King's College London: philosophy discussion class. Sample containing about 8967 words speech recorded in educational context

3 speakers recorded by respondent number C444

PS2N2 Ag2 m (Brennan, age 30, lecturer) unspecified
HYDPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
HYDPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 101601 recorded on 1993-12-09. LocationLondon: London ( classroom ) Activity: discussion class discussion

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [...] [talk in background]
Brennan (PS2N2) [1] if you say and it's true because [...] right erm, the er [...] that was talking about yesterday in lecture involves erm the notion of selfhood in [...] and erm seems to be er a very very deeply complicated er topic, so erm I imagine there are questions that you folks had.
[2] There were certainly questions that I had in listening to the lecture and reading of the material and erm as herself said, there does seem to be something of an [...] in [...] own thinking about this.
[3] Erm, [...] would be erm as follows.
[4] We are aware that there are lots of individuals around us, individual people like Socrates erm and erm Plato, erm and then there is the possibility that in addition to these individual people er at the level of [...] there are corresponding to these individual people at the level of intellect erm [...] there are forms of these individuals.
[5] [...] like there is also the level of [...] .
[6] Forms for all sorts of [...] , forms for all sorts of things erm the, the normal Platonic range of forms plus possibly in addition forms for Socrates and forms for Plato.
[7] Erm, and the introduction of these forms of individuals erm might have arisen as the one passage that showed us might suggest, the passage from five seven on page three of her handout number eleven there, the need for forms of individuals might have arisen from the following [...] .
[8] We are enjoined to transcend our bodily selves and we are enjoined to erm move to the level of intellect through contemplation, that is by pursuing philosophy we will withdraw ourselves from our mere bodily selves and be elevated to the realm of intellect.
[9] Erm, and one thing that you might worry about is, okay, once I get up there, how do I get back down again?
[10] Erm, that worry might come in two different ways.
[11] Er, how do I get down at all, erm, of course that might not be a worry, you might [...] and just remain in the realm [...] for all eternity.
[12] But then you might worry, if I'm bound to come back down again, how can I guarantee that I come back down into the right erm body again.
[13] That is, how can I guarantee that I will remain erm being me after my ascent from the level of the forms.
[14] And the erm construction of forms for individuals might be an answer to that problem.
[15] That is, when Socrates retreats from his body to the level of intellect, erm, he's represented by proxy in the erm divine light by the form of Socrates.
[16] Erm, and then erm he returns from the form of Socrates to being Socrates again and is not either er lost up in the soul erm or somehow tragically transported downward from the level of intellect into the wrong body.
[17] Erm, Socrates does some contemplation er, withdraws from his empirical self, becomes intellect and then afterwards er drops into the wrong empirical er self and turns into well, some erm some ho hideous beast.
[18] Erm, who knows?
[19] He might turn into [...] .
[20] Think, think of the person you'd least like to find yourself becoming.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [21] Is he actually intimating here, erm, I'm not, we use the word forms here, but in a more active modern sense to say [...]
Brennan (PS2N2) [22] Could be
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [23] It seems that that would really [...] more easily.
Brennan (PS2N2) [24] Well, what's the contrast here?
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [25] Remaining an identity.
Brennan (PS2N2) [26] Right, what's, perhaps I should have started with, with the contrasting picture in which, at the level of intellect, erm, there would be no individual forms, but only forms say for human beings.
[27] Erm, and another form over here for a horse erm and then when I found my true self erm, here I am, Socrates, and I'm trying to withdraw from my erm what erm called the empirical self.
[28] I'm trying to withdraw from the empirical self and erm return to the level of forms.
[29] And the form that I return to is the form of human being, erm, that's the form that I have and whatever individuates Socrates from Plato erm is not a matter of the form because they have exactly the same form.
[30] In fact, whatever individuates these two happens only at the level of matter or the soul bodily things.
[31] Now, if that were right, that is, here's our bodily bit here, that's what individuates them, right, Socrates is shorter than Plato, Plato is a bit taller than Socrates, Socrates has funny bulgy eyes, erm Plato must have been rather a normal looking person, a variety of things that differentiate them, but they're not different in respect of being human beings.
[32] Erm, but we're told this interesting thing about them, mainly that, er about them and about us as well, that their true self is not their current bodily condition.
[33] Their true self is more truly erm at the level of intellect or forms.
[34] Right, that's the whole part about one's true self.
[35] Again one could draw as it were a sort of a picture of erm one's true self as a sort of largish lump, er much of which was the body and then within this smaller portion which is the soul, and within that a still smaller portion which is the mind, and then in all of us there is present to us the one, and we're told that we ought to think about our body, that it is not our true self.
[36] Erm, that this is a merely transient and accidental [...] something that erm somehow as it were has stuck on to us, rather like some disagreeable substance on the sole of one's shoe.
[37] Erm, and so too our body has got stuck on our soul erm but we can shed it again erm to find our inner self.
[38] And in turn we can shed the soul to find our true self with the mind.
[39] There's tension here.
[40] Erm, the closer we get to our true self, [...] seems to be saying, erm the less there is to distinguish er Socrates' true self from Plato's true self erm so it's a little bit dicey about what he's gonna say.
[41] How, if, if Socrates' true self is the form of human being and Plato's true self is the form of human being erm then how can we tell their true selves apart?
[42] Yeah?
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [...] [too quiet to hear]
Brennan (PS2N2) [43] Okay.
[44] So, erm, your point is that erm you move upward from your body to a level of intellect and then at the level [...] there's still a further journey to go, up to no one, and that's our true self.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [45] There's a fascinating journey here, isn't there?
