John Locke on Personal Identity

906 WordsFeb 24, 20184 Pages
What is it to be a person? That can involve mind, body, and the link between them. What is it for A and B to be the same person. That is the issue of person identity. For example what is it for me to be the same person now and when I was a baby. Is that justified to be the same person? Why? How? Locke more or less invented this topic. He came up with a idea that was really impressively sophisticated, given that he started from scratch. He took the view that appropriate criteria of identity, that is what it is that constitute sameness over time, depends on the kind of thing you are talking about. So A and B are made up of the same particle of matter only if there is a continuous history linking them together. So imagine one particle in one part of time and another in a different part of time, they are the same particle if and only if there is a continuous route leading from one to the other. The identity of a body of matter is the same body of matter if it consists of the same particles even if they are differently arranged. So if you take a clump of clay and squeeze it and move it around it will remain the same clump of clay even if the particles are differently organized. John Locke believes that personal identity depends on our consciousness and I agree with him because if we are not aware of ourselves then how can we know we exist. But Locke personal claims that personal identity is a matter of psychological continuity. Locke holds that consciousness can be transferred
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