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Learning from Six Philosophers Volume 2$
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Jonathan Bennett

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198250920

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198250924.001.0001

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Locke on Diachronic Identity‐Judgements

Locke on Diachronic Identity‐Judgements

(p.321) Chapter 39 Locke on Diachronic Identity‐Judgements
Learning from Six Philosophers Volume 2

Jonathan Bennett

Oxford University Press

Locke's great chapter on identity and diversity starts with an account of what it is for a single atom to last through time, then a single mass of matter, a single organism (including a single man), and finally a single person. The core of personal identity, he says, lies in a connectedness of ‘consciousness’, which seems to consist mainly in memory‐links. His conditions for identity are in one way too strong, in another too weak; but the account is enormously instructive. So is his thesis that person is a forensic concept, and that it would be, though possible, unjust for God to allow one person to be constituted successively out of several substances.

Keywords:   forensic, identity, Locke, person, personal identity, personhood, substance

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