Everybody has a sense of self or sense of personal identity.
In his essay Of Identity and Diversity, Locke talks about the importance of personal identity. The title of his essay gives an idea of his view. Identity, according to Locke, is the memory and self consciousness, and diversity is the faculty to transfer memories across bodies and souls.
In order to make his point more understandable, Locke defines man and person. Locke identifies a man as an animal of a certain form and a person as a thinking intelligent being. Basically, personal self is a particular body and personal identity is consciousness.
In this essay, one will only focus on personal identity since it is the one that is most important to Locke. First, one will discuss the reasons why personal identity is important to Locke.
Then, one will highlight the strengths of he's position; in addition to that, one will draw attention to the weaknesses and limits of Locke's view to show that his theory about memory being the only element of personal identity is not that strong.
Personal identity is the unity of consciousness and the unity of consciousness defines the person. Locke says "personal identity, the identity of the self overtime, depends on one's recalling of past experience and actions as one's own" So if one remembers one's past memories, one is the same person.
However, if one does not remember, one is the same man but a different person. In this case, the 85 years hold man John Doe does not remember the war crimes he committed when he was 20 years old, Locke would say that John is a different person now since he lost his memory; however, he is the same man.
One of the reasons why personal identity is important to Locke is that he is concerned about the past and the future. He clearly states that all rights and justice of punishment and reward are founded in personal identity In other words, Locke is concerned about one's past actions and its consequences in the future and one's responsibility for those actions.
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On the one hand, if in the past one lived by acting in a good way one hopes to be rewarded in the future. And on the other hand, if one lived by acting in a bad way one fears to be punished in the future.
For instance, John acted in a bad way when he was 20, he committed war crimes; hence, he should expect to be punished for his actions.
But Locke's analysis is not that simple; according to his definition of personal identity, people should be held responsible for their actions only if they remember doing those actions.
Consequently, based on Locke's view, John should not be punished for the war crimes he committed since he does not remember what he did at In this example, Locke does not punish John, who committed terrible war crimes, just because he does not remember.
Is Locke's judgment fair to people who committed the same crimes but remember what they did?
Or, is his judgment fair to the victim's families? Locke's judgment is only based on whether or not the wrong doer remembers his actions; it does not take into account other important elements; that is one of the reasons why Locke's theory about personal identity has been criticized.
Locke's view on personal identity has strengths but it also has several weaknesses or limitations. For example, if John remembers what he did at 20 and recognizes the war crimes as being his actions then, he should be punished.
It is a very important claim to base judgments on personal identity and personal identity on memory.Feb 17, · Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. I cover changes to the American workplace.
Corporate culture has arguably always been important, but it’s only become a popular point of. WHAT IS SENSE OF SELF? Everybody has a sense of self or sense of personal identity. In fact most people have a number of important ways of thinking about themselves that are significant enough to be considered multiple senses of self.
May 27, · Looking out into the world today, it's easy to see why brands are more important now than at any time in the past years. Brands are psychology and science brought together as a . The Importance of Personal Identity. This column is the first in a series of three designed to assist you in discovering and strengthening your own personal and more accurate self-concept.
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