Brain Transplant and Personal Identity

Christian Bioethics 26 (1):95-112 (2020)
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Abstract

Should Christians support the view that one’s psychological continuity is the main criterion of personal identity? Is the continuity of one’s brain or memory states necessary and sufficient for the identicalness of the person? This paper investigates the plausibility of the psychological continuity theory of personal identity, which holds that the criterion of personal identity is certain psychological continuity between persons existing at different times. I argue that the psychological continuity theory in its various forms suffers from interminable problems. Then, I introduce an alternate account of personal identity, according to which personal identity is not further analyzable in terms of qualitative properties of persons. Rather, persons are individuated by their primitive thisnesses, which are nonqualitative properties of immaterial substances. This alternate conception of personal identity would be of particular relevance to those who believe in the immortality of the soul and are looking for a nonphysicalist account of personal identity.

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Citations of this work

Christian Bioethics: From Foundations to the Future.Ana Iltis - 2020 - Christian Bioethics 26 (1):1-11.

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References found in this work

Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.John Locke - 1979 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 169 (2):221-222.
The identity of indiscernibles.Max Black - 1952 - Mind 61 (242):153-164.

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