Self , Identity and Consciousness (Decartes and Locke)

Choose any two of the philosophers that we read in Unit 2. Recap each philosopher’s main view about consciousness/the self/personal identity. Explain at least one difference between the two philosophers’ views and state which view you prefer. Then, offer an argument (i.e., evidence) against the view that you reject.

If you need to re-familiarize yourself with the central issues on personal identity, I suggest that you review the following (20-minute) podcast: The Self and Personal Identity. Additional information regarding personal identity can also be found here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-personal/

Start with making a careful summary of two of the philosophers we read in Unit 2. What were their main concepts and definitions, what were their distinctions? How did they imagine that the self was different from the brain or different from the mind? Restate their theory and include “direct quotes”, specific references from their work.

Explain carefully how these views compare and contrast. Be sure to identify and explain at least one difference between the philosophers’ views. How do they define a key concept or make a major distinction differently?

State which view you prefer.

Offer an argument against the view that you reject.

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