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Against the Psychological Account

Essay by   •  April 1, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,483 Words (6 Pages)  •  734 Views

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The problem of what marks people numerically equal throughout life is known to thinkers as the problem of personal identity. The bodily account says that Person A is numerically identical to person B if and only if A's body is numerically identical to B's Body. There are two ways to view one person's being the same as another. When a person has an intellectual conversion or plucks her eyebrows, she is dissimilar to how she was in the past. She does not remain qualitatively the same person, for example. This is true, and is definitely qualitative identity. In one view, she is not "the same person"; however, in another view she is the same person. This other type of identity is called numerical identity.

Numerical identity is the kind of identity shown by the equals symbol in problems that include math. For example six plus six equals twelve. An important view is that six plus six and twelve stand for one and the identical number. A person is numerically the identical person they were when he/she was a rug-rat. A good point is that this is viewed only with taking in to consideration of the fact that he/she is still qualitatively extremely not the same. It is helpful to observe that numerical identity can hold despite qualitative differences.

These kinds of problems cause friction between the two types of equalities. A person should have no doubt that he/she has changed in some ways since he/she was crawling on the floor. He/she is not qualitatively identical; however, he/she is still numerically the same person as the rug-rat years ago. This highlights the objection between numerical and qualitative identity. No other rug-rat crawled on the same floor of his/her parent's home, making a mess with all the toys and things. In saying this, highlighted is the fact that no rug-rat can get in trouble for a mess made by another rug-rat, especially in a case where a person had no other siblings, and his/her parents did not babysit for anybody. By the way, what is meant by 'another rug-rat' is a rug-rat who is numerically dissimilar from the original person.

The idea of numerical equality is significant in our everyday lives. This is because, as we know, it is unfair to discipline someone numerically dissimilar from the offender. The idea of numerical equality shows a vital part in feelings. Examples of these are guilt, hope, and repentance. One may object to sensing the same guilt or repentance for the errors of others that he/she can sense for his/her own errors. A person cannot expect the likings to be experienced by anyone else. This objections means it does not even matter how qualitatively equal that person that other person is; a person just cannot expect the likings to be experienced by anyone else. To thinkers, the problem of personal identity is known as the problem of what marks people numerically identical throughout life. This well explains the reason why personal identity is important.

The bodily account should at least initially seem plausible because it is somewhat evident in some cases that it is superior in accounts such as "iris recognition". Like the same fingerprints, the same iris recognition, may make the bodily account seem probable because of the similarities in their bodily sense. A company may have a person's iris copied to their database of irises. When a person uses any of the company's iris scanners to enter a secured building, his/her iris gets scanned, and the scanner recognizes the same copy over at the company's database. An objection of personal identity is using the idea that Person A has the same iris as Person B.

The objecting part about the bodily account is the possibility of a psychology switch. British philosopher, John Locke, states that the exulting person in Person A's body is in fact Person B and is therefore guilty of Person B's crimes. This is because the person in Person A's body (Person B) is psychologically continuous with Person B. This is the problem of psychology switches. The psychology switch challenges the bodily account because the bodily account gets the wrong answer of which person is which

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