Even though john locke is the most influential thinker in the discussion of personal identity, his account is usually thought to have been proved false by thomas reid's simple 'gallant officer' argument locke is tra- ditionally interpreted as holding that your having memories of a past person's thoughts or actions is. John locke's theory of personal identity underlies all modern discussion of the nature of persons and selves--yet it is widely thought to be wrong in his n. Part 1 of 3 what makes you the same person as the little kid growing up a number of years ago is the identity of a person tied to the persistence of a body or a soul or something else entirely can we even give any explanation at all of the persistence of a person in this wireless philosophy video, michael. Against cartesian theory john locke (29 august 1632-28 october 1704) was one of the philosophers who were against the cartesian theory that soul accounts for personal identity chapter xxvii on “identity and diversity” in an essay concerning human understanding (locke, 1689/1997) has been said to be one of the. In an essay concerning human understanding, john locke considers the notion of personal identity he offers an account of what it means to be a person and what it means to say that a at time t1 is the same person at time t2 according to locke, a person is a rational thinking being identity. John locke offered a very rich and influential account of persons and personal identity in “of identity and diversity,” which is chapter 27 of book 2 of his an essay concerning human understanding he added it to the second edition in 1694 upon the recommendation of his friend william molyneux locke's.
Locke states, “for the same consciousness being preserv'd, whether in the same or different substances, the personal identity is preserv'd” (iixxvii13)1 ed john perry personal identity berkeley, los angeles, and london: university of california press, 1975 reid, thomas essays on the intellectual powers of man. A summary of book ii, chapters xxiv-xxvi: ideas of relation in john locke's essay concerning human understanding learn exactly what happened in it is in the context of this discussion that locke presents his theory of personal identity, that is, his theory of what makes us the same person over time according to locke. John locke considered personal identity (or the self) to be founded on consciousness (viz memory), and not on the substance of either the soul or the body book ii chapter xxvii entitled on identity and diversity in an essay concerning human understanding (1689) has been.
In his essay concerning human understanding, john locke famously offers an explanation of personal identity in particular, he holds that our con scious memories constitute our identities1 christopher nolan s memento (2000) tests this theory of personal identity in the film, leonard shelby (guy pearce), an insurance. An essay concerning human understanding by john locke - in his “an essay concerning human understanding” john locke discusses personal identity where he tries to show that personal identity depends on our memories locke also discuses some of the changes that are possible in our constitution that still result in.
This lesson explains john locke's theories on personal identity in doing so, it highlights the prince and pauper argument as well as the day man. Both in his discussion of personal identity and in his discussion of the immateriality of the soul in book iv of the essay locke is agnostic about the immateriality of the soul in book iv he suggests that immateriality is not needed for the great ends of religion, and in book ii he crafts a theory of personal identity that does not.
Essay, book ii chxxvii locke points out that personal identity is not the mere unity of substance or material parts, since variations of matter, or even shape, do not necessarily alter the identity if i could only claim to be the same person as john locke around 1668, if i am conscious of the same personal memories as he. 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 earned it the title.