Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xvi

This book began as a paper in the autumn of 1994, when I reread Locke’s discussion of personal identity in book 2, chapter 27 (2.27) of his...

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1: Introduction

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pp. 1-4

It’s widely held that Locke’s account of personal identity, first published in 1694, is circular and inconsistent, and blatantly so. Locke, however, thought long and hard about the ...

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2: “Person”

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pp. 5-16

The word “person” has a double use, both now and in the seventeenth century. In its most common everyday use, today as in the seventeenth century, it simply denotes a human being considered as a whole, a person, as I will say. Its next...

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3: “Person . . . is a forensic term”

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pp. 17-21

The word “person” contains considerable opportunities for confusion, as we have seen. But help is not far to seek. Udo Thiel makes a crucial point when he notes the sense in which “person” is indeed a property term, a term for a...

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4: Concernment

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pp. 22-29

If we look for a thing-denoting term that corresponds to “Person,” it looks as if we need something like “unit of accountability.” A Person is a unit of accountability. A unit of accountability is always a subject of experience, and we naturally think...

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5: Consciousness

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pp. 30-41

It may still seem best to say that Lockean Consciousness extends to one’s material substance (and perhaps also to one’s immaterial substance) only indirectly, given that Locke’s fundamental definition of Consciousness is in terms of a...

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6: “Consciousness . . . is inseparable from thinking”

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pp. 42-49

Being Conscious of some action or experience, experiencing it as one’s own in a certain immediate (i.e. nonmediated) or from-the-inside sort of way, needn’t—and standardly doesn’t—involve any sort of explicit or express or attentive...

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7: “From the inside”

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pp. 50-57

In current philosophical discussion, Shoemaker’s term “from the inside” is mainly applied to autobiographical memory, although it’s also a feature of all one’s current experience. The difference between remembering something...

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8: “Person”—Locke’s Definition

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pp. 58-71

I’m an individual agent, a thinking being, a persisting human subject of experience—very much as I think I am. All this is clear. But what am I insofar as I am a Person—a person in Locke’s sense? This still doesn’t seem so clear, and...

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9: Consciousness Is Not Memory

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pp. 72-76

It’s clear that Consciousness—Lockean consciousness— isn’t the same as memory, contrary to what many have supposed. The primary and paradigm case of Consciousness involves no memory at all: it’s the Consciousness one has...

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10: Personal Identity

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pp. 77-87

There is, certainly, a sense in which Locke is interested in this question in his discussion of personal identity. It is, however, hard to get the word “person” to behave properly if one takes the canonical question to be his question. This...

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11: Psychological Connectedness

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pp. 88-92

The psychological connectedness that matters to Locke is, furthermore, and crucially, narrower—more fine-grained— than psychological connectedness as ordinarily understood; and this is not simply because Consciousness isn’t the same...

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12: Transition (Butler Dismissed)

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pp. 93-96

Locke has defined Personal identity in terms of the reach of Consciousness in beings who qualify as Persons (being in particular fully self-conscious, able to think of past and future, and “capable of a law”). A person in this sense, a...

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13: “But next . . . ”: Personal Identity without Substantial Continuity

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pp. 97-109

Suppose, as I suspect Locke suspected, that materialism is true, and that one’s whole psychological being—one’s character, personality, memory, and so on—is wholly located in one’s brain (see p. 9, n. 5). Suppose further that all the...

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14: “And therefore . . . ”: [I]-transfers,[Ag]-transfers, [P]-transfers

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pp. 110-118

At other times, however, Locke seems to use the terms “agent,” “thinking substance,” and “intellectual substance” in such way that a change of agent or thinking substance or intellectual substance would be a change of Person, so that a...

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15: “A fatal error of theirs”

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pp. 119-124

Locke is open to these charges if his theory of personal identity is just the radical theory. It follows, I think, that it isn’t. I’m going to argue that there is indeed a respect in which he is presupposing a notion of what a person is that...

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16: A Fatal Error of Locke’s?

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pp. 125-130

Locke must be supposing that these sensible creatures are Persons, as just remarked, because he’s taking them to be proper objects of punishment, and the objection (already stated) is immediate...

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17: Circularity?

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pp. 131-134

Suppose this is accepted. The charge of circularity or question-begging remains, inasmuch as Locke’s notion of what Personal identity is must contain something over and above what is contained in the radical claim. If you accept that...

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18: The Distinction between [P] and [S]

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pp. 135-138

One might finally put the point—somewhat tendentiously— by saying that Locke isn’t sufficiently clear about the difference between his definition of a Person, considered as a kind of thing, and his definition of Personal identity. It’s...

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19: Concernment and Repentance

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pp. 139-149

Having put her unanswerable question to those who think that Lockean consciousness is the same as memory (see p. 75 above), Marya Schechtman goes on to say that on Locke’s view, “past events can become part of present consciousness...

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20: Conclusion

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pp. 150-156

There’s a further reason why the idea of a person’s overall moral nature or identity may be useful in a Lockean framework. When materialists or mortalists address the troublesome question of what guarantees personal identity between...

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POSTFACE

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pp. 157-162

Although Locke’s theory of personal identity is part of his chapter on the general subject of identity and diversity, it is first and foremost a theory of moral and legal responsibility...

APPENDIX 1: “Of Identity and Diversity” by John Locke

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pp. 163-232

APPENDIX 2: A Defence of Mr. Locke’s Opinion Concerning Personal Identity by Edmund Law

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pp. 233-252

References

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pp. 253-258

Index

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pp. 259-261