Monday, June 18, 2007

Personal identity (11)

What Gallagher shows in his How the body shapes the mind is that it is impossible to separate the mental part from a person’s bodily part, which makes that a brain transplant is impossible in any way, be it that the brain as such is transplanted or be it that only the mental contents of the brain is transplanted, teletransported or what you want to do with it. It puts the personal identity discussion in a new light. One implication is that personal identity cannot be reduced to any form of psychological continuity, that there is no psychological criterion of personal identity and that the psychological approach of personal identity fails. However, also a pure bodily criterion will not do. What Gallagher makes clear is that a person is an integrated whole of mind and body. Now he should have to write a book How the mind shapes the body.

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