- The view that people go where their brains go remains popular in discussions of personal identity. But since the brain is only a small part of the body, defenders of that view need to provide an account of what it is that makes the brain especially relevant to personal identity.
- The standard answer is that the brain is special because it is the carrier of psychological continuity1. But Peter van Inwagen has recently offered (in "Van Inwagen (Peter) - Material Beings") an alternative account of the brain' special relevance. Those who reject the view that we go with our brains obviously need to respond to this new account.
- According to van Inwagen, there is an important difference between the life-support requirements of a severed head and those of a headless body: whereas a severed head would need only a pump to survive, a headless body would need the functional equivalent of a computer in its life-support system. It follows, according to van Inwagen, that we go with our brains.
- In this paper I argue that van Inwagen's argument is doubly defective: the inference from his premisses to his conclusion is dubious; and in any case his premisses misrepresent the relevant physiological facts.
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