Locke's psychology of personal identity

Journal of the History of Philosophy 38 (1):41-61 (2000)
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By attending just to conceptual analysis and metaphysics in connection with Locke's theory of personal identity, but ignoring psychology, one can know that, in Locke's view, consciousness via memory unifies persons over time, but not how consciousness unifies persons, either over time or at a time, nor why, for Locke, the mechanisms of self-constitution are crucially important to personal identity. In explaining Locke's neglected thoughts on the psychology of personal identity, I argue, first, that he was not trying to analyze personal identity so as to allow that persons could persist through change of substance and were accountable for their thoughts and deeds and, second, that to do this Locke tried to explain how persons are byproducts of the development in at least normal humans of reflexive consciousness



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Raymond Martin
Union College

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Cudworth on Types of Consciousness.Vili Lähteenmäki - 2010 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (1):9-34.

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