Analysis Of David Hume 's And John Locke

1406 Words6 Pages
The philosophy of identity generally is defined by three distinct approaches: identity of mass of matter, living being, and personal identity. In both David Hume’s and John Locke’s essays they examine the meaning of identity in three concise sub theories. The two agree on certain characteristics, but are dramatically differing on others. As one evolves over time, are they identified as the same person? Hume and Locke have written essays on their specific hypotheses about identity. The authors provide the reader with various examples of their theories, including: are you the same person you were a year ago if you remember, or do not remember, being that person? Are you the same person if you lose a limb or body part, or even change one…show more content…
In his essay, he began by explaining the definition a small mass of matter, then he progressed to his ideals on a human being. According to Locke, if a small mass of matter were to change in the slightest, it would be considered to be something different than it was before the change. Locke’s theory describes that if one’s consciousness in one body is put into another body; they are considered the same person. Everyone has their own thoughts, and this helps distinguish then to be their own self (Locke, 115). Even though the physical appearance is different, that person has the same consciousness, and therefore is the same person. Locke states in his essay, "Identity and Diversity” that “two things can’t have one beginning, because it is impossible for two things of the same kind to exist in the same instant at the very same place. Thus, what had one beginning is the same thing; and what had a different beginning in time and place from that is not the same but diverse”(Locke, 112). What he means by this is there cannot be an exact replica of an object or human, that there is always going to be that single atom that is different. Locke postulates that if one is able to remember themselves as they were younger, that they will still identify as that person. David Hume’s theory is marginally similar to Locke’s. He contends that the basic structure and operations of the human body are comparable to Locke’s theory. Hume’s
Open Document