One of the most deeply contemplated questions that philosophy has asked is where a personâ€™s identity comes from. Identity is truly the fundamental quality of a human being. A philosopher can immortalize himself by discovering a solid answer to the question. Many times, hypothetical situations or scenarios (some more realistic then others) are brought up to help prove or disprove a view. In some cases, they serve merely as â€˜brain fuelâ€™. They help to promote constructive and profound thinking on the subject. The case of having oneâ€™s body and brain completely replaced with different materials while maintaining the exact memories brings up some heated issues. .
In John Perryâ€™s â€œA Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortalityâ€, Perry uses the characters Miller and Cohen to advance the point that the new being is the same person. They argue by way of the Memory Theory. Letâ€™s assume that I am an advocate of the Memory Theory temporarily. If I am ever in the situation described I will take the transporter because I believe that the person who survives will be me. This is true because I will have all of the same memories as I did before. The fact that my memories constitute my identity can be shown in several ways. First off, I have memories of myself that are completely unique from memories of other people. For instance, if I remember being on a roller coaster with a friend, I can remember the actual feelings of intense fear and exhilaration that I had during the ride. My memories of my friend, on the other hand, are much more impersonal. No matter how hard I try to anticipate his feelings and what it was like to be him at the time, my memories can go no further then to give me a picture of my friend being afraid and exhilarated. This shows the intimacy between the memories and myself. It is this â€œstream of consciousnessâ€ that forms an identity.