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January 11 Lecture

Course Code
Stephen Biggs

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PHL240 January 11, 2011 Lecture1
1.Personal Identity
-you are your body vs. you are your mind
-what are the conditions for having the same body if the matter comprising our bodies constantly change
-people cannot be individuated by dna either i.e. twins
-for the mind, propositional attitudes (beliefs, desires etc.) are not the same over time
-memories cannot define us either
-stability of personality cannot define us i.e. Phinneas Gage
-what about the soul?
Indiscernability of identicals
If Clark = Superman, then Clark and Superman have exactly the same properties
-aka identity of discernables
Transivity of Identity
Clark = Superman
Clark = Kal-El
Superman = Kal-El
The Mind-Body Problem
Option 1: Mind is one thing, body is another
-conscious experience of the mind causes the body to act in a certain way
Option 2: Mind is identical with body
PHL240 January 18, 2011 Body TheoryLecture 2
-intuitive motivation supporting body theory i.e. you are wherever your body is
-if it is impossible to switch your body, your body must be part of you because you are identical with it
-I dont just inhabit my body, I am my body’
Physical thesis: people are their bodies
Physical Criterion: X = y iff xs body = ys body (if there are two things that are identical then they have
the same body)
Objections to Physical Criterion
1. Death the person is dead but their body is still there; thus the person is not identical with their body
A is not identical with As body
-Thompson argues that people are dead, but who is the dead person? It must be the dead person; literally
speaking, that person is not gone, but is still present, hes just dead
2. Body Switching Case 1; Robinsons brain is removed, Browns brain is put into Robinsons body,
Browns body completely disappears, Robinsons body thinks that it is the person known as Brown
-is this reply correct? Intuitively, we think it is correct, and if so the physical criterion is false, Robinson is
not identical with Robinsons body
-in Case 1, the brain is irrelevant. We think that the survivor is Brown, not because of the brain
transplant, but rather because we presuppose that the brain carries the psychology
Case 2; Robinsons body is injected with a drug to help the body accept a new brain
-Browns brain is put into Robinsons, Browns body disappears the side effect of the drug is that the new
brain is reprogrammed to the new body
-despite having Browns brain, the drug caused the new brain to become Robinson
Case 3; Brown is killed off with no brain transplant, Robinsons brain is reconfigured to have Browns
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