Philosophy Paper 2

Philosophy Paper 2 - Villalobos, Anabel Philosophy 1 Nov...

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Villalobos, Anabel Philosophy 1 Nov 14, 2011 Word Count: 1,012 Personal Identity John Locke’s perception on personal identity (the self) was that it was to be found on consciousness and not on the matter of either the soul or the body. 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. 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. One may claim to be a reincarnation of Michael Jackson, therefore having the same soul substance. However, one would be the same person as Michael Jackson only if one had the same consciousness of Jackson’s thoughts and actions that he, himself did. Therefore, personal identity is not relied on the soul. That is for the reason that one soul may have a variety of personalities. Locke argues that self-identity is not founded on the body substance for that the body may change while the person remains the same. Another example is that of animals. The identity of animals is not identified in their
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Philosophy Paper 2 - Villalobos, Anabel Philosophy 1 Nov...

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