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This entry aims to first get clear on the basics of Locke’s position, when it comes to persons and personal identity, before turning to areas of the text that continue to be debated by historians of philosophy working to make sense of Locke’s picture of persons today.It then canvases how Locke’s discussion of persons was received by his contemporaries, and concludes by briefly addressing how those working in metaphysics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have responded to Locke’s view—giving the reader a glimpse of Locke’s lasting impact and influence on the debate over personal identity. The discussion of persons and their persistence conditions also features prominently in Locke’s lengthy exchange with Edward Stillingfleet, Bishop of Worcester (1697–1699).Locke begins “Of Identity and Diversity” by first getting clear on the principle of individuation, and by setting out what some have called the place-time-kind principle—which stipulates that no two things of the same kind can be in the same place at the same time, and no individual can be in two different places at the same time (L-N 2.27.1).
This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is a major work in the history of philosophy and a founding text in the empiricist approach to philosophical investigation.
Book III deals with the signs that we use to communicate ideas to ourselves and to others, words.
Book III follows roughly the same form as Book II, explaining how the different kinds of ideas can be communicated as different kinds of words.
Nevertheless, Locke’s treatment of personal identity is one of the most discussed and debated aspects of his corpus.
Locke Essay Book 2
Locke’s discussion of persons received much attention from his contemporaries, ignited a heated debate over personal identity, and continues to influence and inform the debate over persons and their persistence conditions.
Many attempt to follow his trail, including David Hume and many modern philosophers.
Though this work is idiosyncratic, it is hard to overemphasize its influence on philosophy and the development of thought over the last several hundred years.
He categorizes ideas into simple and complex ideas.
Simple ideas are generated directly by experience and refer to simple objects of sensation.