[46] Because one gets the impression that it's an upward journey
Brennan (PS2N2) [47] Aha
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [48] but I think myself it's an internal journey.
[49] So then it's an internal journey, you've done it then, you keep your identity because your journey is into the deepest self where you find you [...] you go through these levels
Brennan (PS2N2) [50] Right
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [51] but not, not out there, but in there.
Brennan (PS2N2) [52] Yeah, there's no doubt that the one is in each of us.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [53] Yeah, so I mean it's an inward journey.
Brennan (PS2N2) [54] Right, right.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [55] So, if that is the case how can we possibly lose our identity because we haven't, we're not, there's no suggestion if we go on an inward journey, the inward journey must be within our selves, within our individuality, not, not jumping out into some form of spacial context.
Brennan (PS2N2) [56] Well, except that, that erm I think that even in defending our idea that we retain our individuality you relied on spacial movement, that is when you say that, or when I say that the one is within us, clearly you must be speaking metaphorically.
[57] Because the one doesn't have any location whatsoever, nor for that matter do the forms, even the matter of intellect is non-spacial and non-locational.
[58] Erm, so I agree with you that the metaphor of ascent is only a metaphor.
[59] It can't really be a matter of changing one's altitude.
[60] Erm er there's no [...] lift alas.
[61] But neither can the idea of going inward being metaphorical either, it's not as though there's any location within my body erm which is the location of the one.
[62] Nor, if the four of us get into your car, are there four locations within the car [...] location of the one.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [63] One of the problems it seems, that I can see about this, is that the little sort of semi- [...] diagram, you could almost reverse the, the [...] and have the same sort of problem in other words.
[64] And that seems to be more along the lines of a [...] view er
Brennan (PS2N2) [65] Yeah, so this is, this a little picture of what Socrates looks like but as you're pointing out erm er [...] also sometimes likes to discredit the whole cosmos in the other direction.
[66] It's the one that's all embracing or all encompassing.
[67] Erm, and the intellect is within the one somehow.
[68] Cos now of course we're talking about the whole cosmos, the everything that there is, the all, the whole erm and then, you're right, he does talk about erm erm body at one er extraordinary point he talks about body, the relation of body and soul being that of a er fishing net er floating through the ocean and erm the ocean is soul and this fishing net is er body floating erm through it.
[69] Very very erm suggestive metaphor although I don't know exactly what it's [...] extraordinary one, erm erm erm, the, perhaps we should begin to step back a second here, to think about how we normally individuate things.
[70] Erm, that is, normally we think that we and lots of things around us are susceptible to change.
[71] Erm, er for instance this book could be changed by tearing a page out of it.
[72] Erm and that would alter the book but nevertheless we would want to say, what I did was to alter the book.
[73] It was the book that I altered.
[74] It's the same book which now is slightly different.
[75] That's very different from say er destroying this book and replacing it with this book.
[76] Erm, that's not a change of any one book, that's just a replacement of one book by another.
[77] Similarly, if I tell you that I am going to move this piece of chalk in front of me, and I demonstrate look here goes right okay, same piece of chalk has moved across in front of me.
[78] That's rather different from saying here is the motion of a piece of chalk.
[79] Okay.
[80] Sorry that's not the motion of a piece of chalk, that's the replacement of one piece of chalk by another.
[81] No piece of chalk had moved across the front of me.
[82] Rather, erm, one was in one position and then a second took up a different position.
[83] In order that is for there to be some change, whether er change er like having a page torn out or a change like moving from one location to another, there also has to be something that stays the same, mainly the subject of change.
[84] The thing of which I say the it changes.
[85] Erm, so how do we do that with people?
[86] Er, I can say for instance that I'm changing because I'm er getting older, I'm getting tireder erm all sorts of things can be said about me.
[87] Erm, but they're still being said about me.
[88] Er, there's something that's me that survives these different changes of location erm age and size erm all kinds of things are consistent with it still being me that's doing the changing rather than my having been replaced by something else.
[89] Well, erm, what kinds of changes can be performed on me and still it would be the case that it's me?
[90] That the end be changed and has now been changed.
[91] What are those kind of changes on one hand.
[92] And on the other hand, what are changes such that we want to say that at the end of the change there is just no me left there at all and I've been replaced by something else.
[93] Erm, I take it this is to ask the question, what's essential to me and what's accidental to me?
[94] Really this is not er a new division, this is just oral distinction of essential and accidental properties.
[95] Erm, so right now I'm wearing a tweed jacket.
[96] Erm, having changed my jacket to a blue jacket I'll still nevertheless be me.
[97] Because even if I weren't wearing the tweed jacket I'd still be me.
[98] If I were no longer a human being then one might wonder whether I was still me at all.
[99] If I were no longer er an animal of any kind, one might be quite disinclined to think that one could still talk about any of me surviving.
[100] And so on and so forth.
[101] We'd make different judgments about this.
[102] I'm not saying that there's any strict word answers to these questions, but these are the questions we're asking when we think about what's erm accidental and what's essential to someone.
[103] The claim that's being made here is that no one 's body is at all essential to them.
[104] Erm, I'm perfectly comfortable that any bit of my fingernail is completely accidental to me, that I can lose it without losing my arm, but the finger is rather stronger.
[105] There's nothing about me that erm, excuse me, there's nothing about my body that is essential to me, nothing about my body that individuates me and that's why erm I take it one might think that erm I could actually be changed into a different body, so.
[106] Right, any time you read a story, whether it be religious or science fiction, or whatever, in which somebody is taken out of one body and put into another body erm and the story goes, and then [...] was turned into a pig, or whatever, erm, presumably that author has it in mind that you can still identify [...] , that same guy, first in one body and then in the body of a pig.
