2 Swinburne the Dualist Theory

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2 Swinburne the Dualist Theory
  DEREKPARFIT PERSONALIDFNTITY: THF DUALIST THEORY answer cannot be that theseexperiences are being had by the same pers&&n. 'I'his ratelives. Thisimagined case showsthat personal identity is not what matters. I answer cannot explain the unity of each of this person s two streams ot con- Jfi was about to divide, I should concludethat neither ot the resulting people sciousness, since it ignores the disunity between these streams. This person is wflJ be mc,I will have ceased to exist. But this ivay of ceasing to exist is about asnow havingall of the experiences in both of his two streams. It'his tact was good — or as bad — as ordinary survival.what unified these experiences, this would make thetwo streams orn;, Some of the features of Wiggins's imagined case are likely to remain techni- These cases do not I have claimed involve two people sharing a single body cally impossible. But the case cannot be dismissed, sinceits most striking fea- Since thereis onlyone person involved, who has two streams of cons«i on sues's tore the division ofone stream ot consciousness into separate streams has already the Ego Theorist's explanauon wouldhave to take the followingtbrm. H„ happened. This is a second way in which the actual split-brain cases have great would have to distinguish between persons andsubjects of experiences, a&i&I theoretical hnportance. Theychallenge some of our deepest assumptions about claim that, insplit-brain cases, there are s&»&& of thelatter.What unities the expeoiifsclvcs. riences in one of the person's two streams would have to be the fact thattheseexperiences are all being hadby the same subject of experiences. Whar unifies the experiences in this person's other stream would have to be the t'act that they are being hadby another subject of experiences.Whenthis explanation takes Scc Donald MacKay, 'Divided Brains — Divided Minds?', chapter I of Mi»d&ns»&es, this form, it becomes much less plausible. While we could assume that 'subject cd, Colin Blakemore and Susan Greenfield (Oxtord: Btackwett, 1987), ef experiences', or 'Ego'; simplymeant 'person',it was easy to believe that por thc sources of these and similar quotauons, see my Reasons and Persons (Ox t& &rd: there are subjects of experiences. Butif there can be subjects ot experiences that Oxford University Press, 1984), pp. 502-3, 532. are not persons, and if in thc life of a split-brain patient there are at any nme two At the end ofhis Idcsstisyss&sd Spasio-se»sp&&rat C&»&ss'&sssisy(Oxti&r&t: Blackwall, 1967), different subjects of experiences — wo differen Egos— why sh&&uld wc believe that there really are such things? This does not amount to a rcthtation. But it seems to me a strong argumentagainst the Ego Theory. Asa Bundle Theorist, I believe that these two Egos are idle cogs. I here is another explanation of the unity of consciousness, both in ordinary casesand in split-brain cases. It is simply a fact that ordinary people are, at any time, aware ot'7 Personal Identity:the Dualist Theory having several different experiences. This awareness of several differcnt experi- ences canbehelpfully comparedwithone's awareness, in short-term mcmo&y, of several different expenences. 7ust as there can be a single memor) of just RiChuy d Sypi'ebydree having had several experiences, such ashearing a bell strike three times,there can be asingle stateofawareness both ofhearingthe fourth striking of this hell, Empiricist Theories and of seeing, at the same time, ravens flying past the bett-tower. Unlike the Ego Theorist's explanation, this explanationcan easilybeextended Thereare twophilosophical questions about personal identity. The tirstis: ivhat to cover split-brain cases. In such cases there is, at any time, not one state of are the logically necessary and sufV&cient conditions f&&r a person P,at a time, r, wareness of several different experiences, but two such states. In th» case I desc'bd th ' f being the same person as aperson P, at an earlier time ri of loosely, what doesescribeu, there is one state of awareness of bothseeing only red and &&t moving it mean to say that Ps is the same person as P,? The second is: what evidence ot one hand, and there is another state of awareness ot'both seeingonly blue an&t observation and experience can we have thar a pers&&n P, at t, is thc sameperson moving uie other hand. Inclaiming that there are two such states & &t'.nvareness, as a person P,at r& (and how arc ditf&..rent pieces ot evidence t&& bc weighed iiig E h'i we arenot postulating theexistence of unfamiliar entries,two separately cxisi- against eachother)? Many writers about personal identity have, h&n& ever, needed ing gos which are not thesameas the single person whom the «asc inv&&Ives. to give only one account of personalidentity, because their account of thc s explanation appeals to a pair of mental states which would have io hc logically necessary and sufficient conditions of personal identity was interms of scri e anyway in a full description of this case. me evidence of observation and experience which would establish or oppose ve suggested how t e split-brain cases provide oneargument tor onc claims of personal identity.They have made no sharp distinction betweenthe iew a out t e nature of persons. I should mention anothersuch argument, meaning of such claims and theevidence which supported them. Theories of rovi e yan imagined extension of these cases, first discussed at length by thiskindind we maycall empiricisttheories. In this imagined case a erson's b nsbrain isdivided, and thetwo halves ar are trans- .p«an Sydney Shoemakerand Richard Swinburne, Personal Idensisy (Oxll&r&h Blackwell, 1984). Plantedinto a pair of different bodies.The iwo resulting peopJe Jive quite sepa- apshn&xt by permission of &he author. 