transplanting memories?

Is science’s understanding of how memory works quite as cut and dried as once thought?

In recent years several heart transplant recipients have reported unexpected side effects including experiencing memories, habits and desires they never had before. With studies showing that these are not isolated cases, we meet patients searching to understand what has happened to them.

The film follows organ recipients as they make contact with their donor families in an effort to understand their new-found lease of life, and features scientists who are pioneering research into the intelligence of the heart and the biochemical basis for memory in our cells. (

Good for a game of ‘fallacy bingo’, but also interesting for anyone doing a TOK presentation on a number of aspects of Philosophy of Science. Most importantly, however, is probably the ‘what if?’ question. Clearly this is an largely unevidenced and widely unaccepted position, BUT it will be a good test of your thinking skills to reflect on 1) what implicit notion of personal identity these people are operating with? and 2) how this hypothesis (if accepted) would effect the various positions Descartes, Locke, Hume et al. take on personal identity.

Click to Watch now on 4oD:

Rise of the Planet of the Apes


This would make a sweet internal assessment. And you could do it on almost absolutely everything we have talked about in the core theme, and some of the stuff from the ethics section. Most obviousLy  you might want to look at the point where “Ceaser” becomes a person. Clearly the makers of the film think it has something to do with communication, but this far from solves the question as he is able to communicate long before the climatic moment where he utters his first word.

And then there’s the moment where Ceaser asks through sign, whether he is The opening sequence almost reads almost like a recent telling of John Locke’s…

A talking parrot appears in Family Guy

In Family Guy Season 6, Episode 2 a talking parrot appears. Of course most people will already be thinking about John Locke but unfortunately (as so often in FG) it turns out that the parrot isn’t a person in the sense of Locke’s parable – it’s just that Peter is an idiot!

Still this could be the start of an excellent internal assessment. You could think about Brian (who clearly seems to make Locke’s point) too.