Problems in Personal Identity: In Conclusion
Baillie (James)
Source: Baillie (James) - Problems in Personal Identity, 1993, Conclusion
Paper - Abstract

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  1. Baillie rejects the traditional “thought experiment”1 approach; our intuitions are unreliable, the conclusions are inconclusive and any benefits of this approach have already been assimilated. The problem cases are often impossible, and a false dichotomy is often set up between conflicting intuitions.
  2. Abandoning this methodology, the Physical Criterion wins out. We are material beings whose persistence is Bodily. However, if forced to accept the thought experiments2, Baillie thinks he goes where his brain goes (should brain transplants3 be possible). He largely accepts Parfit’s4 analysis should double half-brain transplants5 be possible: presumably he accepts that while I don’t survive (or am not identical to either of the survivors), I have what matters6 in survival.
  3. Any contribution made by philosophers with respect to the Psychological Criterion7 must be in the light of the sciences of Neuroscience and Psychology. The philosopher is very much the handmaiden of the sciences in the respect.

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