317  RICHARD SWINBURNE PERSONAL IDENTITY: THE DUALISTTHEORY In this section I shall briefly survey the empiricist theories which have bec,) constituteits form. The table ac» hich I amwriting today is the sametable at offered and argue that theyare ultimately unsatisfactory, and so go on cc& argue which I was writingyesterday because it consists of'the same matter (or at any that my two quesuons have very different answers. What we mean when )a c sa& rate, most of the same matter), organized in the same way — inco che fbrm of a that two personsare the same is one thing; theevidence which v& e mayhave to cable. For inanimate things, however, too much replaceme)')t ofmatter, how- support our claim is something very different. ~r gradual, will destroyidentity. It I replace thedrawer ot my desk by another The most natural theory of personal identity which readily occurs cc& pe()pie drawer, thedesk remains the same desk. But if,albeit gradually, I replace first is that personal identity is constituted by bodily identity. P, is the sameperson thedrawers and then the sides andthen the top, so thatthere is none of the as P if P 's body is the same body as P,'s body The person to whom v&&u are onginal matter left, we would say that the resulung desk was no longer thetalking now andcall 'John's the same person as the person to whom you were ~e deskas thesrc'desk For living things such as plants total replacc-talking lastweekand then called 'John'f and only if he has the same body. To ment of matter — so long as it is gradual, and so long as physiology andanatomy say that the two bodies — call them B, and B, — are the same is noc co say also change only gradually if at all — will not destroyidentiry. The oaktree is the they contain exactly the same bits of matter. Bodies are continually caking in . satne as the sapling out of which it has gro~n, becausereplacement of matter new matter(by peopleeating and drinkingandbreathingin) and gening rid of has beengradual, and form (i.e., shape, physiology, and behaviour) has been matter. But what makes the bodies the same is that the replacement of nlatcer is largely preserved whileany changesin it have been gradual.... only gradual. The matter which forms my body is organized in a certain way, , Persons too are substances. (Men, or humanbeings, are persons of a certain into parts — legs,arms, heart, liver, etc.— which are interconnected and ex- ~d -.viz., those with similar anatomy, physiology, and evolutionary srcinco change matter and energy in regular ways. What makes my body todaythe same oursdves. There may be persons, e.g., on another planet, whoare noc human body as mybody yesterdayis that most of thematter is the same (alt lu&ugh I f&eings'.) If we apply Aristotle's general account of'he identicv of'substances to may have lost some andgained some) and its organization has remained roughlv persons& it follows that for a person to be the same person as an earlier person, the same. he has to have the same matter (or matterobtained f'rom chat earlier person by This bodilytheory of personalidenuty gives a somewhat similar account of'radual replacement) organized into the form of a person. The essential prop- personal identity to the account which it is natural to give of the identity of any ercfes which make the form of a person would include, for Aristode, not merelymaterial object or plant, andwhich is due ultimately to Aristotle (Nssaphysscs,shape and physiological properties, but a kind of way of behavingand a capacic) Book 7). Aristotle distinguishedbetweensubstancesand propercies. Substances for a mental life of thought and feeling. For P, at t, to be thesame person as P, are the individual things, like tables and chairs,carsandplants, which have at t„both have to be persons (to have a certain kind of body and mental life) properties (such as being square or round orred). Properties are 'universals', and to be made of the same matter (i.e., co be such that P,'s body is obtained that is they can be possessed by many different substances; many different sub- from P,'s by gradual replacement of parts). Such is the bodily theory of personal stancescanbe square or red. Substances are the individual substances &vhich identity. It does not deny that persons have a mental life, bucinsists that whatthey are because of thematter out of whichthey are made and theform &vhich makes a person thesame person asan earlier person is sameness of body. is given to that matter. By'the form's meant thoseproperties (ns&rmally of The difficulty whichhas been felt by those modem