Psychological Criterion Theory

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In this essay, I will analyse the Psychological Criterion of personal identity, whilst also outlining its main criticism and evaluation. The psychological position argues that if you remember, or are psychologically the same as a previous person, you were that person. The psychological approach looks at the brain's processes and memories for example, and therefore is popular amongst many philosophers as it appears clear that what your brain does controls what you do. When exploring identity, the psychological seems essential in discussing the change and stability of your personality over your life course. The key idea to remember is that memories are psychological and if you remember these memories from the past, you are the same person who…show more content…
Critics have argued that numerical identity is transitive, meaning that your identity remains the same throughout your life. In response to my earlier example of the Memory Criterion's theory of my grandmother, critics argue if the child is identical to the middle aged women, and the middle aged women is identical to my old grandmother, then my grandmother in old age is identical to the child. This is different from the psychological approach which suggests that if you forget memories you were not that earlier person. The psychological approach's Memory Criterion has further been objected to due to the simple argument that in order to remember an event you had to have been there. This makes the psychological approach's idea of identity circular. In reference to my example of the separation of the brain and the person, it has been criticised that the idea of the brain and person thinking separately means they are not the same thing as there is two different thinkers. This is impossible as there cannot be more than one thinker to each person . The problem with the psychological approach's idea of fissions is that you could be psychologically continuous with two past or future people at once. This is not possible as you cannot be two. One thing cannot be numerically identical to two things. Other critics use the example of the two hemispheres to pose the idea that neither the left or right is you. They argue that they only individually exist when your cerebrum is divided and if they are then transplanted into someone else, you completely cease to exist. Therefore, they examine fission as death, arguing that you only survive with both hemispheres or one and the other is destroyed. If both are destroyed or both transplanted, you no longer

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