.. If we adopt an alternative approach in which we 'give up the language of identity'. (Belshaw and Price, p.88). In the light of this perception, the following scenario applies.
If we give up the language of identity, we can claim that a survives the operation and so survives as two different people, B and C, without claiming that a is identical to either B. Or C. Or both. By giving up claims about identity in favour of claims about survival, we can avoid problems about transitivity.
(Belshaw and Price, p.86)
Therefore, we could say that in the term 'personal identity' what Parfit does is to reduce the importance of the personal aspect and emphasize a criterion of identity that is mental or psychological and not dependent on the body. The important question therefore becomes not "will I exist:" but rather will my life continue. There a many criticisms of this line of thought and some commentators claim that in Parfit's view "Identity is not what matters" - which they seen in a negative light. (Personal Identity as Psychological Continuity)
Williams provides a very different approach to the issue of identity and prefers to retain the more 'personal' and subjective aspect of this question. His argument is intended to cast doubt on the "...widely held view that people are essentially minds, or that mental or psychological considerations are decisive in issues of personal identity" (Belshaw and Price, p.86). He is of the view that bodily continuity plays a vital role in the understanding of personal identity. Central to his argument is his assertion that,."..I shall try to show that bodily identity is always a necessary condition of personal identity..." (Williams, 1973, p. 1). As stated in section of his work entitled, the SELF and the FUTURE, William believes that, "...bodily continuity is at least a necessary condition of personal identity" (Williams, 1973, ' the SELF and the FUTURE').
Williams use a number of different arguments to support his assertion of bodily continuity. In his hypothetical experiments he uses the issue of fear of the future and considers that "...one's fears can extend to future pain whatever psychological changes precede it" as an argument for the existence and continuity of bodily identity. (Williams, 1973, ' the SELF...
This argument claims that, "we have no way of making identity judgments on the basis of memory claims alone" (Ray) Williams sates that this argument shows that it is not possible from an epistemological point-of-view to make judgments about identity without taking into account the physical body. In effect, he states that "...the omission of the body takes away all content from the idea of personal identity" (Williams, 1973, p. 10).
The issue of personal identity and the debate about bodily continuity as a feature of identity is extremely contentious. Central to this contention is the primary assumption of a separation between body and mind. Parfit on the one hand, 're- sets' or rephrases the issue of identity and asserts that the question of personal identity is superseded by the continuance of identity in a psychological sense.
Williams on the other hand, while acknowledging aspects of psychological continuity in identity, emphasizes that the body cannot be excluded from identity. Both these theories present cogent points and their views often interrelate and overlap to a great degees. However, in the final analysis there is no single definitive answer to the central question of this paper.
A possible answer lies in alternative and "simpler' points-of-view, which question the fundamental assumption of the division between body and mind. This view explores identity from a perspective that attempts to transcend thinking in terms of this opposition.
Belshaw C. And Price C. PERSONAL IDENTITY, (reference not provided)
Derek Parfit (1971) Personal Identity. The Philosophical Review, LXXX, 3.
Personal Identity as Psychological Continuity. http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:sD0DKJO3oPQJ:ocw.mit.edu/NR/rdonlyres/Linguistics-and-Philosophy/24-03Spring-2005/5A8BFC59-566D-4639-88E0- ECFF58DDF6F3/0/l5_pi_psych_cont.pdf+Bernard+Williams+and+identity & hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=51&gl=za
Ray C. (1998) Identity and Universals: A Conceptualist Approach to Logical,
Metaphysical, and Epistemological Problems of Contemporary Identity Theory. http://enlightenment.supersaturated.com/essays/text/carolynray/diss/04.html
Williams Bernard (1973) Problems of the Self: Philosophical Papers 1956-1972.
"The basic form of the Reduplication Argument considers two men who claim to remember being a deceased historical figure. If Charles and his brother Robert both claimed to remember being Guy Fawkes, we can easily see that, because the two men are not identical to each other, the expression 'has the same memories as' cannot possibly mean 'has the identical memories' but must mean 'has similar memories as.' We cannot decide which man, if any, is really identical to Fawkes, since they both just have memories similar to what we imagine Fawkes's memories were. But if we must describe Charles and Robert as merely having similar memories, we must surely do so if Charles alone were to make this claim; in the absence of Fawkes's body, we can claim only that that Charles has memories similar to Fawkes's." (Ray).
Philosophies of Life: Personal and Traditional When one considers the many aspects of one's "inner life," it becomes clear that most, if not all of them are based upon some philosophical conception. Psychologists have long known that individuals, who have a strong sense of their life's purpose, as well as a spiritual, religious, or ethical viewpoint, tend to live longer, healthier lives. Further, they are less likely to suffer from depressive episodes
Yet rather than understand this revelation as something which is freeing, Sartre experienced it as something fearful. He speaks of this freedom as being a form of damnation: Man is condemned to be free... condemned because he has not created himself - and is nevertheless free. Because having once been hurled into the world, he is responsible for everything he does..." (Gaarder, 379-380) If one is free, then one has not
Consequently, physicalism or materialism is seen by some as a form of reductionism of the potential of human mind and consciousness. It is therefore a point-of-view that should be questioned in terms of the modern exploration of the complexity of human consciousness. References A Case for Physicalism about the Human Mind (the Great Debate). Retrieved from http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/andrew_melnyk/physicalism.html Jackson. F. (1986): 'What Mary Didn't Know'. Journal of Philosophy, 83. Knowledge Argument Against Physicalism [Internet Encyclopedia
Mind and Body A review of the required literature, Robert Thurman's "Wisdom" (Thurman), Karen Armstrong's "Homo Religiousus" (Armstrong), and Oliver Sacks' "The Mind's Eye: What the Blind See" (Sacks), gives significant insights into how the mind and body must work together to create our lived experience. Though the three authors may initially appear to discuss somewhat different topics, they have vital commonalities. The readings will lead the thoughtful reader to a
Using the death of her mother on emotional response she argues that in case it had been discovered in the whole episode that her blood pressure seemed to be very low or her pulse rate did not go beyond 60, no any reason that can be used in concluding that she was not grieving. Contrary to claim of James that without existence of bodily feeling then emotion does not
Philosophy and Psychology of the Mind and Body Throughout human history, philosophers, doctors, and most recently, psychologists, have attempted to understand the relationship between the mind and body and how it results in human beings' awareness and perception of reality. At least since the golden age of Greek philosophy, thinkers have been aware of an ostensible distinction between the mind and body, a distinction that nonetheless allows for some intermingling such