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Alba Pilarte

Philosophy 1010
J. Wood
Personal Identity

Personal Identity is the concept you develop about yourself that evolves
over the course of your life. It includes things that you have no control over, Such
as the color of your natural hair, who your parents might be or where you have
How do you know you are the same person as you were before is a
question of persistence, it means our existence across time and how we are able
to prove it; we perceive that we persists through our life as the same human. But
how can we know?
Plato and Descartes thought that we persist because we have a soul ; a
timeless essence that continues in some form even after death. Descartes
aimed to provide a scientifically oriented argument for this enduring inner self. He
promoted the view that the mind can exist and persist without the body, this is
referred as the Mind-Body problem.
However John Locke one of the first philosophers to encounter this
philosophical problem said that Identity of persons is identity of consciousness
when a memory has not been accessed for a period of time, the brain goes

ahead and gets rid of that memory, would you still be the same person when this
memory disappeared?
Philosophical continuity is the criteria needed for personal identity, you are
the person you were a minute ago because you remember being that person.
This idea has been modified by Reid.
Reid went about this by asking you to imagine a young boy, who becomes
a young officer, who becomes an old general, now are they the same person?
The old general might not remember being a young boy, but if the Old general
remembers being the Officer and the officer remembers being the Young boy
than that creates a chain of memories, therefore they are all one person. Losing
all your memories could mean you will no longer be the same person. You are
your memories.
However if a person becomes three and they all remember being the
original person, they are both psychologically continuous with him, but they can
not be identical because identity is called a transitive relationship, if A is identical
to B and B is identical to C, then A is identical to C. If this is true than the persons
must be identical but they are not because they have different bodies, one of the
identicals can be here and the other one over there.
Leibniz's Law from the cartesian Dualism states that if two things are
identical they must have the same properties, which includes their position in
What makes you the same person? Derek Parfit declared that the answer
is Psychological Continuity. Instead of relinquishing the thought of memory being

important to determining who is who, Partfit abandons the idea of identity. Identity
ties us down. The question we must answer according to Parfit is Will we
Parfit wants us to recognize that one person might survive as two. Back to
the person, the original survives as two of the identicals because the memories
are still there.
Parfit demonstrated this by asking to imagine if two people fused together
as the other philosopher did, you take the two sets of desires and believes now
they are in one body; certain traits might overcome the other, this means that this
fused person might be more like one than the other.
Parfit beliefs that we are thinking of survival when we converse about if we
are the same as time progresses or if we remain the same person as time
changes.He believes that survival is a matter of degree.
Personal Identity is a philosophical problem that deals with the question of
how do we know we are the same person as the person we were just a minute
ago and our uniqueness, the argument is explored by many recognized
philosophers, they deal and evaluate the problem in many different ways but the
most common is with identicals or clones of our own selves. The Personal
Identity Problem is still a problem to the philosophical community now.

Reference Page

Lacewing, M. (n.d.). Personal Identity. Retrieved November 18, 2015.

Shoemaker,D.(2011).Theories of personal Identity.

Nimbalkar,N.(n.d.). John Locke on personal Identity. Jan.2011.