Sunday, October 28, 2007

Personal identity (19)

If I am teletransported to another planet, as for example Parfit proposes, do I take then my social identity with me or only my personal identity? Can we say that Haile Gebrselassie is the world record holder on the marathon on a planet where the gravitiation is only 10% of what it is on earth and where it is impossible to run a marathon?
And what if I switch bodies, an example also often used in the personal identity discussion in the analytical philosophy of action, (for example by Williams) ? Do I get then the social identity belonging to the other body or do I keep my original social identity? Is Haile Gebrselassie still the world record holder on the marathon if he switches body with Paul Tergat? Who is then the real world record holder: the person with the mind of Haile Gebrselassie or the person with the body of Haile Gebrselassie? Who is then the real Gebrselassie, who is then the real Tergat?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Personal identity (18)

Does a social identity exist? Is there a difference between a person’s social identity and his or her personal identity in the sense that I have used it above? What does Princess Máxima of the Netherlands mean when she says that there is no Dutch identity? Does it mean that I cannot be Dutch despite the fact that I have a Dutch passport, that I have been born in the Netherlands, that I have always lived here and that my ancestors lived in the Netherlands? What do I mean, when I support her despite these facts (and I do support her) and when I say that there are many Dutch identities, that a Dutch identity is multiple, and when I wonder whether there exists any Dutch identity at all? What do I mean when I consider myself Dutch despite this multiplicity of Dutchness? What does Mr. Lubbers, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, mean, if he says that a Dutch identity does exist? What is this Dutch identity?

Monday, October 08, 2007

On non-violent resistance

Two theses on non-violent resistance: 1) Successful non-violent resistance is neither only "underground" (in the sense that people try to live their private lives as they want to live it, ignoring as much as possible the repression by the state) nor only "La Boétiean" (in the sense that people resist the repression openly, for example by means of demonstrations). Both ways to oppose a repressive regime supply each other and need each other. 2) There are two kinds of power: coercive power and co-operative power (see Schell). Non-violent resistance implies a clash between both kinds of power. It is the task of a theory of non-violent resistance to elaborate and explain what happens here and to relate it to the levels of resistance.
For a defense of these theses see (in Dutch).

Monday, October 01, 2007

About thinking and writing

I do not write what I think, but I think what I write. Every philosopher knows. As Montaigne has said: "Le premier traict produict le second". When I do not write what I think, my thinking starts to move in a circle and I do not come forward. I know what I know only by writing.