Philosophy week 9


The central question/problem of personal identity can be understood as a question of what makes a person the same person over time. This question is related to questions such as: “what makes you, you? (what makes a person the person they are, what is the distinguishing feature of identity?) or what is the essence of a person?”

Locke challenges two specific approaches to this question- namely the views he argues against are that identity is:
(View 1: The Body Account) the same body persisting through time (our identity is with our body);
(View 2: The Soul Account) the same soul persisting through time (we are identical with our soul, so regardless of what body you are in as long as the soul is the same that is what is important for identity)


Discussion Question:


Please explain one problem/objection Locke makes to one of the views of personal identity described above. After briefly stating Locke’s objection to this view, evaluate his objection- what is convincing or strong about his objection (OR) what is weak, is he missing anything in the objection?


Q 2

Please write 3 “discussion questions” for this weeks readings. You must have one discussion question per author.

A discussion question is a question in which you elaborate on a substantive issue that arises in the reading. You are not merely raising a question in which you ask what the author is saying (e.g. it is not acceptable to merely ask something like “What is Plato’s trying to argue?”). Rather, you should raise a question in regards to the view the author has suggested. A model for such questions are those that you have had to answer in your discussion posts.


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