101 Ch 4 Publishers' Essay Questions.doc

101 Ch 4 Publishers' Essay Questions.doc - PHIL 101...

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PHIL 101 INSTRUCTOR: WILBURN MODEL ANSWERS TO PUBLISHERS’ ESSAY TEST FOR CH. 4 1. If two persons could inhabit the same body, would this show that animalism is false? Why or why not? Yes it would. Animalism maintains that having a particular body is sufficient for being a particular person. If more than one person inhabited a given body, this sufficiency condition would be violated, as it would show that inhabiting a particular body is not enough to identify a particular person. 2. If your DNA were fused with that of a cat so that eventually you had the body of a cat (and your mind was left intact), would this show that animalism is true? Why or why not? This would not show that animalism is true. Indeed, depending on how you describe the case, it might be seen as a counterexample to animalism. Again, animalism maintains that having a particular body is sufficient for being a particular person. If your DNA were fused with that of a cat, then you would arguably come to acquire a different body while still remaining the same person. Thus, animalism would be refuted. 3. If your memories were erased but your soul remained intact, would you still be the same person? Why or why not? Intuitively, it seems that you would not be the same person. To remain the same person seems to have everything to do with maintaining psychological continuity over time, irrespective of whether or not this psychological continuity is implemented in the same individual mental substance over time. To imagine losing all of your memories is to effectively imagine going out of existence whether or not the mental substance or soul in which these thoughts and memories occur continues to exist. 4. Explain why the possibility of a soul switch suggests that the soul theory is false. Soul switching thought experiments are imagined cases in which one’s thoughts and memories are transferred from one mental substance to another. The point of such thought experiments is that what seems to matter to personal identity is the retention of memories and mental continuity, irrespective of whether or not these things occur in a particular mental substance. This point is made by both Locke and Kant. If one imagines the contents of one’s consciousness being transferred from one mental substance to another mental substance, one imagines one’s self traveling with the contents of one’s mental life rather than remaining with the original container of this mental life.
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