In this paper, I argue that the strengths of John Locke's account of personal identity can be revealed by understanding it in the context of the metaphysical and religious debates of his day, especially the debates concerning the possibility of the afterlife and the resurrection. I adopt Locke's classifications of the views of his predecessors and examine metaphysical problems for material, Cartesian and non-Cartesian immaterial views of the soul, and views that regard human beings as mind-body unions. I show that Locke was well aware of these problems and argue that the strength of his account of personal identity in terms of same consciousness is that it provides a response to the various problems that arise for the views of his predecessors. Furthermore, the advantage of his theory is that it does not require him to prove the views of his predecessors to be mistaken, and it is thereby consistent with their mutually exclusive views.


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pp. 407-434
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