Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Locke, Butler and the Stream of Consciousness: and Men as a Natural Kind

  • David Wiggins (a1)
Abstract

Locke defined a person as ‘a thinking intelligent being, that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing, in different times and places” (Essay, II, xxvii, 2). To many who have been excited by the same thought as Locke, continuity of consciousness has seemed to be an integral part of what we mean by a person. The intuitive appeal of the idea that to secure the continuing identity of a person one experience must flow into the next experience in some ‘stream of consciousoness” is evidenced by the number of attempts in the so-called constructionalist tradition to explain continuity of consciousness in terms of memory, and then build or reconstruct the idea of a person with these materials. The philosophical difficulty of the idea is plain from the failure of these attempts. Hindsight suggests this was as inevitable as the failure of the attempt (if anyone ever made it) to make bricks from straw alone—and as a failure just as uninteresting. Which is not to deny that the memory theorist might get from it a sense that some of the difficulties in his programme have arisen from his leaving flesh and bones, the stuff of persons, out of his construction.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

W. V. Quine ‘Natural Kinds’ in Essays in Honour of C. G. Hempel (Rescher ed.) (ReidelDordrecht, 1969).

Paul Ziff The Feelings of Robots’, Analysis, Vol. 19, No. 3 (January, 1959)

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
  • URL: /core/journals/philosophy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 12 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 131 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.