[107] That author presumably thinks that being in a human body is not essential to [...] .
[108] You can agree with that, or disagree with that or whatever, but that's part of the defence being made here by erm [...] .
[109] This is no part of our true self.
[110] Yeah?
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [111] This, I was just gonna say, this sounds remarkably like the origins of [...]
Brennan (PS2N2) [112] Well, erm, I don't
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [113] I don't know whether he got it from here, or from another source, but it's very strikingly similar.
Brennan (PS2N2) [114] That the, that the erm, right, erm, you can go back a fair ways earlier and already find people thinking that you can be transported from one body to another, or even from one species to another.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [115] Transmigration.
Brennan (PS2N2) [116] Right, right.
[117] There's a story about er Pythagoras which is actually the earliest and strongest evidence that the historical Pythagoras actually believed in [...] , changing [...] erm dating from the five twenties or so.
[118] It's a bit of poetry by the poet [...] in which he er says that Pythagoras once saw a puppy being beaten and said er, don't beat that puppy, that's a good friend of mine, I recognize his voice.
[119] Erm, and so I think that even at that early age, er in the five twenties or earlier, somebody already there is saying we can track personal identity throughout change of not only body but change of species, erm, with these.
[120] And the same picture or a similar picture has [...] as well
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [121] Continuing that theme, would it not be right to say though that Plato [clears throat] only gave [...] to come back into human form to those people such as philosophers and that most other people would come back as some other form.
[122] [...] doesn't actually say [...]
Brennan (PS2N2) [123] [...] is not over worried about the body.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [124] but the state of, of the soul, the personality, wouldn't change
Brennan (PS2N2) [125] Hmm, right
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [126] He doesn't really actually, does he?
[127] He doesn't actually discuss the body as individuality.
[128] I think he's discussing our character and our personality rather than our body.
[129] Would you not?
[130] I mean I don't know.
[131] I mean, I get that impression.
[132] He doesn't, he's not concerned about the individuality of the body but concerned about the surv in individuality of our personality as it was before we ca we went on this journey to the one.
[133] Am I right?
[134] I dunno.
[135] Am I?
Brennan (PS2N2) [136] Yes, right.
[137] And the body is completely trivial.
[138] It's no more than a change of clothing.
[139] It, it just doesn't tell you anything interesting about the person, that very, that very same person.
[140] Yeah, I agree with all of that.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [141] I don't know, I, I
Brennan (PS2N2) [142] When we tell them in the [...] , what we say is that erm that very same person came back as a fox, or you know, that very same person came back as er you know ge goose or whatever animal it might be.
[143] That is, even in a different body, in a different species, we can still say that person, that soul.
[144] And that's because Plato would be locating the individuation in the soul and not in the body.
[145] Erm, soul, as you'll recollect, stands in this funny relation erm between body and [...] and when we get up to intellect we're actually transcending the soul as well.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [146] D d this is ever so important.
[147] I mean, do you think that perhaps [...] is, is more advanced than Plato, because Plato on this incredible myth of his of going on this journey where ordinary people's view of the form wasn't very good so they would come back in an inf perhaps in an inferior form, but I get the feeling that with [...] we have the opportunity of seeing something that is going to improve us anyway, that we've all got an equal chance of some kind of improvement.
[148] Different to the Platonic myth of the journey across the universe like in [...] .
[149] It seems to me an advancement.
[150] Am I right?
[151] I mean I sense that it is.
[152] I sense that it is an improvement?
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [153] [clears throat] It seems to me we're also coming across some sort of Eastern influence here as well.
Brennan (PS2N2) [154] It could be but I think that the question is asking is, in Plato's view, do each of us have an equal chance of performing this transcendence, or in [...] view do we each have an equal chance of performing this transcendence?
[155] I, I don't know the answer to that offhand, but it's, I'm inclined to think that erm at least by the time of the Republic there are things that some people are more naturally predisposed towards philosophy and other people are less naturally predisposed towards philosophy.
[156] I am also inclined to imagine that [...] would say something like that.
[157] Now, he does think that the one and the mind is present to every one of us, erm, but I also take it that erm he er thought that he himself, [...] had been able to ascend to the one er four times in the course of his life and that he also thought that some of his students were of better contemplation than others and erm so he may also have thought as Plato did, that some people are more inclined towards philosophy than others.
[158] Erm
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [159] [...] would have thought that the cow down the road had the same chance of getting to the one that he had.
Brennan (PS2N2) [160] You know, I just don't know.
[161] In some way the one is in both of them equally.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [162] Yeah
Brennan (PS2N2) [163] Of course, the one is also in this piece of chalk too.
[164] I mean, the one is just [...] , so it may not be any great compliment to say that the cow has an equal chance erm but, but I, I actually don't know the answer to that one, whether [...] thought that
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [165] Apart from the fact that I mean, aren't we actually looking at something similar to erm erm [...] here, in that most of these things were organized, as far as I can work out, [...] was the one that organized all these lectures into [...] but they were originally lectures.
Brennan (PS2N2) [166] Yeah, I don't know, how might that affect what we are?
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [167] Well, in that we're, I'm just, I'm just bringing up a point that yes he, he, it seems that he could well say something like well, the cow herder or the shepherd down the road has got as much of the right as anybody else.
[168] The difference is that the cow, the cow herder or the shepherd is not particularly interested in consciously realizing that, whereas it seems to me that what you're saying is that he is.
Brennan (PS2N2) [169] That pl that he [...] is in [...]
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [170] Yes.
[171] Erm, and that, this is a sort of a difference between
Brennan (PS2N2) [172] The cow herder and [...]