philosophers basically shape and organization)the possession of which is essentialif a substance is co sympathetic to a bodily theory ot personal identity is this. One part of'thc body be the substance in question, theproperties which it cannot lose without ccas- -viz., the brain — seems to be of crucialimportance for determining thc charac- ing to exist.We thusdistinguish between the essential properties of'a substance teristic behaviour of the rest. The brain controlsnot merely the physiology of' those which constitute itsform — and the accidental properties of a substance. thebody butthe way people behaveand talkand think. If a man k&ses an arm or It is amongthe essential properties of acertain oak uee thar ithas, under nor- a leg, we donot think that the subsequent person is in anv wav diff:rent from mal conditions, a certain general shape andappearance, a certain life cycle (of thesrcinal person. Ifa manhas a heart transplant or a liver transplant, again &vc producing leaves in springand acorns in autumn); but its exactheight, ics posi- do not think thatthe replacement makes a diff:re)u person. On chc other hand, uon, and the distribution of leaves on its tallest branch are accidentalproper- if the brain of aperson I', were removed from his bc&dy B, and transplanted into ties. If thematter of the oak tree is reduced to a heap of planks, chc oak cree~ the skull of a body B& of a person P„ from which the brain was removed and lacking its essential propemes, has ceased to exist. We chink of substances as then transplanted into theempty skull of B, (i.e., if brains were interchanged), bdonging to different kinds, natural — e.g., oak trees or ferns; or artificial — e g'e wouldhave serious doubt whether P, had any morethe same body. We cars or desks; and the defining properties of a kind constiruce che form of awould be indined to say that the person went where his brain went — viz., thatsubstance which belongs to it.... P) at first had body B„and then, after the transplant, body B,. The reason why Wha™akes a substance the same substance as an earlier substance is that its we would say this is that (we have very good scientificreason to believe) the matter is thesame, or obtained from thematter of theformersubstance by Pentonwith Ba's bodywouldclaim to be P„ to have done and exPerienced the gradual replacement, while continuing to possess the essential properties whichtbings which we know P, to have done, and would have the character, beliefs, 318 319  RICHARD SWINBURNE PERSONALIDENTITY: THE DUALIST THEORY and attitudes of P» What determines my attitude towardsa pcrs&&n is n&&t s&& senseis the more natural one) I shall henceforward call apparentmemory. much the matter out of which his body is made, but who he claims t&& bc So Locke's theory cannow be rephrased as foll&mes: I', at t, is the same person whether he has knowledge of my past life purportedly on the basis of pre& i&&&is as p, at an earlier time t» if and only it', apparendy remembers having done acquaintance with me,andmore generally what his beliefs about the &«&rid ar&. and expefienced various thingswhen those things were in fact done and expcri- andwhat are his attitudestowards it.Hence a philosopher seeking a mat& ri,i(is& enced by Pi. A person is who he thinks that he is.... criterion of personal identity, will come to regard thebrain, the core &&t &lie Locke's theory needs tidying up if we are io avoidabsurdity. Consider, first, body, ratherthan the rest of the body as what matters for personalidentity S&& the following objection made by ThomasReid: this modified bodily theory states: chat P, is the same person as P, if and only it', has the samecentral organ controllingmemoryand character, viz., same Suppose a brave officer to have been flogged when a boyatschool for robbing an brain, as P,. Let us call it the brain theory of personal identity. A theory along orchard, to have takena standard from the enemy in hisfirst campaign, and to these lines (with a crucial qualification, to be discussed shortly) was tentativelv have beenmade a general in advancedlife; suppose also, which muse beadmitted suggestedbyDavidWiggins in Idtettt'ty &teed Sputeote&eepor&tl Co&&tinuitv (Ox- en be possible, that, whenhe took the standard,he was conscious of his having ford, 1967).' been flogged atschool, and that, whenmade a general, hewas c&&nscious of his caking the standard, but had absolutely losttheconsciousness of h&s flogging. s netraditional ahernative to a bodily theory of personal identity is the memory- and-charactertheory. This claimsthat, given the importance for our atcitude ~s flo ed at school is the same person who took the standard, and ihat he who persons of ~J'.eir memory daimsand character,continuity in respect of cookthe standard is the same person who was made a general.Whence ic iollnws these would constitutepersonal identity — whether or not thiscominuity is if there be any truthin logic, chat the general is the same person with him who was caused by continuity of some bodily organ,such as thebrain; and ih«absence flogged at school. But the general's consciousness does noi reach s&& far back as his of continuity of memory andcharacter in some particular case involves the ab