Personal Identity : What Can You Tell Me About Yourself? Essay

1508 Words May 8th, 2016 7 Pages
However, a critic of Shoemaker’s idea may argue that Shoemaker was incorrect in his (her???) definition of ‘personal identity’, and that memory is not an aspect of a person’s identity at all. If someone were asked, “Can you tell me about yourself?” that individual would most likely describe themselves through their personality traits and characteristics; they may say that they are creative, enjoy rock music, and have a Bachelor of Science in Biology. That individual probably would only reference memories as an example to expand upon one of their previously stated characteristics, rather that expressing a series of memories to describe their personal identity as a whole. In effect, a critic may say that memories are irrelevant to personal identity, and rather one’s internal characteristics are more important considerations of personal identity, whereas memories are merely a result of actions taken upon one’s qualitative personality traits. Personality directly relates to behavior within an environment, which creates memories. Even in times of total amnesia, someone’s personality would be how they may be considered to be the ‘same person’ following the period of amnesia. Thus, memories would be secondary to personality. On the other hand, someone may argue that personality traits are created through memories and events, instead of memories being created from actions taken on account of one’s personality. This brings up the nature versus nurture argument, which refers to…

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