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [173] Yes, and also assume thereby the difference between a cow herder, and a student of his [...] or whatever
Brennan (PS2N2) [174] Yeah [...] were right then that might push us back towards the Platonic view, that some people are more [...] .
[175] I'd like to get back to what was saying about how it's soul that really characterizes us, it's soul that carries out individuality, and, and not the body.
[176] I mean that does have a lot of resonance for all of us. [...] feel that erm I could have been the same person erm with lots of different changes to my body.
[177] I could have had erm brown eyes instead of blue, I could have been taller or shorter, I could have been lots of different erm bodily arrangements erm and still be me, just be the same er person.
[178] One may say that, one may say well it's really your soul or your character that makes you who you are.
[179] What kinds of features are we pointing to there?
[180] Erm, for instance, suppose that I think that one of the things that er makes me who I am is erm that I have a good head for numbers.
[181] Erm, not that that's true.
[182] Erm, but someone else might think this erm about themselves.
[183] Then would having a good head for numbers be the sort of thing that would individuate them at the level of their soul?
[184] Would that be the sort of thing that?
[185] Or perhaps
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [186] Looking for truths.
[187] I mean, mathematicians are looking for truths, aren't they, in a way?
Brennan (PS2N2) [188] So, so being desirous of the truth would be the sort of thing that would
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [189] Yeah
Brennan (PS2N2) [190] distinguish one person from another?
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [191] I'd have thought so.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [192] A good memory or a bad memory would be, oh sorry
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [...] [too quiet to hear]
Brennan (PS2N2) [193] I see, so memory of your personal life history.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [...] [too quiet to hear]
Brennan (PS2N2) [194] Yeah, that does
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [...] [too quiet to hear]
Brennan (PS2N2) [195] Sure, it does seem that memory has a role in it.
[196] And yet it also seems that er I, I can also make this statement.
[197] Erm, here is a complete list of the contents of my memory right now.
[198] Erm, [...] a slightly different set of things that happened to me.
[199] Then the contents of my memory would be this rather than this.
[200] Erm, I wouldn't er remember having erm broken my arm on this date erm I remember rather having broken my leg on this date.
[201] Erm, so the contents of my memory would differ and yet that doesn't seem yet to individuate me from someone else.
[202] Erm, it's true that in general we do have different memories than other people do er but it doesn't seem to be fully individuating in that any change in the contents of the memory would produce a change in [...] .
[203] But yeah, certainly that's one of the things that we think, is that our, er it's our memory of our own historical life events is part of what makes us who we are.
[204] Erm, another reason why I can't give you the whole story of course is because then there'd be no reason to take this baby rather than this baby at the hospital, you know, [...] so their histories are exactly identical, I E nil, erm, nothing individuates them on that account.
[205] Erm, one reason why [...] can't help himself to that is because that would be a history of change, that would be a history of the body, and that is not intrinsic to us.
[206] That, he seemed to insist, cannot be the locust of our individuation.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [207] Erm, can we link it up to any earlier pattern?
[208] I'm thinking now in particular of Plato's [...] four [...] so if that particular inclination to be, I dunno, poetical or philosopher, then that would be a kind of individuation of us.
Brennan (PS2N2) [209] Yeah so, so perhaps the things that, the things that erm seem to us more important than your bodily configuration, whether I have blue eyes or brown eyes, something that's more important seems to be the sorts of desires I have.
[210] Do I want the truth, or do I want money?
[211] The sorts of capacities that I have.
[212] Erm, am I good at this or am I good at that?
[213] Erm, perhaps my tastes.
[214] Erm, there's some plasticity to all these things, right?
[215] I take it that I don't like modern art and yet I can imagine that while being the same person that I am I might have liked modern art.
[216] That's not er incomprehensible, it wouldn't involve a complete change of personality, well some of it.
[217] So, those are the sorts of things I take it that, that er we do think are a more interesting way of individuating people than their bodily [...] .
[218] And I'm sure that that's part of why [...] sounds pretty good when he's saying that it's not the body that makes us who we are, it's not the body that matters.
[219] Erm, [...] to the kind of soul that I have right now erm, drag that out of my body erm, make sure that it's the same soul that I started with, drop it into some other body and you'll still be able to tell the story that I, still me, am now in a different body.
[220] Erm, that seems like the right sort of thing to say.
[221] What though if we wanted to make a further move of abstraction?
[222] What if we wanted to say that our true self was not even our desires or inclinations or capacities?
[223] Because our true self isn't the soul, that's not our true self either.
[224] That's a mere er [...] .
[225] Our true self is mind.
[226] Erm, or at least mind is our truer self.
[227] The sorts of things I happen to like, the sorts of things I happen to be good at or bad at.
[228] Those really are not any part of my true self either, [...] tells us.
[229] Erm, my true self is merely the part that does intellectual contemplation.
[230] Erm, so that I apparently would be still me even if I had completely different desires, tastes, er preferences er so on and so forth.
[231] Now it's gonna be a, a bit harder to hang on to the thought here.
[232] Erm, can I imagine erm two abstracted intellects, each of them doing geometrical proofs and say about the two of them is they go through the group of er the infinity of prime numbers, each of them is working that through.
[233] Can I say about them er now that one, that is clearly Fred, erm, you know just look at the way he does that proof, erm, oh well now, that one, that's clearly Ned, erm that's the way Ned does a proof.
[234] Erm, you know people do say these things about computer codes.
[235] I've heard people say that erm er software writers have certain individual styles.
[236] You can sometimes you know tell one person writes software in this way and another
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [237] They used to have that in, in er when they put [...]
Brennan (PS2N2) [238] [...] some people's hands, right right right.
[239] Yeah, same thought.
