanding the interrelationship of all the elements in the entire corpus of Peirce's writings. Given Peirce's importance in fields ranging from philosophy to mathematics to literary and cultural studies, this new book should appeal to all who seek a fuller, unified understanding of the career and overarching contributions of Peirce, one of the key figures in the American philosophical tradition. (shrink)
The continuity thesis of the Poznań school threshold model of the growth of scientific knowledge is considered in the light of the example of Van der Waals' and Boyle-Mariotte's laws. It is argued - using both traditional logical means and the structuralist reconstruction of the example - that the continuity thesis does not hold. A distinction between 'a historical and a systematic point of view' is introduced and it is argued that the continuity thesis of the threshold (...) model presupposes the systematic point of view. However, looking at matters from the systematic point of view need not yield the original theory, looked at from the historical point of view. Applied to the case of Van der Waals/Boyle-Mariotte laws, it turns out that the latter law is not a true idealizing special case of the former, contrary to the continuity thesis. The structuralist analysis of the example indicates that Boyle-Mariotte's law is a false factual law from the historical point of view. However, viewed from the systematic point of view, Boyle-Mariotte's law turns out to be a law which is expandable, adding the relevant new concepts, to an idealized version of Van der Waals' law. This idealizing version of Van der Waal's law in turn is a structuralist specialization of the (general) Van der Waals' law. (shrink)
The strong version of the life-mind continuity thesis claims that mind can be understood as an enriched version of the same functional and organizational properties of life. Contrary to this view, in this paper I argue that mental phenomena offer distinctive properties, such as intentionality or representational content, that have no counterpart in the phenomenon of life, and that must be explained by appealing to a different level of functional and organizational principles. As a strategy, and following Maturana’s autopoietic (...) theory of cognition, I introduce a conceptual distinction between mind and cognition. I argue that cognition corresponds to the natural behaviour that every living being exhibits in the realization of its existence, and that, viewed in that way, cognition is a dynamic process of structural coupling that, unlike mental phenomena, involves no representational contents. On the basis of this distinction, I try to show that while life suffices for cognition, it does not suffice for mind. That is, that the strong continuity is not between life and mind but between life and cognition. (shrink)
Duhem is commonly held to have founded his view of history of science as continuous on the ‘metaphsical assertion’ of natural classification. With the help of a strict distinction between formal and material characterization of natural classification I try to show that this imputation is problematic, if not simply incorrect. My analysis opens alternative perspectives on Duhem's talk of continuity, the ideal form of theories, and the rôle of ‘bon sens’; moreover it emphasizes some aspects of Duhem's realism that (...) play an important part in his philosophy of science. (shrink)
A quantization procedure without Hamiltonian is reported which starts from a statistical ensemble of particles of mass m and an associated continuity equation. The basic variables of this theory are a probability density ρ, and a scalar field S which defines a probability current j=ρ ∇ S/m. A first equation for ρ and S is given by the continuity equation. We further assume that this system may be described by a linear differential equation for a complex-valued state variable (...) χ. Using these assumptions and the simplest possible Ansatz χ(ρ,S), for the relation between χ and ρ,S, Schrödinger’s equation for a particle of mass m in a mechanical potential V(q,t) is deduced. For simplicity the calculations are performed for a single spatial dimension (variable q). Using a second Ansatz χ(ρ,S,q,t), which allows for an explicit q,t-dependence of χ, one obtains a generalized Schrödinger equation with an unusual external influence described by a time-dependent Planck constant. All other modifications of Schrödinger’ equation obtained within this Ansatz may be eliminated by means of a gauge transformation. Thus, this second Ansatz may be considered as a generalized gauging procedure. Finally, making a third Ansatz, which allows for a non-unique external q,t-dependence of χ, one obtains Schrödinger’s equation with electrodynamic potentials A,φ in the familiar gauge coupling form. This derivation shows a deep connection between non-uniqueness, quantum mechanics and the form of the gauge coupling. A possible source of the non-uniqueness is pointed out. (shrink)
In the last decade of his life C.S. Peirce began to formulate a purely geometrical theory of continuity to supersede the collection-theoretic theory he began to elaborate around the middle of the 1890s. I argue that Peirce never succeeded in fully formulating the later theory, and that while that there are powerful motivations to adopt that theory within Peirce’s system, it has little to recommend it from an external perspective.
Abstract: Those who endorse the Psychological Continuity Approach (PCA) to analyzing personal identity need to impose a non-branching constraint to get the intuitively correct result that in the case of fission, one person becomes two. With the help of Brueckner's (2005) discussion, it is shown here that the sort of non-branching clause that allows proponents of PCA to provide sufficient conditions for being the same person actually runs contrary to the very spirit of their theory. The problem is first (...) presented in connection with perdurantist versions of PCA. The difficulty is then shown to apply to endurantist versions as well. -/- . (shrink)
Left-continuous t-norms are much more complicated than the continuous ones, and obtaining a complete classification of them seems to be a very hard task. In this paper we investigate some aspects of left-continuous t-norms, with emphasis on their continuity points. In particular, we are interested in left-continuous t-norms which are isomorphic to t-norms which are continuous in the rationals. We characterize such a class, and we prove that it contains the class of all weakly cancellative left-continuous t-norms.
