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Personal Identity

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Intro to Philosophy
Paper on Personal Identity
October 7th 2008

I have chosen to write my paper on personal identity. Personal identity asks the question, “What Am I?”, “Does my identity change over time”, and “What happens to me when I die?” I plan to show there is no such thing as personal identity based on the many different circumstances and factors that can be conflicts in a persons life.

Who you are is what factors make you unique from another person. It can consist of values and convictions that you center your life on. Any or all of those factors at any given time, can change, have that feature for a while and then loose it, or create new features that change who we are as a person. You can also argue that at what point does a woman’s egg become a person. Is it them moment of conception or at the birth of the actual being? Can an inanimate object such as a tree or a monkey take on human characteristics and become a person? Some will say an animal’s life is just as meaningful as a human’s so they can have personal identity. Others may also say that when a woman’s egg is fertilized that at that very moment it takes on human chacteristics and changes throughout the pregnancy so of course personal identity exists there in the very beginning.
What does it take for the same person to exist over time? This cannot be done, because you will experience some type of change in your life ,expected or unexpected events that will change your existence, or the being that once was. No one person is the very same as they were when they were born. What we experience in life greatly affects the way we react as human beings. David Hume the philosopher believed that the source of all genuine knowledge is our direct sense experience and through the process of introspection, we discover that there is no self ie no personal identity.(Chaffee, pg 122) Pain, pleasure,...