John Locke's Person Identity

1651 Words Jan 26th, 2018 7 Pages
How to you determine the existence of an object according to John Locke it must be compared in a state via a determine place and time, to itself at a separate place and time (Locke 367L). An object cannot exist at the same time in two separate places. For example, a 20 ounce bottle of coke at a gas station in Kentucky and another 20 ounce bottle of coke in an airport in Denver do not share the same identity. This is because while they may share every single trait, the fact that they exist in separate places at the same time makes them separate objects that do not share the same identity.
From this brief understanding of identity Locke creates his theory of personal identity. Locke first makes the important distinction between non-living objects and living objects. The identity of a non-living object, a bundle of atoms, changes, “if one of these atoms is taken away, or one new one added, it is no longer the same mass or the same body.” (Locke 368R). In Locke’s theory the moment the atoms change even in the slightest bit with one atom being lost or added the bundle of atoms are no longer the same bundle that existed before the addition/subtraction of atoms. For example, if a stick of chalk made a line on a blackboard for every time one atom of chalk left stick to form the line a completely new stick of chalk would exist. This concept of constant changing identity with the slightest modification does not extend to living…
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