Living things are autonomous agents distinguished from nonliving things in having the purpose to actively maintain their existence. All living things, including single-celled organisms, have certain degrees of freedom from physical causality to choose their actions with intentions to fulfill their purpose. This circumstance is analogous to that of human intention-actions guided by mind, and points to the ubiquitous presence of the dimension of mind in the living world. The primordial form of mind in single-celled organisms eventually evolved into the (...) human mind by virtue of the adaptive value of mind for survival. Life seems to have originated from nonliving matter in processes that are continuous. Thus the dimension of mind must extend to the nonliving world, and the origin of mind should be taken to relate to the origin of matter. Inasmuch as matter exists in a hierarchy of levels of complexity extending from quarks up to the whole universe, mind must also be presumed to exist in a hierarchy of levels of complexity associated with matter. (shrink)
The anti-Specker property, a constructive version of sequential compactness, is used to prove constructively that a pointwise continuous, order-dense preference relation on a compact metric space is uniformly sequentially continuous. It is then shown that Ishihara's principle BD-ℕ implies that a uniformly sequentially continuous, order-dense preference relation on a separable metric space is uniformly continuous. Converses of these two theorems are also proved.
This paper explicates and defends a social-naturalist conception of internationality and intentions, where internationality of scientific expressions is fundamental. Meanings of expressions are a function of their place in language-systems and of the relations of systems to object-level evidence and associated community activities-including deliberation and experiment. Naturalizing internationality requires social-intellectual reconstruction exemplified by the scientific community at its best. This approach emphasizes normative elements of pragmatic conceptions of meaning and their function in orientation. It requires social conditions and intellectual practices (...) making knowledge of intentions possible. Scientific ends, methods, and meanings, together, constitute culturally evolved instruments of adaptation to, and reconstruction of, physical and cultural environments. -/- . (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is an axiomatic study of the interrelations between certain continuity properties. We show that every mapping is sequentially continuous if and only if it is sequentially nondiscontinuous and strongly extensional, and that "every mapping is strongly extensional", "every sequentially nondiscontinuous mapping is sequentially continuous", and a weak version of Markov's principle are equivalent. Also, assuming a consequence of Church's thesis, we prove a version of the Kreisel-Lacombe-Shoenfield-Tsĕitin theorem.
Structural realists of nearly all stripes endorse the structural continuity claim. Roughly speaking, this is the claim that the structure of successful scientific theories survives theory change because it has latched on to the structure of the world. In this paper I elaborate, elucidate and modify the structural continuity claim and its associated argument. I do so without presupposing a particular conception of structure that favours this or that kind of structural realism. Instead I focus on how structural (...) realists can best account for the neutrally formulated historical facts. The result, I hope, crystallises some of the shared commitments, desiderata and limits of structural realists. (shrink)
John Locke’s account of personal identity is usually thought to have been proved false by Thomas Reid’s simple ‘Gallant Officer’ argument. Locke is traditionally interpreted as holding that your having memories of a past person’s thoughts or actions is necessary and sufficient for your being identical to that person. This paper argues that the traditional memory interpretation of Locke’s account is mistaken and defends a memory continuity view according to which a sequence of overlapping memories is necessary and sufficient (...) for personal identity. On this view Locke is not vulnerable to the Gallant Officer argument. (shrink)
Naturalistic philosophers ought to think that the mind is continuous with the rest of the world and should not, therefore, be surprised by the findings of the extended mind, cognitive integration and enactivism. Not everyone is convinced that all mental phenomena are continuous with the rest of the world. For example, intentionality is often formulated in a way that makes the mind discontinuous with the rest of the world. This is a consequence of Brentano’s formulation of intentionality, I suggest, and (...) can be overcome by revealing that the concept of intentional directedness as he receives it from the Scholastics is quite consistent with the continuity thesis. It is only when intentional directedness is conjoined with intentional inexistence that intentionality and content are consistent with a discontinuity thesis (such as Brentano’s thesis). This makes room to develop an account of intentional directedness that is consistent with the continuity thesis in the form of Peirce’s representational principle. I also argue against a form of the discontinuity thesis in the guise of the derived/underived content distinction. Having shown that intentionality is consistent with the continuity thesis I argue that we should focus on intentionality and representation as bodily enacted. I conclude that we would be better off focussing on representation and intentionality in action rather than giving abstract functional accounts of extended cognition. (shrink)