John Locke And David Hume

1499 Words6 Pages
John Locke and David Hume were renowned philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries that deliberated the thesis of personal identity. Identity generally is defined by three distinct approaches: identity of mass of matter, living being, and personal identity. The two academicians’ 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 alter one insignificant element of your appearance? John Locke asserts that identity derives from consciousness. He contends that there cannot be two of the same object or people in the same place at the same time. David Hume’s theory presumes that if one minute particle is distorted, that it does not retain the same identity. In this essay I will consider two positions regarding identity; Hume’s theory and Locke’s theory. After analyzing the arguments for and against each, I will argue in favor of Locke’s theory. If one were to interchange bodies with someone else; would you as the reader consider the person to be the same? Lock defines identity as, “when the ideas to which it is attributed don’t vary from what they were at the moment
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