The Correct Solution to the Problem of Self-Identity Essay

The Correct Solution to the Problem of Self-Identity Essay

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Identity can be defined as the way you perceive or define you, or whatever makes an entity definable and recognizable in terms of possessing a set of qualities or characteristics that distinguish it from other entities, or what makes me, me and you, you. In philosophy, identity is essentially sameness (Solomon, Higgins, and Martin 296). In this sense, identity consists of what makes you a unique individual and distinguishes you from others. Identity is also how you define yourself and the structure of your life made up of learned values and principles. Self-identity is the way one characterizes oneself, either in general or in particular (Solomon, Higgins, and Martin 285). Self-identity is what makes you the same person over time. In his Meditation VI, René Descartes states that self-identity hinges on consciousness and does not depend on our body staying the same, and that is why human identity is unlike the identity of anything else in existence (Solomon, Higgins, and Martin 288). The philosophical problem of self-identity “is how to identify an individual as the same individual over time” (Solomon, Higgins, and Martin 286). There are many different philosophical theories that attempt to solve the problem of self-identity. Despite memories being distorted and forgotten the best solution to the problem of self-identity is based on self-consciousness and not the substances of the soul or the body. The famous philosopher, John Locke sets forth a prime theory in his teachings of how to use consciousness and memories to answer the problem of self-identity. I shall show that Locke not only solves the problem of self-identity by arguing that consciousness determines personal identity and unites actions in the same being throughout t...


... middle of paper ...


...entity effortlessly and effectively. Memories guarantee the identity of the individual that is recalling a memory with the person who originally had the experience.. Locke shows how memories can link a person to all of the different parts of their lives. The events that take place in the course of one’s life mold one as defined by the conscious and these acquired memories and experience extend through time, allowing for an individual to retain the sense of self from all aspects and times in their life.






Works Cited

Register, Bryan.” Lesson 4: Metaphysics III: Self-Identity and the Mind/Body problem.”
Introduction to Philosophy. The University of Texas at Austin. Spring Semester2014.

Solomon, Robert C., Kathleen Marie Higgins, and Clancy W. Martin. "Chapter 4 Self."
Introducing Philosophy: A Text with Integrated Readings. Oxford: Oxford UP,
2012. 285-331

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