Ideas from 'Essays on Intellectual Powers: Memory' by Thomas Reid [1785], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Inquiry and Essays' by Reid,Thomas (ed/tr Beanblossom /K.Lehrer) [Hackett 1983,0-915145-85-5]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas


9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 1. Objects over Time
Continuity is needed for existence, otherwise we would say a thing existed after it ceased to exist
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 13. No Identity over Time
We consider objects to retain identity when they slightly change because language cannot afford a new name each time
Commonsense says a thing can have identity at different times, but a logical definition of this seems impossible
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
Identity can only be affirmed of things which have a continued existence
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 7. Indiscernible Objects
We identify a stolen horse by its similarity to the original, but that doesn't mean that identity IS similarity
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 5. Unity of Mind
A person is a unity, and doesn't come in degrees
16. Persons / A. Concept of a Person / 2. Persons as Responsible
Personal identity is the basis of all rights, obligations and responsibility
16. Persons / A. Concept of a Person / 3. Persons as Reasoners
Reasoning requires personal identity, to unite the steps in an argument
16. Persons / B. Concept of the Self / 1. Essential Self
Thoughts change continually, but the self doesn't
16. Persons / E. Self as Mind / 1. Self and Memory
We accept other evidence than memory (e.g. testimony) that we performed acts in the past
We judge others' identity on appearance, and our own on memory
Continuous memory as the criterion produces paradoxes (e.g. an old general is and isn't his boyhood self))
16. Persons / E. Self as Mind / 3. Psychological Self critique
If consciousness is personal identity, it is continually changing