OU blog

Personal Blogs

Michael Gumbrell

Mind- blown

Visible to anyone in the world

So I have completed week 1's work, the study planner for week 1 is done.

Happy days, I think!

So I have looked at the ship of Theseus and john Locke's ideas about personal identity.

So Locke separate's the self, from the physical existence of a 'me', thats not relevant, to the idea that I am my self.

It is the continuity of memory and the persistence of self-consciousness that make me a self.

Okay I can get with that, no problem, week one done. Feel smug, happy its done, I can do this, no worries.


I clicked the link to an article from the additional reading list:

Mind blown------ they were words, but I could not follow them,

temporal identity, empirical duality of purpose, four dimension definition of spatial existence.

There are even formula's !!!!

if a is to b as x is to y, across a continuum of t1 to t2, then t1a is the same as t2b if X(t1a) is spatially separate to Y(t2b).


This years blog posts might turn into a whinging set of 'I do not understand' entries.

Or I might get an handle on it all, after all my self now (OMFG1) might be temporally identical to my self in 9 months time (OMFG2). So (OMFG1)=(OMFG2) if I add the empirical factor of time (t). OMFG1 x (t) = (omfg2) / T.

This might be a very long nine months......


Permalink Add your comment
Share post


Me in a rare cheerful mood

New comment

The logic aspect of philosophy - dogs have four legs, Fido is a dog, therefore Fido has four legs ✔ - dogs have four legs, my kitchen table has four legs, therefore my kitchen table is a dog ✘ - did not come up too much again in A222.  They don't wade into the depths of philosophical logic, thankfully.  It is just something to be aware of when making arguments.

Some of those texts in the huge text book, especially those that are centuries old, are a right slog.  But remember you don't need to learn them, merely get the gist of the argument they are making.  Once you've worked out it says "A watch is complicated, a watch is made by someone, the world is complicated, therefore the world was made by someone", you've cracked it.  You can say it does not stand up: Fido is a dog, Fido has four legs, the table has four legs, so the table is a dog (see the logic above).  You just need to remember it was Hume (I think) who said it.

Then remember what the other philosophers said on the same subject so you can make an essay "Argiebargie said this, but Brollybonce countered with that, although Collywobble proposed other, yet Duncebrain challenged with stuff, reached wordcount, Duncebrain wins."

If you are not offered ideas on essay structure by your tutor, do ask others.  I attended a number of different tutors' tutorials.  My own were a total waste of time, really.  Nice bloke; useless tutor.  Two I attended in Scotland were absolutely brilliant with loads of handouts.  Even including the arguments back and forth on various subjects.  Do not be shy to attend online tutorials and see what you can scrounge from the other tutors.

Me in a rare cheerful mood

New comment

This might help: there are no answers in philosophy, only arguments.


1.  When philosophy works out an answer through logic or the research of others, it stops being philosophy and becomes a fact.

2. Philosophy spawns of fields of research: alchemy, astrology, algebra and so on which become sciences or research fields: chemistry, astronomy, physics, mathematics, engineering etc.   Those fields then take ownership of the questions which can be answered by research: "What is light?"  "What is matter made from?"  "WTF is that?"

3. While a field of science is doing its research (some of which take decades, some take millennia) it leaves the philosophers kicking their heels an going over old ground in new ways, mostly by inventing silly arguments by inventing artificial constraints.  Such as "If a liar could only tell lies, what would they say to XYZ?  Ha!  Clever, aren't I?"  No, it's not a paradox, no such type of liar exists.  You may as well say "Imagine there's no black.  What does black look like?"  That's just people with not enough work to do.  "If a tree falls down in the forest and there's nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound?" Of course it does, you dick-head, get a proper job!

Philosophy only retains those questions which cannot yet be explored by research.  "Where do we come from?" became "Where does life come from?" became "How did the Earth come about?" became "But where did the Universe come from?" became "How did the Big Bang come to happen?"

Hence there are no facts, merely conjecture, opinions and value judgements.  That means there's an awful lot of dodgy stuff in there which does not 'feel' right.  But they've bunged some of that nonsense controversial stuff into A222 to give you something about which you can construct your arguments.

Sadly, it also means they've left out the really good counterarguments because they are showstoppers which close down the argument.  I got frustrated with that because I did not understand we were being taught how to argue in the form of a philosophical debate, not being taught philosophy.

Having got that off my chest I don't know whether to post it.

Michael Gumbrell

New comment

Hi Simon

Thanks for that well constructed input.

That all seems reasonable.

Glad to see your still registered with the OU.