Countering the Appeal of the Psychological Approach to Personal Identity
Hershenov (David)
Source: Philosophy - 79, Jul2004, Issue 309, p447-474, 28p;
Paper - Abstract

Paper SummaryBooks / Papers Citing this PaperNotes Citing this PaperText Colour-Conventions


Various Abstracts

  1. Defenders of the 'psychological approach to personal identity' (PAPI) insist that the possession of a mind is essential to us. The PAPI receives support from scenarios involving brain transplants1, irreversible noncognitive states, and dicephalic conjoined twins. The advocates of the 'biological approach to personal identity' (BAPI) often admit the initial counterintuitiveness of their position and then defend it because it avoids certain metaphysical problems that plague the PAPI concerning spatial coincidence. However, the BAPI needs not grant that the initial intuitive advantage belongs to the PAPI. The BAPI can provide just as good an explanation of the three scenarios.
  2. Focuses on the stand of the defenders of the Psychological Approach to Personal Identity that the possession of some kind of mind is essential to human. Belief of philosophers that we are each identical to our body; Contention of the judgment that man is essentially psychological beings and not biological entities is elicited by scenarios involving brain transplants2; Identity of one's organic life.
  3. Brain transplants3 and the dicephalus (an organism just like us except that it has two cerebrums)4 are thought to support the position that we are essentially thinking creatures, not living organisms. I try to offset the first of these intuitions by responding to thought experiments5 Peter Unger devised to show that identity is what matters6. I then try to motivate an interpretation of the alleged conjoined twins as really just one person cut off from himself by relying upon what I take will be the reader's disagreement with Locke's conjecture that a dreaming Socrates and an awake Socrates are two distinct people.

Comment:

See Link.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



© Theo Todman, June 2007 - July 2018. Please address any comments on this page to theo@theotodman.com. File output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this Page Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page Return to Theo Todman's Home Page