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Locke on Personal IdentityConsciousness and Concernment$
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Galen Strawson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161006

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161006.001.0001

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(p.30) Chapter Five Consciousness
Locke on Personal Identity

Galen Strawson

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines what John Locke means by consciousness in relation to his account of personal identity. It begins with the statement that the only things of which one can be Conscious are: [M] human material body, [I] immaterial soul (if any), and [A] one's actions and experiences (including one's thoughts in the narrower cognitive sense). In other words, these, presumably, are what wholly constitute one as a person, in Locke's view, at any given time: [P] = [M] ± [I] + [A]. If the notion of a person were a wholly or merely moral notion, one would expect the being or extent of oneself as person to be identical to the being or extent of one's field of responsibility. In fact, the notion of oneself as person also includes one's substantial makeup, material and/or immaterial. The chapter also considers the link between memory and consciousness.

Keywords:   memory, John Locke, consciousness, personal identity, human material body, immaterial soul, action, experience, person, responsibility

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