[240] And yet erm what er what seems to have be going against that is that erm at least so far as [...] is concerned, the proof is any theorem is a unique pathway.
[241] Erm there are not too often proofs for any theorem.
[242] There's a proof because [...] so if two people were contemplating the proof of the infinity of primes they wouldn't be going about it in different ways, erm, if they're contemplating the proof, they'd be contemplating exactly the same steps in the same order.
[243] It's getting rather hard to think about what it is that lets me see them as distinct individuals if all that they're doing are
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [244] What happens if one of them's looking at it from a [...] viewpoint and the other one's looking at it from a [...] viewpoint?
[245] Would that not? [...] same kind of theorem [...]
Brennan (PS2N2) [246] Okay, or for instance erm I could write up the theory, excuse me, I could write up the proof of the infinity of primes for a variety of reasons.
[247] I might be teaching you some er number theory, or I might be teaching you the structure of number theory.
[248] I might be saying, look, it doesn't matter what proof I choose but you know, here is an interesting example of it.
[249] Or I might be saying, here's an example of a [...] derivation.
[250] Or I might be saying, here's the sort of silly thing I was taught when I was at kindergarten.
[251] Erm, and what [...] and the [...] these er for a different reason erm.
[252] I guess my inclination would be to say that there's only one of those in which we are actually doing the proof.
[253] There's only actually one of those which we're thinking about the proof as a proof.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [254] But what I'm saying is that there may only be one proof [...] sense is what we as individuals derive from that proof.
[255] It somehow becomes coloured into [...]
Brennan (PS2N2) [256] Right now, so that's where we need to get, that's what we need to push for.
[257] How can we think about something colouring our [...] that doesn't have anything to do with our bodies, nothing to do with our history, nothing to do with a particular [...] that we've gone through, nothing to do with our soul faculties.
[258] Erm, some coloration that would make it still ours.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [...] [too quiet to hear]
Brennan (PS2N2) [259] Terrific.
[260] Say something completely different.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [261] Well no, but and I were just thinking well why can't it just be all things together that make us what we are and when you're trying to find a single thing, the only single thing is the one, which is the unity and then there's no differentiation but I don't think [...] that, that we are, we are our body as well and that then can affect the soul you know, if you, if you've got a big nose and all your life people stare at you you're gonna, you're not going to be unaffected by it.
Brennan (PS2N2) [262] Sure
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [263] So, I don't know.
[264] But then when you do peel them away, whether you can have a potentiality, like the [...] when [...] talked about [...] he talked about either side of his face [...] timeless void that you had to see the limit of it so that you could have erm that that I was in this body and there's something about this body that I'm going to go back into the body and then that could differentiate perhaps.
[265] Erm, otherwise I just think it's very tricky when you, when you, when you try and take away the layers that you're going to just end up with the one that you can't talk about anyway.
Brennan (PS2N2) [266] Mhm, yeah, I think, I actually think you've made an excellent methodological point about philosophy in general.
[267] That is erm whenever people look for an analysis of something, here I've been looking for an analysis of individuation, there's a tendency to consider candidate analyses one by one, singulatum.
[268] Erm, it does this er [...] by individuation?
[269] Erm, well no.
[270] Well, let me throw that aside.
[271] Erm, does this suffice for individuation?
[272] No, well, toss that aside.
[273] And your point, which I think is very important, is erm maybe this is an analysis that has to be given erm by a multiplicity of necessary conditions, none of which is singularly sufficient, but all of which are jointly necessary and sufficial .
[274] So erm, for instance, if I were to say, gee what is the essence of balm cake?
[275] Erm, is it flour?
[276] Er, no, we'll toss that aside.
[277] Is it eggs?
[278] No, can't be eggs, throw those out.
[279] Er, you know, go through all the ingredient.
[280] Gosh, balm cake doesn't have any essence at all, you know, erm that'll be astonishing [...] finding is, whereas your point is, look it might just be some of all these things in some proportion or some ratio.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [281] Right but then I suppose that you could say that it's the idea of the balm cake which [...] it would be on the level of the, in, in intellect [...]
Brennan (PS2N2) [282] Mhm mhm
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [283] so the essence of balm cake [...] so it's alright to go from the body to intellect, maybe that is alright, if you just forget the body.
[284] But then it's the per it's the, if you're going to the union with the one, it's that coming back
Brennan (PS2N2) [285] I take it that our explanation, you and I who are the children of the children of Freud, do think that our body erm adds a great contribution to our individuation?
[286] That brief story you told about how my physical appearance might affect my social interactions and my social interactions might affect my psychic make up.
[287] Erm, that sounds very persuasive to all of us nowadays and I fully believe it, that part of what makes me me is in fact er the fact that I'm this shape and this size [...]
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [288] Yeah, yeah except that that is just nothing in the end.
[289] That in the end it doesn't make, it doesn't mean anything.
Brennan (PS2N2) [290] Well as far as [...] thinks, it sure doesn't that's the big difference between us right?
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [291] No, [...] .
[292] I mean, I mean, lots of different pupils would say that it doesn't mean anything in the end because erm you know, what are we here for, what can we do, you know, and like why [...] you know, I mean I, I'm sure it doesn't mean very much.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [293] In fact this is what Socrates is going [...] when he's asked, well what do you want us to do with your body, he said you can do what you like, I won't be in it anyway.
Brennan (PS2N2) [294] Right,r right, mhm mhm
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [295] I think, I think it's important to remember what [...] said about the body.
[296] I think, I mean, he makes the emphasis here that the body is not any more than a tool
Brennan (PS2N2) [297] Ya, that's right
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [298] and I think, you know, I mean, it's not how we feel, we're trying to understand what [...] is saying to us
Brennan (PS2N2) [299] And that's a real [...]
