The Same

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Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 07:18 pm
The concept of the same is one of the central philosophical concepts with truth, knowledge, and good. What is central is how something can remain the same thing though change (persistence through change). The person is the same person although he is a baby, and adult, and an old person. The beginning of wisdom here is to take note of Wittgenstein's advice not to confuse the concept of the same with the concept of identity. How does something remain self-identical, although, at the same time, it changes?
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 07:53 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170606 wrote:
The beginning of wisdom here is to take note of Wittgenstein's advice not to confuse the concept of the same with the concept of identity.

Have you got a reference?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 08:09 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170606 wrote:
The concept of the same is one of the central philosophical concepts with truth, knowledge, and good. What is central is how something can remain the same thing though change (persistence through change). The person is the same person although he is a baby, and adult, and an old person. The beginning of wisdom here is to take note of Wittgenstein's advice not to confuse the concept of the same with the concept of identity. How does something remain self-identical, although, at the same time, it changes?



Thanks, K. This is a great thing to investigate.

I'm saying abstraction, concept, universals. Call them what you will. I'm leaning a little toward Plato these days. I say that sensation cannot offer us sameness. In the world of sensation, I think that there are no two identical things. I suggest that identity is itself another such intuition or Kantian-Platonic form.
 
Soul Brother
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 09:00 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170606 wrote:
The concept of the same is one of the central philosophical concepts with truth, knowledge, and good. What is central is how something can remain the same thing though change (persistence through change). The person is the same person although he is a baby, and adult, and an old person. The beginning of wisdom here is to take note of Wittgenstein's advice not to confuse the concept of the same with the concept of identity. How does something remain self-identical, although, at the same time, it changes?


I would say that after such drastic change the only things that remain Identical (physically) are things such as genes and DNA which are the baseline for the someone's being. Your brain under goes radical change but some of it remains as it were, the information that makes up past memories.

It is like a car that can have such extreme modifications that at the end it is completely unrecognizable yet you still remain with the same baseline of which you started, the vehicle identification number, which you could say is to a car what DNA is to a person as is a trait unique to that specific individual and is what remains unchanged throughout the life regardless of change experienced.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 09:47 pm
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;170619 wrote:
Have you got a reference?


It is in the Investigations. I forget where. I suppose I could find it.

---------- Post added 05-29-2010 at 11:53 PM ----------

The Aristotelian theory of identity is to make the distinction between essential and accidental properties, and hold that X remains the identical X when, and only when the essential properties of X do not change, although the accidental properties can change. Of course, that raises the question of the distinction between essential and accidental properties: indeed two questions. First, is there such a distinction? Second, how is the distinction to be made?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 10:21 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170658 wrote:
It is in the Investigations. I forget where. I suppose I could find it.

---------- Post added 05-29-2010 at 11:53 PM ----------

The Aristotelian theory of identity is to make the distinction between essential and accidental properties, and hold that X remains the identical X when, and only when the essential properties of X do not change, although the accidental properties can change. Of course, that raises the question of the distinction between essential and accidental properties: indeed two questions. First, is there such a distinction? Second, how is the distinction to be made?



Now this is good stuff. Yes, essence and accident. This is crucial. Let's here your thoughts. I've already written mine in Abstractions.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 10:27 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;170671 wrote:
Now this is good stuff. Yes, essence and accident. This is crucial. Let's here your thoughts. I've already written mine in Abstractions.


Thoughts about what? Words by themselves seem to trigger you off. The issue, as I have already said, is how to draw the distinction between accidental and essential properties. And that question supposes that there is a real distinction in the first place.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 10:31 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170673 wrote:
Thoughts about what? Words by themselves seem to trigger you off. The issue, as I have already said, is how to draw the distinction between accidental and essential properties. And that question supposes that there is a real distinction in the first place.


Hey, man. I've tried to have some friendly conversation with you. I get bored of all this needless friction. Friendly conversation is the way to do philosophy. Not all this "words by themselves, blah blah." If we are going to generalize about one another, I think you've only got one eye open lately. :poke-eye:
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 10:36 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;170675 wrote:
Hey, man. I've tried to have some friendly conversation with you. I get bored of all this needless friction. Friendly conversation is the way to do philosophy. Not all this "words by themselves, blah blah." So have fun with yourself for awhile.


But the conversation has to be about something, and not consist in just random thoughts about some supposedly philosophical topic. Have you any idea how to draw the distinction (if there is one) between essential and accidental properties? How about presenting it?
 
Soul Brother
 
Reply Sun 30 May, 2010 02:25 am
@kennethamy,
I think we are beginning to fall of track. Are we really making any confusion between the two concepts as to introduce such obfuscating questions?

Back to the original proposition, you say that what is central is how something can remain the same thing though change, but I think you need to clarify what you mean by same, how are we to justify a differentiation of something that remains same with that of something that is no longer the same?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 30 May, 2010 02:51 am
@Soul Brother,
Soul Brother;170726 wrote:

Back to the original proposition, you say that what is central is how something can remain the same thing though change, but I think you need to clarify what you mean by same, how are we to justify a differentiation of something that remains same with that of something that is no longer the same?


