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Persons, Animals, Ourselves$
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Paul F. Snowdon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198719618

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198719618.001.0001

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Brain Transplants, Animals, and Us

Brain Transplants, Animals, and Us

(p.201) 10 Brain Transplants, Animals, and Us
Persons, Animals, Ourselves

Paul F. Snowdon

Oxford University Press

The preceding discussions have tried to show that there are no plausible examples of [A&~P] dissociations, and that most suggested categories of [P&~A] dissociations are also implausible. In both cases the implausibility derives from problems with the judgements regarding ourselves, either that we are absent from or are present in the imagined scenarios. However, the candidate dissociations which have had most influence on the philosophical imagination are so-called Shrinkage Cases. The specific version that has seemed plausible to many is that of brain transplants. It is argued that the standard brain transplant story rests on four main assumptions, one of which normally is presented as an intuition about such cases that the person goes with the brain. It is then argued that the other premises are rather convincing but it is open to deny the intuitive claim. It is further argued that Mark Johnston’s famous argument in favour of the intuition is based on unconvincing grounds.

Keywords:   Shrinkage Cases, brain transplants, Sydney Shoemaker, Mark Johnston, intuitions

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