more from Joseph Butler

Single Idea 21314

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

Full Idea

One would think it really self-evident that consciousness of personal identity presupposes, and therefore cannot constitute, personal identity, any more than knowledge can presuppose truth, which it presupposes.

Gist of Idea

Consciousness presupposes personal identity, so it cannot constitute it


Joseph Butler (Analogy of Religion [1736], App.1)

Book Reference

'Personal Identity', ed/tr. Perry,John [University of California 1975], p.100

A Reaction

It rather begs the question to dogmatically assert that mere consciousness presupposes a self, especially after Hume's criticisms. That consciousness implies a subject to experience needs arguing for. Is it the best explanation?