Transplant Thought-Experiments: Two costly mistakes in discounting them

South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):189-199 (2014)

Abstract

‘Transplant’ thought-experiments, in which the cerebrum is moved from one body to another, have featured in a number of recent discussions in the personal identity literature. Once taken as offering confirmation of some form of psychological continuity theory of identity, arguments from Marya Schechtman and Kathleen Wilkes have contended that this is not the case. Any such apparent support is due to a lack of detail in their description or a reliance on predictions that we are in no position to make. I argue that the case against them rests on two serious misunderstandings of the operation of thought-experiments, and that even if they do not ultimately support a psychological continuity theory, they do major damage to that theory’s opponents.

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References found in this work

The Self and the Future.Bernard Williams - 1970 - Philosophical Review 79 (2):161-180.
Personal Identity.Sydney Shoemaker & Richard Swinburne - 1984 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 18 (3):184-185.

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Citations of this work

Brain Death: What We Are and When We Die.Lukas J. Meier - 2020 - Dissertation, University of St. Andrews
Reconsidering a Transplant: A Response to Wagner.Simon Beck - 2016 - South African Journal of Philosophy 35 (2):132-140.
Thought Experiments and Personal Identity in Africa.Simon Beck - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (4):239-452.

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