The problem of personal identity is difficult to solve, especially since there is ambiguity in the terms. Identity may mean the same person or how one sees oneself. Anyhow, philosophers wish to assess this issue and find a suitable explanation, one motivation being responsibility. Humans will hold others responsible for acts such as murder, theft, and fraud. However, the person who will face the consequences must be the one who truly committed the wrongful act. A second motivation is interest in the future. An individual may become concerned or excited for an event that will occur in the future. Surely, these emotions entail that they will be the same person once that event occurs. The last motivation for resolving personal identity is immortality; basically, what will connect a person to whatever lives on after their physical death. Something can be identical in two ways: quantitatively or qualitatively. To be quantitatively identical is to be numerically identical, and to be qualitatively identical is to share exact qualities. There are two criterions on which personal identity is based, but the most important is the metaphysical criterion, which attempts to explain “being” or existence, without the necessity of physical evidence ...
... middle of paper ...
...ll the tables, but the next morning, he cannot recall what happened. Is it not rational to believe he has suppressed these memories to avoid shame? The conscious brain can sometimes veil memories of the unconscious mind. Psychology has demonstrated cases where consciously, individuals could not remember past events, but while sleeping, the memories return. There have also been several occurrences of individuals who have been drugged and abused. The drugs prevented recall for some time, but slowly memories have returned.
Briefly, we can conclude by deduction that body, brain, and soul are not sufficient to explain personal identity. Personal identity and immortality will always cause questions to arise from philosophers, as well as other individuals, and although many philosophers may object and disagree, the memory criterion offers the most sufficient explanation.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Personal identity, in the context of philosophy, does not attempt to address clichéd, qualitative questions of what makes us us. Instead, personal identity refers to numerical identity or sameness over time. For example, identical twins appear to be exactly alike, but their qualitative likeness in appearance does not make them the same person; each twin, instead, has one and only one identity – a numerical identity. As such, philosophers studying personal identity focus on questions of what has to persist for an individual to keep his or her numerical identity over time and of what the pronoun “I” refers to when an individual uses it.... [tags: Psychology, Soul, Mind, Identity]
1153 words (3.3 pages)
- Prescience, Genetic Memory, and Personal Identity in Frank Herbert's Dune Trilogy "Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test that it's a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain"(Herbert, Dune 68). –Bene Gesserit Proverb Ben Bova begins his liner notes on Frank Herbert Reads his God Emperor of Dune (Excerpts) by stating that "All truly great art shares this characteristic: the more you study it, the more it reveals" (Herbert). Although it refers specifically to the fourth book in the Dune Chronicles, his statement also applies to the trilogy that precedes it–Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of... [tags: Frank Herbert Dune]
7907 words (22.6 pages)
- Personal identity is a very controversial aspect of life. Who are we. What defines us. According to John Locke, psychological continuity is what defines our personal identity. Locke discusses the case of the prince and the cobbler to help shape his theory. However, I absolutely disagree with Locke’s theory. Locke’s theory of personal identity creates many problems, such as the duplication problem. By reformulating Locke’s theory of personal identity, we still come across these problems that prove Locke’s theory false.... [tags: theory, duplication, memory, numerically]
805 words (2.3 pages)
- All through life people strive to become someone with a specific identity; to be classified as a “somebody” rather than a “nobody”. This classification is most noted amongst high school students. Often youth identities are developed through the activities they participate in, the jock, the cheerleader, the nerd, the band geek. Yet, people are not the activities they participated in in high school. People graduate, go to college, work toward a career, have children. Then at the ten year reunion, those same high school jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, and band geeks gather once again to reminisce over the past.... [tags: Criteria of Identity]
1506 words (4.3 pages)
- The Problem of the Problem of Personal Identity Throughout the years, the notion of personal identity has captured the attention of many philosophers. One such philosopher, John Locke, attempted to solve the problem in his book, Essays Concerning Human Understanding, in which he provides his definition of what personal identity should be considered as. This idea has not come without its fair share of criticism, however. Antony Flew, a contemporary English philosopher, attempted to show that Locke’s notion of personal identity was severely flawed.... [tags: Consciousness, Mind, John Locke, Personal identity]
1416 words (4 pages)
- In this paper I offer an explication of John Perry’s dialogue on the problem of personal identity, and my evaluation of the strongest account of personal identity between the body, mind, and soul. In this paper I will argue that the strongest account of personal identity is that a person can be identified by their soul. By having the sameness of soul you will then be able to solve the problem of personal identity. Your soul is the foundation of whom you are and by definition, personal identity means “The persistent and continuous unity of the individual person normally attested by continuity of memory with present consciousness.” And without your soul memory could not exist.... [tags: Soul, Spirit, Mind, Chocolate]
1025 words (2.9 pages)
- Hume and Locke on Personal Identity Hume believes that personal identity is not the feeling of existence of what is called the self as many philosophers believe. He proposes that every idea is the product of one impression. The self is not one impression, but is all of our impressions that combined Impressions could be pain, pleasure, grief, or joy, but they do not happen at the same time, they follow each other. Hume uses the theater analogy to explain this (Hume). The mind is the stage where perceptions make their appearance.... [tags: Mind, Psychology, Thought, Consciousness]
723 words (2.1 pages)
- The two positions of personal identity over-time consider whether we are ‘tracking persons’ or ‘human beings’. Through analysing Locke’s account of personal identity and his definition of a ‘person’, the first side of this argument will be explained. However in opposition to Locke’s theory, the second position that considers us as ‘human beings’ will also be assessed, as advocated by animalists such as Olson. In response to this examples of cases such as amnesia will also be taken into consideration and how Parfait’s psychological continuity theory resolves prior objections to Locke’s argument made by Butler and Reid.... [tags: Philosophy]
1204 words (3.4 pages)
- All through life people strive to become someone with a specific identity; to be classified as a “somebody” rather than a “nobody”. This classification is most noted amongst high school students. Often youth identities are developed through the activities they participate in, the jock, the cheerleader, the nerd, the band geek. Yet, people are not the activities they participated in in high school. People graduate, go to college, work toward a career, have children. Then at the ten year reunion, those same high school jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, and band geeks gather once again to reminisce over the past.... [tags: modified body criterion]
1788 words (5.1 pages)
- In order to form an opinion on what Locke would do in the case of the 80 year old man who has been charged with war crimes that he genuinely does not remember one has to analyse the complex definitions surrounding identities. This essay will look into Locke’s thoughts and theories and by process of elimination speculate on how Locke would have evaluated the claim. Why the necessity to fully analyse the definition of identity. Locke believed that the identity of things was not always as readily discernable as what first meets the eye and as a consequence set about defining the identity of all things from physical objects, the identity of living entities and ultimately the identity of man and... [tags: Human Understanding]
1503 words (4.3 pages)