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Personal Statement : Personal Identity

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Personal Identity Many ancient philosophers were fascinated with the idea of the personal identity. This is often referred to as the “self”. The “self” is considered to be something that is not physical, therefore the search to discover the “self” is not concrete. With the “self” being something that has no physical element, many philosophers have different opinions on what the “self” is and how it functions. “Someone 's personal identity in this sense consists of those features she takes to “define her as a person” or “make her the person she is” (Eric T. Olson). John Locke was a ancient philosopher who believed that the ‘self” came from memory rather than the body. René Descartes was famous for the phrase, “I think therefore I am”.…show more content…
This is where he coins the phrase, “I think therefore I am.” His logic states that if you are consciously thinking, you must exist. Descartes was aware that the human senses were unreliable because he couldn’t trust himself to know if he was actually doing something or just dreaming: “his conscious thoughts serve only as evidence of his own existence—they don 't give any further evidence that what they represent about things external to him either exist at all or exist as represented by the idea in his mind” (Larry M. Jorgensen). This lead to the conclusion that if he was thinking, he was actually thinking: “He could not be thinking and wondering if he existed if he did not exist” (The School of Life). Descartes spent a lot of his time meditating and using the time to solve philosophical mysteries. He believed that all of the answers to his questions lied within himself. Locke and Descartes have similar theories, but they both seem to contradict each other. Although a human evolves and constantly changes over time, whether in a psychical way, mental way, or spiritual way, it is ultimately the same person no matter how much someone has changed. Locke and Descartes agree even though they agree for two completely different reasons. Locke believes that who you are is based on what memories you have of yourself, which means because someone remembers the way they once were or remembers remembering they were that way, they are the same person. Descartes believes that
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