PHIL PAPER #2 FINAL - Villalobos, Anabel Philosophy 1 Nov...

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Villalobos, Anabel Philosophy 1 Nov 15, 2011 Word Count: 957 Personal Identity According to John Locke’s theory of personal identity (the self), personal identity depends on consciousness and not on the substance of either the soul or the body. Locke’s main point is memory. For Locke, personal identity equals consciousness. According to Locke, it “is impossible to make personal identity to consist in anything but consciousness, or reach any further than that” (Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, p.143). Locke claims that we are the same person if we are conscious of our past and future thoughts and actions just like we are conscious of our current thoughts and actions. For Locke, memory is the same as consciousness extending through time to link a person with himself at an earlier time. Locke claims that “whatever has the consciousness of present and past actions, is the same person to whom they both belong” (Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, p. 141). Therefore, for Locke, Y at t2 is the same person as X at t1 if and only if Y remembers X’s experiences. Personal identity is only founded in the act of consciousness if consciousness is a “thought” or realization “that goes along with the substance…which makes the same person” (Locke , Essay Concerning Human Understanding ). If so, personal identity is only founded on the act of consciousness because it is by consciousness that it will be the same self. Consider the following example. Suppose that a person claims to be a reincarnation of
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2012 for the course ECON 25 taught by Professor Shirey during the Spring '11 term at UC Irvine.

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PHIL PAPER #2 FINAL - Villalobos, Anabel Philosophy 1 Nov...

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