Evaluation and Objections to Judith Thomson in "People and their Bodies"

GRIN Publishing (forthcoming)

Seth Carter
Indiana University
In her essay, “People and their Bodies,” Judith Thomson writes an evaluation of several formulations of the psychological criterion for personal identity and attempts a strategy of criticizing each formulation of the psychological theory. This is done in order to conclude that a physical theory must be the only remaining viable sufficient candidate for explaining personal identity that is both necessary and sufficient, despite its theoretical weaknesses. This paper seeks to analyze Thomson's critique and explain why her chosen formulations of psychological criterion are inadequate and easy to refine against some of her rather hasty objections. In addition, counterarguments in favor of an 'impure' psychological criterion for personal identity are presented in the hopes of clarifying the philosophical discourse.
Keywords Personal Identity  Judith Thomson  Psychological  Biological  Thought Experiment  Critical  Consciousness  Philosophy  21st Century  Mind Body Problem
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