Julia North Thought Experiment Essay

Words: 1298
Pages: 6

In the Julia North thought experiment, Julia North’s brain is transplanted into a different body. The underlying question arising from this case is does Julia North continue to exist after the operation? In this paper I will explore how the same-brain view, the bodily view, and the psychological linkage view would answer this question and provide evidence as to why I believe that the psychological linkage view in general and the indirect memory view in particular provide the most compelling answer. A view obviously related to this case is the same-brain view in which Julia’s continued existence and personal identity is determined by the survival of her living brain. According to such a view, Julia remains alive after the operation …show more content…
Therefore, with regards to the Julia North case, this account would reason that she is not the same person as the one who underwent the operation because she has no direct memory of the procedure. While this account appears reasonable, when applied further to the car accident example a contradiction becomes apparent. The person involved in the accident, B, has the same personal identity as the one who existed before the accident, A, because, up until the moment of concussion B possessed a direct memory of A’s experiences. Further, the person after the accident, C, is the same person that existed before the accident, A, because C has a direct memory of the events before the accident. Following the conclusions that A is the same person as B, and C is the same person as A, it can be logically inferred that B is the same person as C. However, Locke’s account also shows that B and C cannot be the same person. This inconsistency dramatically detracts from the overall strength of Locke’s argument and thusly provides an unconvincing answer to the question of Julia North’s continued existence. However, there is another branch of the psychological linkage view that provides a much more compelling answer to the question of Julia North than any of the previously demonstrated accounts of