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Does Quinton offer a compelling defence of the claim that it is the continuity of psychological characteristics that that is crucial to being the same person?

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Introduction

Friday, March 08, 2002 Tayrin mehmet Does Quinton offer a compelling defence of the claim that it is the continuity of psychological characteristics that that is crucial to being the same person? In the first section of Quinton's essay Quinton describes the theory of the soul and spiritual substance. The soul is described in two ways, vitality that distinguishes human beings and as a seat of consciousness. The second explanation, which Quinton is concerned about, tends to be identified with the view that in each person there tends to be found a spiritual substance, which is the subject of his mental state and the bearer of his personal identity. Quinton's explains the nonphysical aspects of a person identity not need involve a spiritual substance and can be supported solely on the bases of a person's mental state that makes up a person inner conscious life. Quinton's view is that spiritual substance is logically distinct from it being the criteria for personal identity. If the spiritual substance is permanent and unchanging it must be useless for the purpose of personal identification. We need differentiate between spiritual substance and psychological characteristics before we can go any further. ...read more.

Middle

I would say that there is more to a person then a set of characteristics and memory and that the spirit of a person is a faculty which is crucially identifiable. The mental and bodily criteria of identity Many philosophers have insisted that the basic and indispensable criteria of human identity is bodily. This form of identification has a number of virtues mainly it is simple and is used most commonly and successfully. The fact is that a person can be both identified by physical appearance and metal characteristics. But it could be said that bodily identification is not a complete form of identification, at best a necessary condition of personal identity. Sentimental relationships that wouldn't survive a change of body may be rejected because they lack any substance. The continuation of a person must be base on there mental characteristics. Disembodiment If it where possible to remove a brain from a dead person and fix it into a manufactured body which as a result become perfectly active we would have to assume that the dead person is no longer dead. Does William offer a compelling argument against Quinton's claims? ...read more.

Conclusion

The presents of emotions not consisting solely on memory is a strong enough argument for me to say that there is something other to identity then consistency of characteristics and memory suggested by Quinton. Quinton ideas of the soul may need more explanation as although he does not doubt its existence he questions its importance in the identification process. From my understanding of both Quinton's and Williams arguments I would have to say that there is definitely some relating factors that do suggest the presence of a soul, but whoever I would have to agree with the fact that there is more to the a person then just their characteristics and memory. The importance of the body or some physical connection to our soul may point to our underlying sentimental hung up of material things. I agree that the identification of a human does not necessarily relay on their physical attributes and that a person can solely be identified by their characteristics but I would have to argue that there is something consistently identifiable at birth, and that this may be present throughout life. I would describe this as spiritual a substance the seat of consciousness. There is more to a person then their ever changing psychological characteristics and this is inevitable consistent and identifiable. ...read more.

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