Essay two: personal identity | Philosophy homework help
PurposeThe purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate your comprehension of one of the centraltopics covered this semester – either the problem of skepticism or the problem of personalidentity.SkillsThis assignment will help you practice the following skills:• Reading comprehension.• Working with abstract concepts.• Assessing philosophical idea.• Presenting philosophical ideas in writing.KnowledgeThis assignment will help you become familiar with the following content.• Epistemology• Skepticism• Metaphysics• Logic• Personal IdentityEssay Two: Personal Identity*FirstDefine and contrast “qualitative identity” and “numerical identity.” Give an example oftwo numerically distinct items that are qualitatively identical, and then explain how twophotographs could be of qualitatively different but numerically identical subjects. (30points.)*ThenExplain that what philosophers mean when they bring up “the problem of personalidentity” is the question “What keeps a person numerically identical to him/herself overa lifetime despite their undergoing possibly drastic qualitative changes?” Then explainhow philosophers who endorse the brain criterion answer this question and howphilosophers who endorse the memory criterion answer this question. (30 points.)*ThenRewatch the trailer for the movie Freaky Friday on Blackboard. Before they eat thecursed fortune cookie, the character Anna is played by Lindsay Lohan and the characterTess is played by Jamie Lee Curtis, but after they eat the fortune cookie their identitybecomes philosophically debatable. Explain which characters (who you should call“Anna” and “Tess”) inhabit which bodies (which you should call “LL” for Lindsay Lohan’sbody and “JLC” for Jamie Lee Curtis’s body) after the fortune cookie scene, according tothe brain and memory criterion of personal identity. Assume that the cursed fortunecookie swaps their memories between their brains but does not swap their brainsbetween their skulls. (30 points.)*ThenPersonal identity is both symmetric and transitive – explain what this means. Giveexamples of transitive and symmetric relations other than personal identity, and alsogive an example of a relation that is neither transitive nor symmetric. Given thatpersonal identity is both transitive and symmetric, how is it possible for two personsliving ten years apart to be numerically identical to each other according to the brain ormemory criterion of personal identity, even if they believe, desire and remember entirelydifferent things and their brains have no neurons or cells in common? (30 points.)*ThenExplain what a “dividing” case looks like for Parfit. While humans cannot divide likeamoeba, he thinks we can describe a case using triplets that results in a scenario verymuch like dividing amoeba in the relevant respects. Describe this scenario and explainwhat Parfit thinks happens to someone if they “divide” in this way. Which of the tworesulting half-brained people does Parfit think the original whole-brained person isidentical to, if either, and why? (30 points.)*FinallyWe know that our memories are stored in patterns of neural connections in our brains,and so, in the future, scientists could hypothetically discover the code used by our brainsto store memories and use this knowledge to “implant” memories in our minds byrewiring our neurons. In this hypothetical scenario, scientists could scan your brain anduse this information to implant all of your memories into a clone. Upon awakening fromsurgery, the clone would have all of your memories and no memories of its own – theclone would think he/she is you.Imagine that the brain scan procedure would kill your brain if it happened to you.Nevertheless, it would allow all of your memories to be implanted into a newer, fresherbrain and younger, healthier body whenever you wished. Explain whether or not theclones with your memories would be you. If this procedure were offered to you, wouldyou agree to it? Why or why not? (30 points.)Criteria for SuccessYour paper must be in double-spaced 12-point font, Times New Roman, Vani, Georgia, LibreBaskerville, or Calibri. Give it an appropriate title and bold and/or underline the title. Make sureyour name and date are on it, but don’t put the name of the professor.• Every step of the task is completed, and in the proper order.• Every step is written in your own words. You may quote Descartes, Hume, Locke, Parfit,or any of the course material, but if you do be sure to use proper attribution, and don’t gooverboard with it. You should not be citing or quoting outside sources.• The paper does not contain any “filler,” i.e. sentences unrelated to the prompt or theirparagraph’s main idea.• The paper is turned in on time.• The paper has the proper typesetting spelling, grammar, paragraph structure andediting.Correctly following these criteria is worth 20 points.IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT ALL POINTS ARE PRESENT, AND IDENTIFIED!!! NO MIN OF WORDS, BUT ALL POINTS MUST BE ANSWERED
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