Winter Essay

2018 Words9 Pages
Where Does Personal Identity Reside? : Tommy Vladek Personal identity theory is a theory that questions our existence philosophically: it asks who we are and how do we know? In the essay “Will Tommy Vladek Survive?” John Perry described a controversial topic on identity by analyzing an essay called The Meeting by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Konibluth. In the essay there were two boys -Tommy Vladek a destructive boy, who was mentally challenged but healthy-bodied and Sam a normal boy, who had an accident that damaged his body but left his brain healthy. Tommy’s family was facing difficulties because of the special care needed for him. A Dr. Nicholson gave Tommy’s parents the choice of a new brain that will make “upgrade” Tommy and they had…show more content…
This is because we don’t need every single piece of an entity to stay the same in order to have the same thing. For example in the Star Wars Darth Vader slices off the hand of Luke Skywalker, and on the next scene he had an artificial arm. No one said he died because not all parts of the body matter. Unlike body transfer which includes non-visual things like soul transfer, body identity you can see if the same body is visible. In the same way we are able to track cars, we are able to trace cars we are able to identify ourselves. Another concept that Perry describes is brain theory—personal identity is brain identity. Brain identity states “to be the same person is to have the same brain” (TP 197). The most apparent problem for this theory is why the brain? Why can it not be the heart that provides sustenance to all organs? Or any other organ? People undergo many transplants, and when they leave the operating room people still think they are the same person. The answer is that people are more interested in psychological or mental attributes when interacting with other people, therefore we take the brain which is solely responsible for this as the source of personal identity. A different way of looking at this theory is the dead engine scenario. Say a 2010 Honda Civics’ engine died and you had a Bugatti Veyron carcass (functioning engine and wrecked body). If the Bugatti’s engine was placed
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