JOHN LOCKE’S MEMORY THEORY OF PERSONAL IDENTITY

  • Osemwegie, Taiwo Wesley, PhD
  • Victor Ogheneochuko Jeko, PhD
Keywords: Memory, consciousness, personal identity, person

Abstract

This work examines Locke’s memory account/theory of personal identity. Apart from being a psychological theory, it is also an appropriation of mental states as a distinct internal experience of the unity of one’s own thinking. A thinking being is a conscious being. Though it is extended (using Descartes’ term), it is however a whole being characterized by thought which explains the individual as a unity. The aim of the work is to explicate the significance of memory/consciousness as the basis of a person’s identity over time. It means that what accounts for the continuous persistence of a person/self as the same person/self over time is the semblance of thought or memory. The work argues that a physiological account of a person’s identity is inadequate if proper accountability; praise and blame are to be attached to one’s action. The work concludes that in the determination of a person’s identity from one day to the next, past, present and future memories of an individual must be the same and that memory-based accounts of personal identity remain relevant and popular hitherto as it embodies what is perhaps the dominant contemporary view.

Published
2021-04-05
Section
Articles