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Par Argument

Satisfactory Essays
Jacob Turner
Professor White
PAR 101-003
12 February 2015
Argument Paper #1 There has been a long-standing question in the world of philosophy on what determines one’s personal identity. Out of all the attributes that make up the individual, it seems difficult to decipher what actually makes up the personal identity. The most common choices to this question are the mind, the brain, the spirit, or the body. There has yet been no proof on which of these choices are actually correct but many individuals have sided with their one sole choice. Based on the different opinions presented in class this past week, I believe that the mind is solely responsible for the individual’s personal identity. When you take a look inside the mind you will find sensations, perceptions, memories, feelings, and fantasies inside of our current awareness. All of these highly affect one’s personal identity. If an individual loses their mind all of their memories, knowledge, and feelings will be gone leaving the individual not knowing who he or she is. Everything that you do throughout the day is affected by your mind. Even though the mind is not visible and has no solid shape, it is still present in each walk of life.
In Philosophy class, Dr. White created an example of downloading one’s mind into another body. Let us say that Alfred wants to download their mind into Stanley. Even though the body may be different, it will still perform actions and think just like the original body the mind was from. When Stanley’s mind was replaced by Alfred’s mind, the personal identity was also replaced with the others. Once the download is complete, the personal identity of Stanley will cease to exist. There has been debate in class on whether or not Stanley is still in charge of their mind and body after another mind has been downloaded in it. In my opinion, the holder of Stanley’s body will cease to exist and Alfred will live on in the different body. With a different mind, the body of Stanley will have all of Alfred’s memories, feelings, and knowledge making it think and carry on tasks as Alfred.
There are plenty of examples in today’s culture that one could relate with the mind and personal identity. Your mind and body are somewhat similar to your Facebook profile. Going on to the About tab on your profile shows an onlooker everything that your mind is made up of. It shows your interests, religious preference, political ideals, and many other attributes to your identity. If one replaces their About tab with someone different from them, then onlookers would think the profile is someone else’s instead of yours.
There are many who oppose that the mind being one’s personal identity and claim that it is the body that makes up the individual. The main support of this claim of this is when the body is gone and dead then the individual is gone and dead. I believe that the individuals body and mind are two separate things and the consciousness can still live on after the body is dead. Even if this belief is proven false, one can still look at this paper’s first example about downloading one’s mind and reclarify the thesis. We mentioned in class that even if you can transfer your mind into someone else’s body you still will not live on. This is true to some degree. The body may not live on but your mind and personal identity will still exist once it is transferred into another working body.
The body, brain, and soul all do have some small role to play in the individual but none of them still fully shape one’s personal identity. The mind is solely responsible for one’s personal identity and if it is taken away then everything about the individual is taken away as well. The mind is made up of all of the individual’s emotions, feelings, memories, thoughts, and consciousness. All five of these attributes make up the backbone of one’s personal identity. If the mind is taken away then all of these traits that shape the individual and his or her personal identity are taken away as well.

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