'The Secrets of All Hearts': Locke on Personal Identity
Strawson (Galen)
Source: O'Hear (Anthony), Ed. - Mind, Self and Person
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Many think John Locke's account of personal identity is inconsistent and circular. It’s neither of these things. The root causes of the misreading are
    1. the mistake of thinking that Locke uses 'consciousness' to mean memory,
    2. failure to appreciate the importance of the 'concernment' that always accompanies 'consciousness', on Locke’s view,
    3. a tendency to take the term person, in Locke's text, as if it were (only) some kind of fundamental sortal1 term like 'human being' or 'thinking thing', and to fail to take proper account of Locke's use of it as a 'forensic2' term (Section 26).
  2. It's well known that Locke uses person as a forensic3 term, but the consequences of this have still not been fully worked out.


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