more from John Locke

Single Idea 5511

[catalogued under 16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / b. Self as mental continuity]

Full Idea

Central to Locke's account of the self is the idea that consciousness is reflexive and that it plays a dual role in self-constitution: it is what unifies a person not only over time, but also at a time.

Gist of Idea

For Locke, conscious awareness unifies a person at an instant and over time


report of John Locke (Essay Conc Human Understanding (2nd Ed) [1694]) by R Martin / J Barresi - Introduction to 'Personal Identity' p.37

Book Reference

'Personal Identity', ed/tr. Martin,R /Barresi,J [Blackwells 2003], p.37

A Reaction

This is a good explanation of Locke's view, and shows clearly why Locke does not hold a 'memory' theory (unless, of course, one held the view that all consciousness is memory). Consciousness unites self, or self unites consciousness?