Right, how does the concept "same" remain the same?
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Sun 30 May, 2010 05:32 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170658 wrote:
It is in the Investigations. I forget where. I suppose I could find it.

That's OK, I've got a copy in one of these dusty piles, and I'll dig it up and have a leaf through it.

---------- Post added 05-30-2010 at 02:16 PM ----------

kennethamy;170606 wrote:
The beginning of wisdom here is to take note of Wittgenstein's advice not to confuse the concept of the same with the concept of identity.

Philosophical Investigations, Part I, remarks 253-255:
Quote:
253. "Another person can't have my pains." - Which are my pains? What counts as a criterion of identity here? Consider what makes it possible in the case of physical objects to speak of "two exactly the same", for example, to say "This chair is not the one you saw here yesterday, but is exactly the same as it".
In so far as it makes sense to say that my pain is the same as his, it is also possible for us both to have the same pain. (And it would also be imaginable for two people to feel pain in the same - not just the corresponding - place. That might be the case with Siamese twins, for instance.)
I have seen a person in a discussion on this subject strike himself on the breast and say: "But surely another person can't have THIS pain!" - The answer to this is that one does not define a criterion of identity by emphatic stressing of the word "this". Rather, what the emphasis does is to suggest the case in which we are conversant with such a criterion of identity, but have to be reminded of it.

254. The substitution of "identical" for "the same" (for instance) is another typical expedient in philosophy. As if we were talking about shades of meaning and all that were in question were to find words to hit on the correct nuance. That is in question in philosophy only where we have to give a psychologically exact account of the temptation to use a particular kind of expression. What we 'are tempted to say' in such a case is, of course, not philosophy; but it is raw material. Thus, for example, what a mathematician is inclined to say about the objectivity and reality of mathematical facts is, not philosophy of mathematics, but something for philosophical treatment.

255. The philosopher's treatment of a question is like the treatment of an illness.
(I've corrected what appears to be a minor typographical error in the placing of a comma in the last sentence of remark 254.)

Pause for thought. Best not to mix up my comments with the original, anyway.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Sun 30 May, 2010 07:59 am
@kennethamy,
Alongside the quotation from Wittgenstein, it might be worth setting an extract from section 63 of Frege's The Foundations of Arithmetic, not to resolve the present perplexity, but to add to it:
Quote:
It is not only among numbers that the relationship of identity is to be found. From which it seems to follow that we ought not to define it specially for the case of numbers. We should expect the concept of identity to have been fixed first, and that then, from it together with the concept of Number, it must be possible to deduce when Numbers are identical with one another, without there being need for this purpose of a special definition of numerical identity as well.
As against this, it must be noted that for us the concept of Number has not yet been fixed, but is only due to be determined in the light of our definition of numerical identity. Our aim is to construct the content of a judgement which can be taken as an identity such that each side of it is a number. We are therefore proposing not to define identity specially for this case, but to use the concept of identity, taken as already known, as a means for arriving at that which is to be regarded as identical. Admittedly, this seems to be a very odd kind of definition, to which logicians have not yet paid enough attention; but that it is not altogether unheard of, may be shown by a few examples.
As his main other example of the same kind of definition, he gives the definition that two lines have the same direction if and only if they are parallel. In section 68, he attempts to use this idea to define the direction of a line a as the extension of the concept "line parallel to line a", and similarly to define the number belonging to a concept F as the extension of the concept "equal to [i.e. in one-to-one correspondence with] the concept F".

However, is it notorious that Frege's programme foundered on Russell's paradox; and although it's not clear (at least, not clear to me right at this moment) that Russell's paradox depends in any essential way on the belief that every concept has an extension (I think it can be expressed in terms of concepts themselves), Frege himself seemed to think that this was the worm in his apple, and he should know! But there seems to me to be a more immediate difficulty in the notion of the extension of a concept. I wrote in the margin of my copy of Frege (on 29 Oct 1986):
Quote:
There may be a difficulty here. If A and B are concepts [I used the Greek letters alpha and beta, but never mind] (say, A is the concept "parallel to line a" and B is "parallel to line b"), then I know what is meant by the sentence, "the extension of A is the same as the extension of B". But does it follow that I know what is meant by the phrase, "the extension of A"? Obviously I can't get out of the difficulty by defining the extension of A to mean the extension of the concept "having the same extension as A"!
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 30 May, 2010 08:42 am
@Soul Brother,
Soul Brother;170726 wrote:
I think we are beginning to fall of track. Are we really making any confusion between the two concepts as to introduce such obfuscating questions?

Back to the original proposition, you say that what is central is how something can remain the same thing though change, but I think you need to clarify what you mean by same, how are we to justify a differentiation of something that remains same with that of something that is no longer the same?


One way of making the distinction is to take Wittgenstein's advice and not confuse the same with the identical. Another way is to distinguish between two meanings of the word "same". Between qualitatively the same on the one hand, and quantitatively the same (or numerically the same, or "one and the same") on the other hand. For instance, if I say that I am reading the same book that you are reading, I may be saying that I am reading a different copy of the book you are reading, or I may be saying that you and I are sharing one and the same copy. We have but one copy of the book between us. The first is qualitatively the same, the second is quantitatively the same.

