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Locke on Personal Identity – Consciousness and Concernment - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Locke on Personal Identity: Consciousness and Concernment

Galen Strawson


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. This book argues that in fact it is Locke's critics who are wrong, and that the famous objections to his theory are invalid. Indeed, far from refuting Locke, they illustrate his fundamental point. The book argues that the root error is to take Locke's use of the word “person” as merely a term for a standard persisting thing, like “human being.” In actuality, Locke uses “person” primarily as a forensic or legal term geared specifically to questions a ... More

Keywords: person, John Locke, personal identity, praise, blame, punishment, reward, consciousness, philosophy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780691161006
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691161006.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Galen Strawson, author
University of Texas at Austin