Essay heading: John Locke on identiey

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August 24, 2000






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We are the same person to the extent that we are conscious of our past and future thoughts and actions in the same way as we are conscious of our present thoughts and actions. If consciousness is this "thought" which doubles all thoughts, then personal identity is only founded on the repeated act of consciousness: "This may show us wherein personal identity consists: not in the identity of substance, but...
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in the identity of consciousness". For example, one may claim to be a reincarnation of a person, therefore having the same soul substance. However, one would be the same person only if one had the same consciousness of that person's thoughts and actions the person did. Therefore, self-identity is not based on the soul...
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