Memory and Personal Identity in Spinoza
Lin (Martin)
Source: Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Jun2005, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p243-268, 26p
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Philosopher’s Index Abstract

  1. The article presents information on the concepts of memory and personal identity in Spinoza’s Ethics and Locke's Essay, which distinguishes persons from human beings and souls.
  2. It is notable that although Spinoza seems to have shared some of Locke's basic intuitions about such cases – they both thought that memory loss can indicate a significant discontinuity – Spinoza did not conceptualize the problem in the same way.
  3. According to Spinoza, the human body is just the sort of complex individual that is composed of parts that are themselves complex.
  4. Spinoza's theory of individuation1 hinges on the notion of a ratio. Spinoza adhered to the Cartesian conception of rest, according to which rest is not simply the privation of motion, but is some positive quantity.

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