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [...]
Brennan (PS2N2) [300] that's a real deep difference, that we're inclined to suppose that the body does have some role in individuation and [...] clearly, as you're pointing out, doesn't.
[301] That is, when you ask erm er who are we, is any part of what we are made up by the body, the answer's quite straightforwardly no, we er already identified use the body, this other thing.
[302] Erm, the body is something else from us and we are the things erm not that are made up of our body but that merely use our body.
[303] Erm, popping out of your body is no different I think in [...] from erm driving along in your car and er turning off and hopping out of the car.
[304] You know, you're not using that particular tool any more and you hop out of it and walk away.
[305] Erm, the body's rather like that I suppose.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [306] It makes it quite clear that we should be in charge of the tool.
Brennan (PS2N2) [307] Sure, no problem there.
[308] You certainly don't want your tools running you, but the, the crucial [...] is that the tool is a completely separate thing from us.
[309] When I try to give up who I am erm none of who I am has to do with this external er additional tool.
[310] Yeah ?
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [311] Erm, if you're trying to individuate intellects, erm, rather than take a proof
Brennan (PS2N2) [312] Mhm
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [313] take an argument or a problem.
[314] I mean, no two philosophers would give you a sort of similar approach, would they?
Brennan (PS2N2) [315] [laugh] Right, right, yeah, no it's a very [...]
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [316] I mean, you can [...] a completely different viewpoint [...] [too quiet to hear]
Brennan (PS2N2) [317] Right, right.
[318] Erm, but I think that we also think this is in an [...] in the state of philosophy nowadays.
[319] That is one of the reasons why I think that man is in much better shape than I think philosophy's in.
[320] Because, if I go to two different mathematicians and I say erm, can you work these sums for me?
[321] Generally and for the most part they'll come up with the same sum at the end of the day and if I go to two different philosophers and say, erm can you tell me about free will?
[322] Er, generally and for the most part and for the most part at the end of the day they'll come up with completely irrelevant er things [...] .
[323] Erm and
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [324] Isn't this just [...] the difference between a theorem and concepts?
Brennan (PS2N2) [325] Could be, but I guess my, my thought was that
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [326] I mean, why do we need two mathematicians?
[327] We obviously need more philosophers.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [laugh]
Brennan (PS2N2) [328] I guess my thought was that, was that in [...] view that there we were doing philosophy the more convergence there would be if we really knew what we were about as philosophers.
[329] We would not be disagreeing with one another any more.
[330] Erm, and that er what causes erm David Lewis to tell the sorts of stories about [...] he tells is this kind of hideous accident that happened to him when he was three years old and then was exaggerated by his
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [laugh]
Brennan (PS2N2) [331] having the beard that he does.
[332] Erm, and what causes erm you know, so [...] tells [...] is another series of accidents that, that are completely at the level of, of historical and bodily erm [...] .
[333] Erm, if er, if they had been, erm, [...] all along they would be telling the same story as [...] , if they really could do their in intellectualizing properly
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [334] But if you're not trying to [...]
Brennan (PS2N2) [335] That,th so that's what you need to get a hold of, that's when you need to think, how can we cash that out, how can we give that some content?
[336] Does the idea of there being a colouring to [...]
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [337] I, I don't wanna stray that much erm from the text we've got but there is some text that [...] has written, namely the one on intelligible beauty
Brennan (PS2N2) [338] Mhm mhm
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [339] where he seems to indicate that erm, for example, he says in there that he, he ascends to the intelligible heaven, wherever that is , I assume [...] intellect.
[340] Erm and he says there all things are in all things but each is coloured according to the host.
Brennan (PS2N2) [341] Their host, I suspect.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [342] So, in other words
Brennan (PS2N2) [343] The one
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [344] Well, or the individual
Brennan (PS2N2) [345] There
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [346] You're talking about a group of individual things
Brennan (PS2N2) [347] Right, we'd have to take a look at that cos I suspect that if he says each is coloured by the host
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [348] No no no no, by the host in which the things are.
[349] He's talking about a multitude [...]
Brennan (PS2N2) [350] [clears throat] Mhm mhm
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [351] each the same sort of components, the same components are each colour say in a red individual they'd all be pinky red colours and in a blue individual they'd all be a blue colour
Brennan (PS2N2) [352] But there is this thing that all of the forms are in the intellect and all of the forms ah are in the intellect and all of the forms do somehow weave together into some sort of unitary thing.
[353] There's some sort of er unity and multiplicity at the level intellect, erm
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [354] The, the point I'm raising with this is that he does seem, in that particular piece, he does quite strongly, to me anyway, that that individuation is still very strong
Brennan (PS2N2) [355] Sorry, I thought you said that each of them was in all the rest of them and each of them was coloured by the host.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [356] No no no no, it was the other way round.
[357] Rather like the sort of, there, there are various glasses full of different marbles
Brennan (PS2N2) [358] Is this something we could look up cos, cos [...]
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [359] Yeah, it's intelli it's the one on individual [...] .
[360] I can't remember what the erm, is it one six?
[361] Yeah, it's really quite an amazing
Brennan (PS2N2) [362] One six, is it?
[363] Yeah, great.
[364] Erm, which, which
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [365] it's quite an amazing er dialogue
Brennan (PS2N2) [366] I wonder if I have er
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [367] the, the, the analogies he uses, he is using there, he says that the sun the moon and the stars are all there
Brennan (PS2N2) [368] Aha
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [369] and in each of the stars are all the sun the moon and the stars
Brennan (PS2N2) [370] Mhm mhm
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [371] but, each star contains the sun the moon and the stars according to its own coloration of them.
