Brain Transplants and Personal Identity
Puccetti (Roland)
Source: Analysis 29.3, 1969, pp. 65-77
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

  1. The purpose of this paper is to consider what consequences for personal identity would ensue from transplantation1 of a functioning human brain from one body to another.
  2. It is claimed that in fact, 'where goes a brain2 there goes a person', so that those philosophers who have claimed bodily continuity3 or identity is either a necessary or even a sufficient condition of personal identity are flatly wrong. This holds true even when the transplant4 occurs between bodies of different sexes.
  3. It is also shown, as a further argument against corporealism5, that one could create two distinct persons in a single body.
  4. Chief scientific sources are from Roger W. Sperry and associates. Method used is analytical. Conclusion is that the brain6 is the physical basis of a human person, not the body7 as a whole.

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