Topics: Psychology, John Locke, Mind Pages: 1 (534 words) Published: September 22, 2014
Hume and Locke's conflicting views on the existence of personal identity stem from a fundamental disagreement in regard to memory.  According to Hume we have an impermanent personal identity as a result of our constantly changing stream of perceptions. These mental experiences are usually triggered by impressions, or perceptions that involve a sense experience. These constantly changing streams of perception form the false identity. On the other hand John Locke proposes this concept that says X has identity if the ideas of X cause an observer to have of x are the same at different times. The best capable observer is X themself, as they are there for every moment. For Locke all that is needed for personal identity is mental identity. Both these ideas of personal identity are intertwined with each respected philosopher’s views on memory. According to Hume, memory is unreliable. He believes projectivism tricks us into forming memories. This is true because Hume also says we can’t remember everything, but we project as if we do. The reason he imposes this is because he believes it causes us to assume we are the same in our memories as we are now. Hume says our memories are triggered by ideas, or perceptions caused by thinking about an impression, instead of actually experiencing it. These memories at best resemble one another, which means we confuse similar but different impressions of ourselves for an impression of a single unchanging self. Moreover, Hume says we do not have the same ideas as we do now and do in the past. As a result memory gives us false identity with what it remembers. With this, the nature of the human self is derived from these mental experiences. Although Hume maintains that personal identity is falsely assumed by humans, the ideas that arise from our memories are what forms one’s identity. The end result of personal identity is that individuals have a false sense of identity, but that this false sense of identity is what gives them their...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about Immanuel Kant
  • Philosophy's Great Question: Who Am I? Essay
  • Essay about Philosophy
  • Essay on Miracles
  • Essay on Philosophy
  • Philosophy: Skepticism Essay
  • Philosophy Epistemology Essay
  • Hume Philosophy Paper

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free