Self Identity Essay

1237 Words3 Pages

The Correct Solution to the Problem of Self-Identity 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, 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, 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, Martin 288). The philosophical problem of self-identity “is how to identify an individual as the same individual over time” (Solomon, Higgins, 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. John Locke’s solution to the problem of self-identity is known as the memory theory. He argues that self, or personal identity, is based on... ... middle of paper ... ...mories cannot be transferred to others, making them unique to the individual. However, if Smith does come to forget the experience of buying the Lexus then it would be like the event never happened. When the experience of buying the Lexus leaves the consciousness, is beyond retrieval, then and only then could Smith argue he is not the same self and should not have to pay for the car. Locke’s Memory Theory has been faced with a lot of criticism, but solves the philosophical problem of self-identity effortlessly and effectively. 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.

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