The Memory Theory: The Problem Of Personal Identity

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Philosophers have been pondering over the problem of personal identity for centuries and today we still have not completely figured it out. The body and soul theories clearly failed to answer that, so philosopher John Locke attempted to answer the question with his new theory, the memory theory. The memory theory states that an identical persons are equal to one another if they share at least one memory experience. This means that a present person that his past self are only identical person’s if they can both recall one memory. For example, Johnny at age 30 and Johnny at age 12 both remember their big birthday party when they were seven, so they are considered to be the same person. As stated in the claim, it only applies to memory experiences,…show more content…
A direct memory is one that must be consciously recalled, whereas an indirect memory is one recalled by an earlier version of himself. This means that as long as someone’s past self remembers something from before, and that one remembers more, they are all considered to be the same person. If a person remember buying a pack of gum last week, and that person recalls losing a dollar several days before, then they are all accepted as the same person even if the present version does not recall losing the…show more content…
It states that there is more to a person than just a collection of memories. A person is also defined by their desires, motives and beliefs. There is clearly a distinction between someone who likes to fight with others. Simply put, for identical persons to be identical, they must share memories, as well as their personality and beliefs. To add on to that, identical persons must share a quasi-desire, which is a desire that is not tied to personal identity to escape redundancy. For a desire to be accepted without being circular, it can’t presuppose identity. A quasi-desire, similar to a quasi-memory, is an apparent desire that is caused by a real desire. For instance, a certain person has an aggressive and merciless attitude, which leads to certain desires. The apparent desires are indirectly connected with the deeper motives and beliefs of the person in question. The insufficiency objection ultimately leads to the creation of a new theory, the psychological continuity theory, why states that identical persons are identical if they directly quasi-remember and quasi-desire the same thing, they can be considered psychologically
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