Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

One of the primary objections to the biological approach revolves around what is known as the transplant intuition. That is, the allegedly widely shared intuition that if we had our cerebrum transplanted into a different body, we would be transferred to that body along with our cerebrum. Drawing upon our understanding of brain death, this paper argues that either (1) the transplant intuition should be rejected, and the biological approach has the advantage of being consistent with that rejection; or (2) the psychological approach, the biological approach’s main rival, cannot hold one of its main appeals: its ability to account for what matters in survival.

The persistence problem of personal identity can be formulated as follows: “If a person x exists at one time and something y exists at another time, under what possible circumstances is it the case that x is y?” (Olson 2017). Broadly speaking, two main perspectives offer different answers to this question. The biological approach claims that x is y only if there is some sort of biological continuity between them. Conversely, the psychological approach posits that x is y only if there is some sort of psychological relation between…


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