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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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Personal Identity

Personal Identity

(p.77) Chapter Ten Personal Identity
Locke on Personal Identity

Galen Strawson

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines John Locke's idea of personal identity by focusing on the canonical personal identity question: What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of the truth of the claim that a person considered now at time t₂, whom we may call [P], is the same person as a person considered at a different past time t₁, whom we may call [Pₓ]? What has to be true if it is to be true that [Pₓ] is the same person as [P]? The canonical question assumes that “person” denotes a thing or object or substance that is a standard temporal continuant in the way that a human being or person1 is (or an immaterial soul, on most conceptions of what an immaterial soul is). The chapter considers how Locke's person differs both from human being (man) and from (individual) substance, material or immaterial, on the same ground, as well as his concept of the field of consciousness in relation to personhood.

Keywords:   personal identity, John Locke, person, immaterial soul, human being, substance, consciousness, personhood

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