floggu&g; therefore accordingtoMr le&cke's doctrine, he is noi ihe same person sence of personalidentity, even if there is continuity in respect of thar b&&&lily . Wo was flogged. Therefore the generalis,and ai thesametime is n&&t the salne organ which produces such continuitybetween other persons on other occa- personwithhim who was flogged at school. (Reid, F~suys ou the Intellectual sions. Poo&ere of Nau,book in, ch. 6) The simplestversion of thistheory was that given by )ohnLocke. According to Locke, memory alone (or 'consciousness', as he often calls it) constitutesThe objection illustrates the important point that identity is a transitive rela- personal identity.Loosely — Pi at t, is the same person as P, at an earliertime t» if's idenncd ~th band his identical%1th e, then necessarily a is idenncal if and only if P, remembershavingdone and experienced variousthings. &vhere with t. We can meet the objection by reformulating Locke's theor) as follows:these things were in fact done and experienced by P . P,at t, is the same person as P,at an earlier time t, if and only if either P, Before expounding Locke's theory further we need to be clear ab&&uc the kind apparently remembers &shat P, did and experienced, or heapparently remcm- of memory which is involved. First, it is what is sometimes called personal bers what someperson P't an intermediate time t'id and experienced, wh«n memory, i.e., memory of one's own past experiences. It is thus to be distin- P'pparently remembers what P,did and experienced, or they are linked by guished from factual memory,which is memory of somefact known previously; some longerintermediate chain. (That is, P, apparenfiy remembers &vhat P'id as when I rememberthatthe banle of Hastings was tought in 1066. This is not and experienced, P'pparently remembers what P didand experienced, and s&& a memory of a past experience.... Secondly,it is personal memor) in ihe u eak on until we reach a personwho apparendy remembers ivhat P, did and cxpcri-sense. In thenormal or strong sense of 'remember', one can onlv remember enced.) If P, and Pi are linked by such a chain, they are, we may say, linked hy doing something if one really didit, I may say rhat I 'remember'oing up thc continuity of memory. Clearly, theapparent memories of che deeds and cxperi-EiffelTower, but if I chdn't do it, it seemsnatural to say that I cann&&t rcallvences of the previous person at eachstage in thc chain nccd not he completelyremember having done it. In thissense, just as you can only kno&v &vhai is ir«e, accurate memories ot what was done and experienced. Buc they do need co bc so youcan only remember whatyou really did.However, there is als&& a n cak fairly accurate memories of what was done and experienced, if chc lacer person is sense of 'remember'n which a man remembers whateverhebelieves thaihc to be the person whodid andexperienced those things.... remembers in the strongsense. One's weak memories arennc necessarily true Many advocates of a memory theory have not always been very clear in their ones. Now if thememory criterion definedpersonalidentity in terms of memory exp&x ition about whether the apparentmemories whichformthe linksin the ng sense ic would not be very useful; for to say that p, remembers chain of memory need to be actual memories, or whether they need only to be  ' ' one what P, didwould already entail their being the same person, andhypothetical memories. By 'actualmemories' meanactual recallings of pastanyone in doubt as to whether Pi was the same person as P» would have equal experiences. The trouble with the suggestion that actual memories are required doubt wheeth -he'i «ally did remember doing what P, did, Whatthe criterion as isthat we do not very often recall our past, and itseems natural to supposethat is concerned with is memory in the weak sense, which (because thestrong chc deedsand experiences of somemoments of a person's life never get re- 321  RICHARD SWINBURNE PERSONAL IDENTITY: THE DUALISTTHEORY called. Yet the memory theory, as stated so far, rules out that possibilicy. Ic'I am plays a majorrole in the control of speech, Although che hemispheres have not connected by a chain of memories with thedeeds and experiencesdone b) &fifferent roles in the adult, they interact with each other; and if parts of a hemi-a person at a certaintime, then I am not identical with that person. It is per caps sphere are removed, at any rate early in life,the roles of those parts are often beuer if the theory claims that the apparent memories which form chelinks taken over by parts of the other hemisphere. Brain operations which remove need only be hypotherical memories— i.e., what a person would apparentlysubstanna} parts of the brain are not infrequent. It mightbe possible one day to remember ifhe were to try to rememberthe deedsand experiences in question, renlove a whole hemisphere, without killing th«person. There are no logical e.g., in consequence of being prompted. culties in supposing that we could transplant one of P,'s hemispheres intoThere is, however, a major objectionto any memory theory of personal iden-one skull }rom which a brain had beenremoved, and theocher hemisphere into tity, arising from the possibility of