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]].

green numbers give 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 treat slowly changing things as identical for the sake of economy in language
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
Identity is familiar to common sense, but very hard to define
Identity can only be affirmed of things which have a continued existence
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
I can hardly care about rational consequence if it wasn't me conceiving the antecedent
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / a. Memory is Self
The identity of a thief is only known by similarity, but memory gives certainty in our own case
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / c. Inadequacy of mental continuity
Memory reveals my past identity - but so does testimony of other witnesses
Boy same as young man, young man same as old man, old man not boy, if forgotten!
If consciousness is transferable 20 persons can be 1; forgetting implies 1 can be 20
If a stolen horse is identified by similitude, its identity is not therefore merely similitude
If consciousness is personal identity, it is continually changing
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 7. Self and Thinking
Thoughts change continually, but the self doesn't