Personal identity is like a rope - no strand of memory must directly connect all parts of the rope it is enough that for any part of the rope to be connected to some other part, which is connected to some other part, and so on. The preponderance of writing on the theory of personal identity in the past has been influenced by john locke notwithstanding descartes' understanding was a necessary departure from previously agreed upon philosophies. For centuries philosophers have struggled to define personal identity in his 1690 work an essay concering human understanding, john locke proposes that one's personal identity extends only so far as their own consciousness the connection between consciousness and memory in locke's theory has.
John locke 's theory of personal identity locke's theory was presented in ch 27 of his essay concerning human understanding (1694 edition) the main texts are all found in personal identity ed john perry (1975, university of california. Personal identity consists in mental states person a at time t is the same person as person b at time t i+n if b remembers being a locke probably intended for mental characteristics as well as memory to be part of his account of personal identity as psychological continuity but he emphasises memory as the most important. Theories of personal identity - problems with dualism, the mental criterion, and bodily criterion - result from a flawed approach to the problem altogether the conclusion is.
Though other philosophers treated the issue of identity through time (the ship of theseus is a prominent example), locke was the first one to separate out the specific issue of personal identity from the larger topic of identity in general. John locke speaks of personal identity and survival of consciousness after death a criterion of personal identity through time is given such a criterion specifies, insofar as that is possible, the necessary and sufficient conditions for the survival of persons john locke holds that personal. Butler describes three problems with a lack of personal identity he means to attack locke, but we might best read him to see some problems with any denial that there is a personal identity a person who did not believe that he would exist tomorrow (eg, that his body would not include him tomorrow) would not care about his conduct now. Locke and hume on personal identity locke and hume both discuss the idea of personal identity in to be identical, on locke's criterion, with the first bulb. The mixed criterion best captures our core (that is, minimally controversial) beliefs about personal identity we can begin with the physical criterion as noted, this criterion divides into two criteria: the bodily criterion and the brain criterion.
Locke says continuity of memory is a necessary criterion for personal identity, but butler argues personal identity is a necesssary criterion for having continuity of memory you can't speak of memories without presupposing a person with memories, therefore it is circular. A critical analysis of john locke's criterion of personal identity al pana chakraborty 1 he problem of person and personal identity is of permanent interest in. Thirdly, assess certain objections to locke's theory by evaluating the sufficiency of memory as the sole criterion of personal identity by paying particular attention to its reliability, veracity, and relationship with the body.
John locke argues that personal identity consists in sameness of consciousness, and he maintains that any other theory of personal identity would lead to great absurdities1 this statement intimates that locke thought carefully about alternative conceptions of personal identity and their problems. One concept of personal persistence over time is simply to have continuous bodily existence however, as the ship of theseus problem illustrates, even for inanimate objects there are difficulties in determining whether one physical body at one time is the same thing as a physical body at another time. Therefore, locke's move to a psychological account of personal identity, in which the appropriation of past actions is the sole criterion, should be seen as a direct response to previously held views of what constitutes personal immortality. Personal identity what does being the person that you are, from one day to the next, necessarily consist in this is the question of personal identity, and it is literally a question of life and death, as the correct answer to it determines which types of changes a person can undergo without ceasing to exist. Such cases might then suggest that, if compensation presupposes personal identity (or what matters in identity), then the criterion of identity relevant to compensation is biological, in which case ethical theories targeting only psychological units are incomplete (d shoemaker 2007, 338.
22 the psychological criterion in most of our discussion of personal identity so far, we have been focusing on various versions of the psychological view we have encountered, from reid and williams, a number of serious objections to this view. Remember anything that happened at t1 it is overlapping chains of memory that comprise personal identity locke used this criterion to criticise the dualist view if somehow all. Consciousness as a psychological criterion for identity locke's theory of personal identity, found in book ii, chapter xxvii (of identity and diversity) was added to the second edition of the essay concerning human understanding, at the urging of william molyneaux, one of locke's trusted interlocutors and correspon- dents.
Locke on personal identity 1 identity: identity just means being one thing, and not another a rock has a certain identity it is this individual rock, and not that rock likewise, with. [published in locke studies õþ:õõì-õóé, óþõþ] did locke defend the memory continuity criterion of personal identity johan e gustafsson. Locke believes that the sameness of consciousness is the ideal criterion of personal identity for a person because since consciousness is always connected to thinking, and being able to think is what makes a person a person and allows that person to distinguish its own thoughts from another's, as far back as our consciousness can be extended.
Locke added his chapter of identity and diversity (ii27) which gives his account of identity and personal identity to the second edition of the essay his account of personal identity is embedded in a general account of identity. Personal identity: personal identity, in metaphysics, the problem of the nature of the identity of persons and their persistence through time one makes a judgment of personal identity whenever one says that a person existing at one time is the same as a person existing at another time: eg, that the president of. Locke's account of personal identity has been highly influential because of its emphasis on a psychological criterion the same consciousness is required for being the same person.