Brennan (PS2N2) [372] Right, sorry, one six is on beauty and five eight is on intelligible beauty.
[373] Which one of those?
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [374] It would be five eight.
Brennan (PS2N2) [375] Probably five eight rather than cos yeah I erm okay see erm right right right ... erm, so the thing that I would be looking for, if I could find this, would be what's doing the colouring and how, how does that work?
[376] That is, is the colour rising up from underneath in an individuating way, or is it a light cast from down er from on top by the one, which then couldn't individuate them with respect to people for instance.
[377] It would be, as it were, a diffused light.
[378] Erm, so that's just a question to ask when you next come to erm this passage.
[379] Er, if I can't find it right now, which
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [380] Yeah, the other phrase he uses is something like all is in each
Brennan (PS2N2) [381] Yeah
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [382] and each is in the all
Brennan (PS2N2) [383] Oh sure
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [384] So [...] all orange in I assume the one but also the one is in all in each of the [...]
Brennan (PS2N2) [385] Even at the level of forms they're all in each
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [386] Even at the level of forms
Brennan (PS2N2) [387] yeah, yeah.
[388] This is, this notion of they're all being woven together.
[389] Erm in [...] Plato talks about the [...] , the weaving together of forms and it says erm er it's [...] [speaking latin] it's er through the weaving together of forms that [...] reason arises in us and [...] but then again this is the level of [...] as well so I think that this is the, the origin of this notion that all the forms are in each, they're all woven together somehow.
[390] Erm, but erm will that help us?
[391] Think about two people's abstract contemplation would still be the [...] contemplation of two different people.
[392] Erm, and then, once we sort that all out, what will we say again at the level of the one?
[393] Erm, that is, how can we make sure that erm Plato, or Socrates, doesn't descend to this level and then ascend to the one, as everyone else is, erm and then having got up this side somehow come down this?
[394] Erm what, when one is at the level of the one, what makes you who you are?
[395] How can you guarantee that you will be restored to your proper un-self?
[396] How can you trap that individual through their ascent and descent? [...] that is.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [397] Erm well I mean he seems to be implicating somehow here that the more that you go up to soul and intellect to the one, the more you properly become your true self.
[398] Therefore, yourself, your individuality, is somehow enhanced by this
Brennan (PS2N2) [399] Yes, there's no doubt he says all that, right
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [400] and, and that really would lead to the [...] of self not of detriment of self
Brennan (PS2N2) [401] Yes, there's no doubt that that's exactly what he thinks
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [402] and [...] yes, well, I don't see what the problem is, I mean you become properly yourself in that case, so what's the problem?
Brennan (PS2N2) [403] [laugh] Perhaps this is a limited individual problem.
[404] I can't make any sense of what he's saying because it seems to me that erm our common and everyday and perhaps very deficient notion of individuation is, what makes me different from the rest of you?
[405] Okay so, so look at two individuals in two different ways.
[406] Take a pencil X and say, what is it that makes X a separate individual from Y, okay? [...] that'd be a different thing.
[407] Now take a [...] and say, what is it that allows me to say that the individual X in this s erm cell of the film is the same individual X as in this cell of the film.
[408] That is, what is the underlying subject of change?
[409] Think of those as the two deep questions about individuation.
[410] How can you tell X from Y and how can you tell that X is still X, that it's still the same thing it was?
[411] When we think about those questions of individ individuation in our normal affairs, the best we can do is to say that what individuates us and also what makes us the same person through changes over time, is a great medley of factors, some of which are bodily, some of which involve our souls
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [412] Yeah, but he would say that you can't do it in terms of space and time.
Brennan (PS2N2) [413] He certainly would, but what in heaven's name is he talking about?
[414] If it's some notion of individuation which has nothing to do with the body, nothing to do with the soul and nothing to do, ultimately, with the intellect either.
[415] Yeah, that's why it's an [...] .
[416] I mean th this is, this is exactly what [...] was saying, he owes us more of an account.
[417] Erm, he has stripped away from these true selves everything that we normally think of as institute of, of a self.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [418] In a sense and a I'm not sure if it's only in a sense, that, that when we talk now of say [...] aren't we trying to approach the same [...] ?
Brennan (PS2N2) [419] Erm, could be [...]
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [420] Well I mean, if we're talking about sort of [...] and [...] they're looking for a sense of identity of whatever it is that they're having [...] of
Brennan (PS2N2) [421] That is I think that when I refer to [...] and when I refer to [...] I am referring to the same thing
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [422] Yeah
Brennan (PS2N2) [423] and that each remain the same thing although being described by a variety of different er descriptions.
[424] Er, just as I think that erm a variety of descriptions can pick out me.
[425] Erm, the only person in the room standing, er the only person in the room holding a book, erm you know, the, the, the er sole American in the room.
[426] Lots of different descriptions always pick out the same me.
[427] Erm, and all of which, in that case, seem to me completely [...] and have nothing really to do with me.
[428] That is, I, I take it would still be me even if I were seated, I would still be me even if I weren't holding a book, possibly I'd still be me even if I weren't American.
[429] Chances are [...]
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [430] In all possible worlds you'd still be you [laugh]
Brennan (PS2N2) [431] Nevertheless, right, there seems to be something that, that, that survives all of those changes er that we can talk about and still [...] me.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [432] I mean, it does seem on page three nine [...] really what we're talking about, trying to get some sense into that [...]
Brennan (PS2N2) [433] Right right
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [434] Er, I dunno what you think but I mean it does state there, it's quite interesting if one reads it out
Brennan (PS2N2) [435] Mhm mhm
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [436] what we're trying to address now
Brennan (PS2N2) [437] definitely, this is the crux.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [438] that is the crux of the whole of that lecture really [...] number nine
Brennan (PS2N2) [439] Yes, yes, I agree, I agree, right
Brennan (PS2N2) [440] so
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [441] I don't know how to interpret that.
