Gary Foster Personal Identity Analysis

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Attempting to Understand Personal Identity The most important concept in the work by Gary Foster, “Internet Dating: Challenges to Love and Personal Identity,” is the idea of personal identity and what makes up one’s personal identity. In his work Gary Foster states that personal identity is the result of each person’s unique set of characteristics, but he also apparently thinks that it is not just the characteristics themselves but each person’s own unique embodiment of those same characteristics that constitutes someone’s true personal identity. It is the challenge of trying to define personal identity that is at the heart of Foster’s work. Foster examines many different definitions for personal identity and uses internet dating as a useful …show more content…
The question that permeates throughout my thoughts is how much personal identity influences the existence of love. Tony Milligan attempts to shed some light on this question in his work “The Politics of Love.” Milligan believes that love is irrational and you can think all sorts of things about someone’s personal identity but you can’t choose to love them, “After all, the heart wants what it wants. We do not get to choose who we love…” (Milligan pg. 338). Milligan later doubles down on his belief that personal identity has the potential to be irrelevant in love, “Nor can I persuade her to love me solely on the basis of available facts and sound argumentation. Even if I was a better person, Saint Francis and the Dalai Lama all rolled into one… There may, of course, be prudential reasons why one person would want to love another, but wanting to love and loving are not the same, and so there seems to be no reasons at all for love itself” (Milligan pg. 340). This belief put forth by Milligan is interesting because even though many philosophers, and myself, believe that personal identity and who you are as a person can be the reason for love between individuals, Milligan points out that love can also exist in spite of those same perceived personal

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