Part One: Area of Philosophy
The philosophical area in which this problem falls is the metaphysics because it raises the fundamental question of reality. The person who is existing after the accident has two personalities of a man and woman. They have mixed hormones and cannot be assumed to be male or female, me or my friend. It is against this backdrop that the question posed falls in the realms of metaphysics as it explains the nature of being, now that the personality is both male and female.
Part Two: Argument Analysis
According to Descartes, the mind and body are two separate identities. They do not need each other in order to exist. The material body can change, for instance in the case of what happened in the scenario given, but the mind will forever remain the same and distinct. According to him, it is the mind that identifies a person and not the body. The two are distinct because whereas one is conscious the other is unconscious. What he says could be true but the problem lies in their conscious and unconscious nature. The body is also conscious, and that is why it reacts differently to the environment, to pain and has feelings.
Locke, on the other hand, argues that personal identity can be transferred psychologically from one man to the next. The brain and body are subject to change according to him; it’s just the consciousness that does not. The identity of a person cannot exist in the body and brain but only in the conscious. Just as in the case the brain and body may have changed, the conscious of the two persons involved will remain the same. Locke’s assumptions may be true but then it is difficult to separate the brain from consciousness. They cannot exist in isolation because it is the conscious that directs the brain on what is right and wrong, at least according to his argument. When Locke says that consciousness is transferable, and that identity goes hand in hand with identity, it defeats logic whether they are independent.
Part Three: Argument Evaluation
The premises presented by Descartes and Locke are questionable and safe to accept at the same time. For instance, the sentiments offered by Locke are acceptable because even when the brain of a person is given to the other, it remains the same because it goes with the same memories and consciousness. It does not change the moment it gets into the other party. The body will have changed, but this also preserves the personal identity of a person in as much as a physical change is witnessed. What is arguably questionable with his sentiments is the fact that consciousness changes from time to time and this is an indicator that it can be influenced and changed under certain circumstances.
Descartes argues that the mind and body are independent of each other, the mind is transparent, and it can only know its independent mental processes. In the context of two minds being put together, there is no connection of any relations of the body to the two minds. The minds are independent of each other, and do independent mental processes. A major impediment to Descartes argument is as to whether the mind and body can affect each other if at all they do not have anything in common. The body feels and sends sensory information to the mind in order for it to be processed and interpreted. It, therefore, means that they could be related in some sort.
Part Four: Conclusion
These two philosophers agree on how the conscious gives giving individuals their true identity. If their arguments were to be used to weigh the issue presented, then it is true to say that there are two persons existing in one. The two minds are independent despite existing in the same body. At the same time, the two individuals have their independent memories and brains that think differently. At the same time, memories keep changing all the time as people encounter different experiences day in day out. People also do not remember everything, and they are bound to forget some things. It is against this backdrop that sometimes when people suffer from amnesia, the body remains in perfect condition and people forget everything and, therefore, their arguments seem to contradict each other.
If one relies on the philosophical perspectives of Descartes and Locke, they get an insight on how the brain relates with the body. It is confusing though, on where to draw the line about their relationship or connection. If the case in this context is to be argued out using Locke’s philosophy, then it will be justified just like it will when Descartes sentiments are factored in it. But not everything they say is true and applicable. The person(s) involved will possess two different perspectives captured in the same body. For one thing, memory defines identity but it is a question of whether this is reliable or not especially when a person looses their memory. Does it mean that loss of memory is a loss of identity?