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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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Concernment and Repentance

Concernment and Repentance

(p.139) Chapter Nineteen Concernment and Repentance
Locke on Personal Identity

Galen Strawson

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines John Locke's position regarding concernment and repentance. It first considers various possibilities for past events to become part of present consciousness before discussing guilt as a form of concernment in relation to consciousness, personhood, accountability, and punishability. It then explores the idea that one's overall forensic condition, or fundamental moral standing, at any time, either now or on the Day of Judgment, lies in his overall moral character or moral being at that time. It also analyzes the possibility that repentance—metanoia—can cancel out or detach one from a past wrongdoing in such a way that he won't be punished for it on the Day of Judgment, or indeed on some earlier, sublunary occasion, even though he remembers perfectly well what he did.

Keywords:   repentance, John Locke, concernment, past events, consciousness, guilt, personhood, accountability, punishability, Day of Judgment

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