The Importance Of Personal Identity

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Personal identity is the concept of what makes a unique person, what ‘self’ means, and what connects you to other versions of yourself. It is generally accepted that personal identity exists and that everyone is a unique and distinct being. The more interesting and complicated philosophical problem has to do with personal identity over time, which considers two beings over time: being X, at time T1, and being Y, at time T2. The most important aspect being the specific conditions which do or do not make X and Y the same person. Persisting things can change their intrinsic properties without abandoning their identities as those persisting things. This is not hard to accept since it would be absurd to believe that every time something changed,…show more content…
If personal identity over time exists, this means that a criterion of identity also exists. A criterion of identity specifies the conditions for the survival of persons over time. This deals with problems such as life after death, life support, reincarnation, and generally who we are as people. Consequently, these problems have important implications that could change the way people interact and the way the world works. If personal identity over time does not exist or if your identity changes when you are drunk for example: how can we hold people responsible for their actions. A person being prosecuted would not be the same person that committed the…show more content…
Locke defines consciousness as the act of thinking and perceiving with reason and reflection so that you can consider yourself in different times and spaces and he defines a person as a rational thinking being. Accordingly, Locke extrapolates that personal identity consists in the continuity of one’s consciousness. He writes “As far back as this consciousness can be extended backwards, to any past action of thought, so far reaches the identity of that person”. Therefore, the criterion of identity is experience

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