You are quantitatively the same person you were when you were a baby, but you are not qualitatively the same person. So, you are the same in one sense, and not the same in a different sense. Problem solved: as so often, by distinguishing two meanings of the same word.
 
Soul Brother
 
Reply Sun 30 May, 2010 11:08 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170822 wrote:
One way of making the distinction is to take Wittgenstein's advice and not confuse the same with the identical. Another way is to distinguish between two meanings of the word "same". Between qualitatively the same on the one hand, and quantitatively the same (or numerically the same, or "one and the same") on the other hand. For instance, if I say that I am reading the same book that you are reading, I may be saying that I am reading a different copy of the book you are reading, or I may be saying that you and I are sharing one and the same copy. We have but one copy of the book between us. The first is qualitatively the same, the second is quantitatively the same.

You are quantitatively the same person you were when you were a baby, but you are not qualitatively the same person. So, you are the same in one sense, and not the same in a different sense. Problem solved: as so often, by distinguishing two meanings of the same word.


Right, and this also explains the reproduction of a bacteria, the new copy remains the same organism qualitatively while being a completely different organism quantitatively. But this concept of same would hit a solid brick wall when applied to consciousness, if a subject were intoxicated we would have no means of knowing or measuring the difference in the individual's state of mind rendering us ignorant of qualitative and quantitative change we could only conclude that the individual remains same even though he's experience on actuality would be completely different from that experienced whilst sober.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 12:06 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;170744 wrote:
Right, how does the concept "same" remain the same?


The problem is not how the concept, same remains the same. The problem is how what is the same remains the same although it also changes. For someone who warns against confusing abstractions with things, it is ironic that what you have just posted confuses concepts, which are abstractions, with the things they are the concepts of. You suddenly switch from talking about things remaining the same (which is the topic of the OP) to talking about the concept of sameness remaining the same. From objects to an abstraction. And you don't even seem to see the difference. It is as if you began talking about elephants, and ended up talking about the concept of elephants. Elephants, and the concept of elephants are very different things.

---------- Post added 05-31-2010 at 02:11 AM ----------

Soul Brother;170873 wrote:
Right, and this also explains the reproduction of a bacteria, the new copy remains the same organism qualitatively while being a completely different organism quantitatively. But this concept of same would hit a solid brick wall when applied to consciousness, if a subject were intoxicated we would have no means of knowing or measuring the difference in the individual's state of mind rendering us ignorant of qualitative and quantitative change we could only conclude that the individual remains same even though he's experience on actuality would be completely different from that experienced whilst sober.


But it is not the same organism qualitatively, since the baby and the adult have different properties (or appear to, at least). But they are the same organism quantitatively, since the baby and the adult are one and the same individual. You have it exactly backwards. Or, as Wittgenstein might have said, the baby and the adult are not the same, but the baby and adult are identical.
 
Soul Brother
 
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 02:08 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;171161 wrote:
But it is not the same organism qualitatively, since the baby and the adult have different properties (or appear to, at least). But they are the same organism quantitatively, since the baby and the adult are one and the same individual. You have it exactly backwards. Or, as Wittgenstein might have said, the baby and the adult are not the same, but the baby and adult are identical.


Are you drunk? How are two copies of the same bacteria the same in quantity if they are two separate individual organisms? You must be hallucinating if you are confusing two distinctly unconnected bodies as one. And how is it not the same organism qualitatively if they share the same identical DNA?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 05:48 am
@Soul Brother,
Soul Brother;171183 wrote:
Are you drunk? How are two copies of the same bacteria the same in quantity if they are two separate individual organisms? You must be hallucinating if you are confusing two distinctly unconnected bodies as one. And how is it not the same organism qualitatively if they share the same identical DNA?


The two copies may be the same in quality, but of course, not in quantity. I think that you are not reading straight, and that you are reading what you want to read, not what I have written. Two things are quantitatively not the same, although they may be qualitatively the same. If two organisms share the same DNA they may still not be qualitatively the same if they have qualities other than their DNA, for they may differ in those qualities.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 06:22 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170606 wrote:
The concept of the same is one of the central philosophical concepts with truth, knowledge, and good. What is central is how something can remain the same thing though change (persistence through change). The person is the same person although he is a baby, and adult, and an old person. The beginning of wisdom here is to take note of Wittgenstein's advice not to confuse the concept of the same with the concept of identity. How does something remain self-identical, although, at the same time, it changes?


Young change to old. I got us from bed, and at the next moment, i am drive away from my house. The word "change" used reflect a daily fact of our experience, but is it valid, and how necessary is this concept at all?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 06:26 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;171449 wrote:
Young change to old. I got us from bed, and at the next moment, i am drive away from my house. The word "change" used reflect a daily fact of our experience, but is it valid, and how necessary is this concept at all?


The concept of change, or the concept of same? Both seem essential to how we think about the world.
 
 

 
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