Essay John Locke 's Theory Of Personal Identity

1127 Words Dec 4th, 2015 null Page
Personal identity or the self has been something frequently pondered by many great philosophers for many years. Each philosopher has their own ideas of what makes the self and how it works. Locke’s idea is that “the identity of the same man consists…in nothing but a participation of the same continued life, by constantly fleeting particles of matter, in succession vitally united to the same organized body.” This paper will argue in favor of Locke’s Theory of Personal Identity by justifying the ways in which it provides solutions for the problems generated buy other philosophers.
For I presume it is not the idea of a thinking or rational being alone that makes the idea of a man in most people’s sense: but of the body, so and so shaped, jointed to it; and if that be the idea of a man, the same successive body not shifted all at once must, as well as the same immaterial spirit, go to the making of the same man. This being premised, to find wherein personal identity consists, we must consider what person stands for—which, I think, is a thinking intelligent being that has reason and reflection and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing, in different times and places; which it does only by that consciousness which is inseparable from thinking, and, as it seems to me, essential to it: it being impossible for anyone to perceive without perceiving that he does perceive. (Locke)
In this quote, Locke is saying that a person is not only a soul or a body but a…

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