5. John Locke on personal identity versus Hume on self-identity. Read pages 289-296).
Question: Clearly explain Locke's view of self-identity and Hume's view and make it
clear how the two views differ from each other.
John Locke argues that personal identity is an issue of psychological continuity and
not based on the substance of either the body or the soul. He argues that it is possible for the
content of the body for the body to change, but the consciousness of a person remains the
same. This supports his idea that the personal identity of a person is in consciousness rather
than in the brain (p. 290). Locke argues that it is possible to transfer consciousness from one
person to another, and when such happens, the personal identity move with consciousness. In
the same note, he argues that if the substance which thinks in a person is changed, the
consciousness will remain the same hence safeguarding the personal identity. In the case
where consciousness is lost, but the soul and spirit remain the same, then personal identity is
lost. There will be the same soul and mind but a different person. This compounds Locke's
view that the thinking substance and the soul are not enough for personal identity over time
Hume rejects the idea of identity and argues that there are no underlying objects or
persons who continue to exist over time. What exist are the impressions from which all the
ideas are derived. According to Hume, the idea of the persistent 'self' is derived from the
impression, but there is no impression which is persisting (p. 293).
Given that self-identity should be a stable, constant, and persistent thing, and the ideas
on self are founded on the opinion which is not persistent. It can be said that there is little
knowledge of self-identity. The individual believes in self-identity is based on causation and
resemblance. According to Locke, the basis of personal identity is the consciousness, while
Hume views the issues of self-identity to be based on the buddle of impressions. According to
Locke, the change of the thinking substance and the soul does not affect identity. Identity is
based on consciousness. Hume, on the other hand, believes that there is little knowledge of
self-identity as what people observe and perceive are different and distinct impressions.
Therefore, Hume believes that there is no knowledge about self-identity (p. 293).
6. Pick a chapter from Jim Holt's book "Why Does the World Exist" (which I assigned,
but did not make it a requirement to read) and explain what the chapter is about and
what your own thoughts are on what he says.
In chapter 10 of Jim Holt's book "Why Does the World Exist," it explains the concept
of plutonism in philosophy. According to the author, there exist some independent abstracts
entities such as numbers and ideas. These are considered as the truthmakers for the
propositions that make reference to them. The reason why the author refers to the numbers
and ideas as abstract is that they cannot be proved as the universal truth (p. 172). Some
mathematicians often referred to as the nominalists; deny...
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