What is your personal identity? Your personal identity is the way that you see yourself and is closely related to your self image. It is very important to you because it will affect the way you feel about yourself and how you behave in challenging situations.
Perhaps the problem that most people think of first when they think about the nature of the mind is whether the mind can survive the death of the body.
The possibility that it can is, of course, central to many religious doctrines, and… The notion of personal identity One makes a judgment of personal identity whenever one says that a person existing at one time is the same as a person existing at another time: Matters of great importance often turn on the truth of such judgments.
Whether someone should be punished for a crime, for example, depends on whether he is the person who committed it, and whether someone is the owner of something now may depend on whether he is the person who purchased it at some past time. The topic of personal identity has to do with what the truth of judgments of personal identity consists of and how it can be known.
Equivalently, it has to do with the nature of the persistence of persons through time and their awareness of such persistence. Bodily and immaterial-substance theories What one normally relies on in making judgments of personal identity in everyday life are facts about human bodies—sameness of appearance, sameness of fingerprintssameness of DNAand so on.
This fact suggests that the sameness of persons consists of the sameness of human bodies. This suggestion of course raises the question of what the sameness of human bodies consists of.
It cannot consist simply of similarity of bodily characteristics: A better answer would be that it consists of spatiotemporal continuity and continuity of bodily characteristics.
These philosophers would say that the persistence of a person consists of the persistence of such an immaterial substance. As to what that consists in, the most common answer is that the identity of such substances is simple and unanalyzable.
The psychological view Both of these accounts of personal identity—the bodily theory and the immaterial-substance theory—were rejected by the 17th-century English philosopher John Locke in his Essay Concerning Human Understandingwhich contained the first extended treatment of the topic in Western philosophy.
Updated versions of this example involve brain transplants rather than soul transfers. He also held that consciousness can be transferred from one immaterial substance to another, so that the immaterial substance that was initially the mind of one person might become the mind of a different person.
Locke said that the identity of persons consists of sameness of consciousness. This is usually interpreted to mean that identity consists of facts about memory: A small boy is flogged for stealing an apple; later, as a young officer, he remembers the flogging; later still, as an old general, he remembers acting bravely as a young officer but does not remember being flogged as a boy.
The 18th-century English bishop and philosopher Joseph Butler raised a different objection: In a subsequent elaboration of this response, memory continuity was replaced by psychological continuity, which includes memory continuity as a special case. Psychological continuity consists of the holding of a number of psychological relations between person-stages—e.
It may be theoretically possible for a person to quasi-remember past experiences or actions—i. But remembering will be a special case—and perhaps the only actual case—of quasi-remembering.
Of course, a psychological-continuity theory based on quasi-memory will be satisfactory only if it contains provisions that determine whether a case of quasi-remembering is a case of genuine remembering.
Joseph Butler, detail from an engraving by T. Dean,after a portrait by John Vanderbank. BBC Hulton Picture Library Fission and special concern Most contemporary versions of the psychological view of personal identity assume that persons are physical in nature.
The idea is that the recipient of a brain transplant could be expected to have memories corresponding to the past life of the donor, as well as a psychological history generally continuous with that of the donor before the transplant.
The recipient would think that he is the donor—and, according to the psychological view, others should think the same. A variant of the brain-transplant example, due to the British philosopher David Wigginsin which the two hemispheres of a brain are transplanted into two different bodies, has been extensively discussed since the s.
Here the supposition is that after the transplant there are two persons who are psychologically continuous with the person who existed before.Protect your identity and sensitive information by becoming invisible on any public WiFi network.
In effect, their sense of identity is created through taking a part of everyone with who they bond and adding it to their own sense of self. In this way, our self becomes a complex, multiple, social being.
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And yet concepts like gay or straight are relatively recent developments in human history. We let ourselves be defined by socially constructed. "We contain multitudes," wrote Walt Whitman, referring not to the highly contested diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder but to the fact that we see ourselves radically differently in.
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