Dissertation, Princeton University (2003)

Caspar Hare
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In this dissertation I spell out, and make a case for, egocentric presentism, a view about what it is for a thing to be me. I argue that there are benefits associated with adopting this view. ;The chief benefit comes in the sphere of ethics. Many of us, when we think about what to do, feel a particular kind of ambivalence. On the one hand we are moved by an impartial concern for the greater good. We feel the force of considerations of the form: 'all things considered, doing...will make things better overall'. On the other hand we are selfish. We feel the force of considerations of the form 'doing...will make things better for me.' And it appears as if these sorts of considerations often conflict. Often by doing what makes things better for me I do not make things better overall, and vice-versa. But egocentric presentism is capable of resolving this conflict. As an egocentric presentist I can think both that considerations of the greater good always count in favor my doing what's good for me, and that considerations of the greater good always count in favor of other people doing what's good for them. ;Another benefit comes in the sphere of metaphysics. As an egocentric presentist I can make sense of some otherwise perplexing puzzles about personal identity over time, by combining a non-reductionist view about who I will be, with Parfitian reductionism about personal identity over time and a lean physicalist ontology
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ISBN(s) 9780691135311  
DOI 10.1515/9781400830909
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What is Presentism?Daniel Deasy - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):378-397.
Incoherent Abortion Exceptions.M. Scarfone - forthcoming - Journal of Social Philosophy.
B-Theory and Time Biases.Sayid Bnefsi - 2019 - In Patrick Blackburn, Per Hasle & Peter Øhrstrøm (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Time: Further Themes from Prior. Aalborg, Denmark: Aalborg University Press. pp. 41-52.
Inconsistency in the A-Theory.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (2):231 - 247.

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