Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 47 (2):210-229 (2022)

Ruiping Fan
City University of Hong Kong
This essay draws on classical Confucian intellectual resources to argue that the person who emerges from a head transplant would be neither the person who provided the head, nor the person who provided the body, but a new, different person. We construct two types of argument to support this conclusion: one is based on the classical Confucian metaphysics of human life as qi activity; the other is grounded in the Confucian view of personal identity as being inseparable from one’s familial relations. These Confucian ideas provide a reasonable alternative to the currently dominant view that one’s personal identity “follows” one’s head. Together, these arguments imply that head transplantation is ethically inappropriate.
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhab024
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A Confucian Reflection on Genetic Enhancement.Ruiping Fan - 2010 - American Journal of Bioethics 10 (4):62 – 70.

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