duplication. The objection was made brieflv ther suchskull, and that both transplantsshould take, and it may well be by Reid and at greater lengthin an influential article by BernardWilliams. Williams practicaUy possible to doso. It is certainly more likely to occur than the Guyimagines the case of a man whom he calls Charles who turns up in the twenci Fawkes story told by Williams If these uansplants took, clearly each of the eth-century claiming to be GuyFawkes: tesu}chtg persons would behave to some extent like P„and indeed both would .Pc@bah}y have some of the apparent memories of P,. Fach of the resultingper- All the events he claims to have witnessedand all the actions he claims to have sons would then be good candidates for being P,. done point unanimously to the life-history of some one person in the past — cor '. 'ffer all, if one of P,'s hemispheres had beendestroyed and che other re- instance GuyFawkes.Noc only do all Charles'emory-claims that can bc checked ' cnahted Intact and untransplanted, and the resulting person continued to be- fit the pattern of Fawkes'ife asknown to historians, buc othersthatcannot he . have andmake memory claims somewhat like those of P„we would have had checked areplausible,provideexplanations of unexplained facts, and so on.'emisphere was preserved — although it may well be that the resulting person The }act thatmemory claimswhich 'cannot be checked are plausible, pr&)vide would have greatercapacities (e.g., speec j i one hemisphere was preserve d h ter capacities (e.g., spec hj 'f h ' d explanations of unexplained facts, and so.on's evidence that Charles is noc merelyclaiming to remember whathe has in fact read in a book about Guy Fawkes, and so leavesus back with thesupposition, natural to make in normal only oione hemisp ere, t at s ou make no difference. So ii the one remain- cases,that he is reporting honestly his apparent memories. So, by a memoD ing hemisphere is t en uansp ante, we ought to say that the person w ose '' u I d, h hh h theory Charleswould be GuyFawkes. But thensuppose, Williams imagines, thatanother man Robert turns up, who satisfies thememory criteria lor being GuyFawkes equallywell. We cannot say that they are both identical with Guy planted so as to constitute the brain of person. But if it is, that other person will Fawkes, for if they were, theywouldbeidentical with each other — )vhich theybe just as good a candidate for being P,. So a Wiggins-type account might lead are not since theycurrently live different lives and have different thoughts and us to say that both resulting persons are P,. But, for thereason given earlier in feelingsfrom each other. So apparent memory cannotconstitute personal iden- connection with theGuyFawkes examples,thatcannot be — since thecwolater city, although it may be fallible evidence of it. persons are not identical with each other.Hence, Wiggins adds to his tentative The objection from the possibility of duplication, together with other dilfii- definition a clause stating that P, who satisfies his criterion scared earlier is the ulties which will be mentioned in later chapters, have inclined themajorin oc same person as P„only if there is no other laterperson whoalso satisfies the contemporary writers to favour a theory whichmakes some sortof b&)dily «)n- cnterion.4 tinuity cenual to personalidentity. As we have seen, the brain theory cakes into But the inuoduction into any theory, whetheramemory theory, a brain account the insight of memory-and-character theory into the importance &)C thesef to f I'd ',b I ' b ', h .. II theory, or whatever, of a clause stating that a personwho sacislies the criterion se factors ior personalidentity, by selecting the brain, as th«organ causally responsible f th ' f d h h c' I. in question for being the same as anearlier pers&m is thesame, only so long as responsi e for the continuity of memory and character, as that part &)c clio b&)dv there is noother personwho satisties thecriterion also or equally well, does e continuity of which constitutes the continuity ot the person. have an absurd consequence. Let us illustrate this for the brain theory.Suppose trou e is t at any brain theory is also open to the duplication objection. P,'s left hemisphere is transplanted into some skull and the transplant takes. umanrainas two very similar hemispheres — a left and a right hemi- Then,according to the theory, whetherthe resulting person is P„ i.e., whether sp ere e e emisphere plays a major role in the control of limbs ol; and processing ofsenso ' 'r, th ' d f th b d ( d f Pi survives,will depend on whetherthe other transplanr takes. If it does, since rocessing o sensoryinformation from, theright side of che body (and from both resulting persons will satisfy the memoryand brain continuity criteria equally n t'i es o e two eyes'; 'and theright hemisphere plays a major role in we}},neither will be P,. But if the other transplant does not take,thensince s o, andprocessing of sensory information from, the left there is only one person who satisfies the criterion, that person is Pi So whether I survive an operation will depend on what happens in a body entirely different 322 323
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