The Theory Of Self And Memory

1598 Words7 Pages
Personal identity has been, and will arguably remain, a major area of debate and discussion amongst philosophers, both in Western and Eastern branches of academia. Indeed, this idea that personal identity- more commonly referred to as “the self”- remains constant, despite any and all qualitative changes that can occur to a person, has left many philosophers ever so puzzled. Nevertheless, four main theories have been developed in an effort to best explain both the existence of the self and how it can persist through any period of time. Some follow on Rene Descartes theory, where the soul can be assigned the role of the self. Others prefer the one John Locke had proposed, where the self and memory are related. Others still argue that animalism, the view that the person body and the self are the same entity, is a better explanation. Then there are those who follow on the Buddhist teachings of the Anatta, a theory that argues against the very idea of the self. Amongst these four main theories, the Buddhist theory of Anatta, the idea that the self does not exist, is arguably a better explanation of the self, for it is less problematic than the others can be.
The initial problem in theorizing over the matter of the self is found in the idea of individual continuity, of persistence in more than just qualitative features over time. In the most intuitive of senses, the idea of the self can be simplified to terms of the persistence of personal identity over any period of time.
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