[442] I mean, you can understand it, but then you get his, but now another man wishes to exist
Brennan (PS2N2) [443] Yes
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [444] you see, I mean, how can you interpret that?
Brennan (PS2N2) [445] I don't know, I don't know, although I ought to warn you that another way of interpreting the Greek would be, but now a man wishes to be another approached that man.
[446] Erm, [...] you could take the [...] as one unit and say, but now a man, wishing to be another, approached that man, and when he found us, for we were not outside the all, he wound himself round us and attached himself to that man who was then each one of us.
[447] That man, okay, singular, who was then each one of us, plural, erm erm, I take it that, that erm one of the things that we could conclude from this entire discussion is that our notion of selfhood erm which is our modern notion of selfhood, deeply bound up with erm personal history, you know, Locke's erm, what is Locke's example?
[448] The dashing cavalier, er the, Locke tells a story about someone who in their youth was a k a cavalry officer erm and how this person in later life, their memory of being a cavally off cavalry officer is part of what individuates them.
[449] Erm, so [...] in individuation has lots to do with physical attributes, lots to do with personal history and memory, lots to do with psychic characteristics such as desires, capacities, abilities, preferences, tastes and so on and so forth.
[450] Maybe what we should say at the end of the day is erm [...] just isn't talking about that, he's on about a completely different subject and we really shouldn't erm we shouldn't beat [...] over the head for having a bad theory of the self.
[451] Maybe he just doesn't, you know, he doesn't wanna talk about the self.
[452] Maybe he's talking about it all.
[453] Maybe he's under a different notion.
[454] Erm, er he might be doing a very good job of explaining some other notion, not the notion of a self or an individual, but er something else.
[455] Erm, maybe that would be the more fair thing to say at the end of the day.
[456] Erm
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [457] Well, when she, when it was, but now another man wishing to exist approaches that man, did she say that man was the intellect?
Brennan (PS2N2) [458] It's tough, I don't know erm take, take a look about four lines above.
[459] Now even if or erm er let's start from the top.
[460] But we, who are we?
[461] Are we, two choices, that which draws nearer and comes to be in time, that's the first choice.
[462] No, even before this coming to be er came to be we were there and we were men who were different and some of us were even gods and we were pure souls and intellects.
[463] Okay, so apparently that original we had something to do with intellects united with the whole of reality.
[464] Reality's a bad translation.
[465] United with the whole of being.
[466] Remember being is a level of intellect, whereas the one is above being.
[467] So it says united with the whole of reality, that means at the level of intellect, being.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [468] What are we t where are we going to face reality then?
Brennan (PS2N2) [469] [...] being or intellect is, is reality.
[470] Reality is at the level of, of er intellect.
[471] Erm, we were pure souls and intellect united with the whole of being.
[472] We were parts of the intelligible.
[473] Not marked off, or cut off, but belonging to the whole.
[474] Erm, I should also say that bit about some of us were even gods, erm that also is erm there are some options there on translation erm you could also say men who were different and particular, that is we were [...] and [...] erm particular humans and we were gods.
[475] That would be to say not some of us were gods but all of us were gods.
[476] Erm so that's another possibility.
[477] Er men who were different and particular and gods.
[478] Erm, so we were pure souls and we were intellects, united with the whole of being, I E the forms.
[479] We were parts of the intelligible, not marked off or cut off, but belonging to the whole.
[480] Er I take it to the whole of reality er or being
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [481] Not, not, not the one?
Brennan (PS2N2) [482] Er, not if the
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [483] Not embraced in the one?
Brennan (PS2N2) [484] er, if the whole there in the sixth line refers back to the whole of being in the fourth line then it would be erm not the one but intellect.
[485] Erm but now another man erm wishing to exist or perhaps, but not a man wishing to be other erm approached them er and when he found us, for we were not outside the all
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [486] Not outside the all?
Brennan (PS2N2) [487] Mhm mhm, although I take it that we're in fact
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [488] What does he mean by the all?
[489] Not the one?
[490] In other words, is that another way of saying the one?
Brennan (PS2N2) [491] I don't think so because
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [492] What does he mean by the all then?
Brennan (PS2N2) [493] Could be again the level of intellect erm
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [494] Yes
Brennan (PS2N2) [495] erm because I, you might er
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [496] It's the interchangeableness of this, these words that makes it difficult to understand
Brennan (PS2N2) [497] Terribly difficult yeah, it's just, it's just miserable stuff erm to try to make sense of.
[498] Erm, another er, the [...] translator makes the comment on this particular [...] , that in no other [...] is [...] as casual about not distinguishing the three highest hypotheses.
[499] He doesn't really seem to be very careful about distinguishing intellect from the one and, and so forth, doesn't really, he's not, he's not really focusing on that difference and so seems to let it lapse in a less than useful way.
[500] Erm
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [501] He says, he woun he wound himself round us, now who's he referring to he?
Brennan (PS2N2) [502] It's this other man apparently.
[503] Erm
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [504] [...] the intellectual man, the intellectual, we're talking about, we're not talking about a man in body, we're talking about intellect?
Brennan (PS2N2) [505] Yeah, although the one who, who wraps himself around might be a bodily man.
[506] Do come in.
[507] Erm erm yes it's just a desperately difficult passage.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [...]
Brennan (PS2N2) [508] Yeah, no, no it's tough stuff.
[509] Yes indeed.
Unknown speaker (HYDPSUNK) [...]